Nov. 15, 2007
Setting the Scene... The Pioneers step out of conference this weekend to travel to Niagara Falls and take on Niagara University in a two game weekend set. The teams meet Friday and Saturday night at 7:00 pm at Dwyer Arena. Sacred Heart has been off for 10 days since losing to Bentley last Tuesday. Niagara is coming off a series split at Robert Morris last weekend. Coverage of the game is available on the B2 Networks.
The Series... This the first ever meeting between Niagara and Sacred Heart. The Pioneers are 1-9-4 all-time against teams from College Hockey America. SHU won their first game against a CHA school last season when they took a 2-1 decision from Wayne State.
SHU Clipped by Falcons... The Pioneers lost to Bentley, 3-1, at Ryan Arena last Tuesday. The loss snapped a four game unbeaten streak for the Pioneers and was the first time SHU had fallen to the Falcons in their last four meetings. Junior Bear Trapp scored SHU's only goal. Goaltender Stefan Drew made 37 saves, including double digit stops in each period.
Scouting the Pioneers... The Pioneers have shown a balanced attack thus far this year. The team is led by senior captain Alex Parent who has been perhaps SHU's most consistent player for the last several seasons. His leadership has already shown this year, posting three goals and two assists, including the tying goal against Canisius. Nine players have scored goals for SHU already this year. Sophomore Nick Johnson is tied for the team lead with three goals while Dave Jarman has two goals and four assists to tie for the team lead with six points. Sophomore Matt Gordon and junior Eric Giosa each have a pair of goals as well.
Scouting the Purple Eagles... Niagara is off to a 6-3 start and has been literally unbeatable at home over the last two years. The Purple Eagles have the nation's longest home ice winning streak, having not lost at Dwyer Arena in their last 20 contests (18-0-2). Their last loss came on February 10, 2006 against Air Force. In this young season, senior Matt Caruana leads the team with seven goals and three assists while sophomore Egor Mironov has five goals and two assists. Vince Rocco and Tyler Gotto each have a team high seven assists on the year. Juliano Pagliero has been impressive in goal, posting a 1.58 goals against average and five wins on the year.
On the Road... This is the middle of a seven game road trip for the Pioneers and a stretch in which they will play 10 of their next 11 games on the road. SHU's trip will take them to Niagara, Mercyhurst and Army. The only home game left in 2007 is December 1 against Army. Following that game, the Pioneers will visit Bentley and then travel to Denver for the Denver Cup over the holidays. The schedule turns in SHU's favor in the second half, with 10 home games over the season's final nine weeks.
Up Next... The Pioneers return to AHA play next weekend when they travel to Erie for a two game set with Mercyhurst over Thanksgiving weekend. The teams meet Friday and Saturday night at the Mercyhurst Ice Center at 7:05 pm.