Sacred Heart Pioneers (4-10-0, 3-5-0 AHA) at Mercyhurst Lakers (7-7-1, 5-1-0 AHA)
Dec. 6, 7:05 p.m. - Mercyhurst Ice Center (1,300) - Erie, Pa.
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart travels to Erie, Pa. to take on first-place Mercyhurst in a weekend series. The Pioneers look to get back in the win column after being swept by RIT last weekend.
Last Time Out... The Pioneers outshot RIT 38-35 on Nov. 30, but could not score on Tigers goaltender Mike Rotolo as RIT won 4-0 at Milford Ice Pavilion. Brad McGowan had a goal and an assist for RIT as Mike Colavecchia and Ben Lynch each had two assists. Alex Vazzano made 31 saves for Sacred Heart.
All-Time vs. Mercyhurst... The Lakers tied the all-time series 19-19-4 with a sweep of Sacred Heart last season. Mercyhurst beat the Pioneers by scores of 3-1 and 3-0 Nov. 2-3, 2012. The Lakers have won four straight games against the Pioneers and five of the last six meetings.
Last Meeting... Sacred Heart led 1-0 after the first period on Nov. 3, 2012, but Mercyhurst scored three unanswered goals to win 3-1 and complete a sweep of the Pioneers. Nick Curry scored the Sacred Heart goal as Matthew Zay and Daniel Bahntge scored in the second period to give the Lakers the lead. Jordan Tibbett made 39 saves for Mercyhurst as Steven Legatto had 32 saves for Sacred Heart.
Winning Streak Snapped... After sweeping Army two weeks ago. Sacred Heart was swept at home by RIT last weekend by scores of 5-2 and 4-0. The Pioneers were within a goal of the Tigers twice on Nov. 29 but RIT scored twice late in the third to win 5-2. Freshmen Mitch Nylen and Nick Lotito scored the Pioneers' two goals on the weekend. Lotito's tally is his first career goal and first career point.
Power Play Shutout Against RIT... The Pioneers were held scoreless on the power play last weekend against RIT in seven tries. Prior to the RIT series, Sacred Heart had at least one power play goal in six consecutive games. Junior defenseman Will Rayner is tied for second in Atlantic Hockey in power play goals with four as Drew George and Brian Sheehan each have a pair of power play tallies.
Scoring From The Blueliners... Through 14 games this season, Sacred Heart has gotten seven goals and 10 assists from its corps of defensemen. Freshman Mitch Nylen leads the Pioneers defense with six points on three goals and three assists. Will Rayner has four goals, a career season-high, and an assist for five points. In 36 games last season, Sacred Heart's defensemen had 29 points on six goals and 23 assists.
Scouting the Lakers... Mercyhurst enters the weekend in first place in Atlantic Hockey with 10 points. The Lakers are 5-1-0 in the conference after a sweep of AIC last weekend, winning by scores of 6-3 and 6-1. Mercyhurst is 6-1-1 in its last eight games, including a win over a then-ranked Rensselaer team on Nov. 22. Junior Matthew Zay leads the conference with 19 points and is tied for fifth with seven goals.