Nov. 18, 2009
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart travels to Rochester, NY for a pair of games with red hot Atlantic Hockey rival RIT. The Pioneers will look to rebound from a one point weekend against Bentley after a 6-3 loss and 1-1 tie against the Falcons. Sacred Heart sits in the middle of the pack in the Atlantic Hockey standings while playing the fewest number of conference games. RIT currently has 12 points and shares the top spot with Air Force. The Tigers come into the weekend series on a six game winning streak and earned a pair of one goal victories over Mercyhurst in their last two games.
The Series... In 2008-09 Sacred Heart got the better of a RIT posting a 2-1-1 record in four games with the Tigers. The two teams split a weekend series at the end of the season in Rochester (6-4 SHU, 5-3 RIT). In the all-time series RIT holds a slight edge over SHU with a 5-3-1 mark against the Pioneers.
Road Warriors... The Pioneers enter the second third of their nine game road trip after posting a 1-1-1 record in the first three games away from the MIP. Sacred Heart is 2-3-2 on the road this season and has played four overtime games in 2009-10. The Pioneers will be rewarded when they return home January 2-3 to kick off an eight game homestand.
Johnson Producing... Senior Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) continued his strong play in the early part of the season adding a power play goal Saturday night in the Pioneers 1-1 tie at Bentley. The goal was Johnson’s fourth power play marker of the season, tying him for fifth in the nation. He also currently leads Atlantic Hockey in goals per game with 0.78.
Top Tier Offenses... Sacred Heart and RIT claim the league’s two most potent attacks. The Tigers lead the conference scoring 3.45 goals per game with the Pioneers right on their heels averaging 3.44.
Jarman Leads the Charge... Senior Dave Jarman leads the SHU attack with 12 points in 2009-10. Jarman added an assist in each game with the Falcons over the weekend, giving him eight on the season. The senior forward assisted on Evan Mladenoff’s (Leawood, KS) goal in the second period Friday night that put SHU within one at 4-3. Jarman and Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) had the assists in SHU’s only goal of the night in Saturday’s draw as the Pioneers struck on the power play in the first period.
Consistent Power Play... Sacred Heart has scored a goal with the man advantage in eight of its nine games in 2009-10. SHU is scoring at a 20.4% clip with the extra man, good for fourth in the conference. The Pioneers went 3 for 17 on the power play against Bentley, including two goals Friday night. Johnson leads the team with four goals with the extra attacker followed by David Berube (Quebec, QC) who has three.
Scouting the Tigers... RIT enters this weekend with a six game win streak, all against conference opponents. Junior Andrew Favot leads the Tigers and Atlantic Hockey with 17 points on four goals and 13 assists on the season. Favot is the reigning Atlantic Hockey player of the week after contributing to all five RIT goals in a sweep of Mercyhurst (1 goal, 4 assists). Dan Ringwald leads the conference’s defensemen in points with 12, five goals and seven assists. Ringwald was the AHA player of the month for October after notching nine points in RIT’s first seven contests. Cameron Burt is having a solid sophomore campaign notching four goals and seven assists for 11 total points. Jared DeMichiel has been stellar in net for RIT starting all 11 games and posting a 2.31 goals against average and a .913 save percentage.
Penalty Kill a Killer... The Pioneer penalty kill struggled in the 6-3 loss to Bentley Friday night as the Falcons scored a goal on their first four attempts on the power play. The unit did rebound in the series finale holding the Falcons to 0 for 6 with the man advantage.
St. Onge Solid in Finale... Sophomore Olivier St. Onge (Wickham, QC) got the start in the series finale against Bentley and made 29 saves in the draw. St. Onge made nine saves in the game’s final 25 minutes and made a diving stop on a Falcon break away to save the game for Sacred Heart and secure a point for the Pioneers.
Up Next... The Pioneers will play just one game next week, a Tuesday meeting with ECAC member Yale in New Haven, CT. However, the contest may have the most interesting back story of any SHU game this season as the Pioneers take on head coach C.J. Marottolo’s former squad, where he was an assistant an associate head coach for 13 years. If that doesn’t provide enough spark former SHU assistant coach from a year ago, Dan Muse, now sits on the Bulldogs bench as a member of the Yale staff.