November 20, 2007

Pioneers Travel to Mercyhurst For Thanksgiving Weekend Series

Nov. 20, 2007

Setting the Scene... The Pioneers return to league play after a 17 day layoff as they travel to Mercyhurst for a two game series over Thanksgiving weekend. Sacred Heart is in the midst of a three game losing streak after dropping a pair of games to Niagara last week. Mercyhurst split a series at RIT last week. The teams meet Friday and Saturday night at 7:05 pm at the Meryhurst Ice Center. Coverage of the game is available on the B2 Networks.

The Series... The Pioneers swept the four game series with Mercyhurst last season. SHU won a pair of games in Milford in November and took two in Erie in February. Sacred Heart has won seven of their last eight games against the Lakersand lead the all-time series 14-10-4.

SHU Drops Pair to Purps... The Pioneers lost a pair of games to Niagara last weekend, falling at Dwyer Arena by scores of 4-2 and 2-1. Freshman Adam DeJong scored the Pioneers' two goals Friday night, his first collegiate tallies. Sophomore Nick Johnson had a goal and an assist on the weekend and now has registered one point in each of his last five games. Freshman Olivier St. Onge made 35 saves in his second collegiate start Saturday night. The Pioneers are now 1- 11-4 all time against teams from the CHA.

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. The firepower along with Parent includes sniper Bear Trapp who has finished second on the team in scoring the last two years. This year Trapp has two goals and four assists to his credit.

All Hands on Deck... Eleven players have scored goals for SHU already this year. Sophomore Nick Johnson has the team lead with four goals while Dave Jarman has two goals and four assists, placing second with six points. Sophomore Matt Gordon and junior Eric Giosa each have a pair of goals as well. On defense, Dave Grimson's offensive power has been evident early on, as he has two goals and an two assists for four points on the year. Meanwhile, Paul Ferraro's big shot has led to a goal and two assists.

Scouting the Lakers... Mercyhurst is off to a 2-9-1 start, having played some of the best teams in the country in non-league competition. The Lakers are 2-3-1 in AHA play, having split a series at RIT last weekend. Senior Ben Cottreau leads the team and is third in the league in scoring with 13 points, inlcuding five goals and eight assists. Freshman Brandon Coccimiglio has made an immediate impact, with four goals and three assists. Mercyhurst's defense has struggled has freshman Ryan Zaploski has been thrown into the fire right away. The rookie has posted a 4.20 goals against average in nine games. Junior Matt Lundin returned from injury last week to earn a victory against RIT.

Up Next... The Pioneers face Army in a home-and-home series next weekend. The series opens Friday night at Tate Rink in West Point with the rematch Saturday night at Milford Ice Pavilion. Face-off both nights is 7:05 pm.