FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart women's ice hockey team opens up their 2013-14 schedule this weekend with a pair of home contests against the University of Rhode Island. The Pioneers, headed by Head Coach Tom O'Malley in his 11th year, are coming off an extremely successful 18-13-2 season in 2012-13. Sacred Heart finished third in the ECAC Tournament last season, defeating St. Michael's 3-2 in the consolation game at the Wonderland of Ice.
Sacred Heart returns 22 players, including seven seniors, from a team that won a program record 18 games in 2012-13. Sacred Heart's top six scorers from a year ago return including top point-getters, Casey Stathopoulos (Waltham, MA) and Melissa Robbins (Nashua, NH). Stathopoulos and Robbins both scored a team-high 14 goals in 2012-13. Alex Davis (Pembroke, MA) (22), Natasha Klinoff (Concord, MA) (21), and Sara Hanna (Lino Lakes, MN) (20) all logged 20+ points for the Pioneers last season and are expected to be key contributors for SHU this year.
SHU also returns all goaltenders from a year ago, including senior Alexius Schutt (Elk River, MN) who led the Pioneers with a 7-8-1 record a year ago.
The Pioneers defeated Rhode Island twice last year, with a combined score of 11-4.
This year's senior class:
Jennie Robinson (Hyde Park, NY)
Cassandra Briffett (Marshfield, MA)
Sara Hanna (Lino Lakes, MN)
Catie Ladner (Chaska, MA)
Erin Marley (Belchertown, MA)
Alexius Schutt (Elk River, MN)
Mandy Montgomery (Grand Ledge, MI)
Notes: Coach O'Malley is two wins shy of 100 for his Pioneer career.