November 19, 2008

Pioneers Head West For Showdown With Unbeaten Air Force

Nov. 19, 2008

Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart heads west to meet the undefeated, 12th ranked Air Force Falcons in Colorado Springs this weekend. SHU split a pair of games with AIC last week while Air Force pulled out two wins against Holy Cross in Worcester. The teams meet at Cadet Ice Arena Friday at 7:05 MST (9:05 EST) and Saturday at 7:35 MST (9:35 EST). Both games will be carried by the Pioneer Radio Network and the B2 Networks.

Pioneers Split With Yellow Jackets... The Pioneers split a pair of games with AIC, losing in overtime, 5-4, Friday night in Spingfield before rebounding with a 4-0 shutout Saturday night at home. Sophomore Olivier St. Onge got his first collegiate win Saturday night. Senior Eric Giosa had a goal and two assists while freshman Matt Gingera scored two goals and had an assist. SHU is now unbeaten in ten of its last 11 games against AIC, going 8-1-2.

The Series... Air Force swept a pair of games in Milford in the opening weekend of the season. The Falcons won 4-1 Friday night and pulled out a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday night. Jacques Lameroux had two goals and two assists while Brent Olson had five points to lead the Falcons.The teams split a pair of games in Milford last season and played to two draws in Colorado Springs in 2006. The Falcons are 3-1-2 against SHU since joining Atlantic Hockey lead the all-time series with Sacred Heart, 6-1-3.

Scouting the Falcons... Air Force is the only undefeated, untied team in the country and is ranked 12th in the nation this week, the highest ranking ever for an Atlantic Hockey team. Sophomore Jacques Lamoreux leads the nation in scoring with 11 goals and 8 assists, 19 points on the season. Brent Olson also has 19 points, inlcuding a league leading 16 assists. Sophomore Andrew Volkening has allowed just 13 goals in 10 goals and ranks fifth in the nation with a 1.29 goals against average. Air Force leads the country in scoring offense, averaging 4.7 goals per game, highlited by the fourth ranked power play, coverting at a 21 percent rate. They have the third ranked scoring defense at 1.3 goals per game.

Milestones... Sophomore Olivier St. Onge made 19 saves to record his first collegiate victory and first career shutout Saturday night. Freshman Matt Gingera scored his first two collegiate goals in the series against AIC. Sophomore defenseman Ryan Warsofsky skated in his first career game Saturday night.

Balancing Act on Attack... The Pioneers return their next seven leading scorers. A large junior class includes the trio of Dave Jarman, Nick Johnson and Erik Boisvert. The Pioneers have had 13 different players score their 12 goals and have 19 players with at least one point. Eric Giosa is back for his senior season after scoring 10 goals last year and currently has a team high four scores on the season.

Up Next... Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend the Pioneers will face Holy Cross in a home-and-home set. The series opens Saturday afternoon in Milford and concludes Sunday in Worcester. Both games will be matinees, with the puck dropping at 4:05 each afternoon.