Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team is set for three games this week after after being idle the last 10 days. SHU welcomes Army West Point on Tuesday night at Webster Bank Arena for a 7:05 p.m. start, the first of four meetings between both teams this season. Air Force comes to town for a two-game series beginning Saturday, November 25 at 5:05 p.m.
Tickets For Military... With both service academies coming to town, all military (active, reserve, retired, guard) can purchase one dollar tickets for themselves, their family and guests. The discount is available at the Webster Bank Arena Box office with proper military ID.
Last Time Out... The Pioneers dropped the season series finale to AIC on November 11. SHU was faced with a 2-0 deficit into the second period. Jason Cotton registered a goal for the third time in the last for games in the second to cut the score to 2-1. The Yellow Jackets picked up two goals early in the third to push the game to 4-1. Both teams combined for 19 penalties & SHU was 0-for-8 in the game on the man advantage. Nathan Perry registered 26 saves in goal for the Pioneers.
Last Meeting vs The Black Knights…. Army West Point skated away with a 3-0 win over SHU on October 14, 2016. The Black Knights registered one goal in all three periods, ending with empty net goal by Conor Andrle. The Pioneers fired 25 shots on goal but were unable to get past second team All-Conference honoree Parker Gahagen. Brett Magnus made 25 saves for the Pioneers.
All-Time Series vs Army West Point…. The Pioneers and Black Knights sit tied at 28-28-7 in the all-time series dating back to 1996. Army West Point holds a 5-4-1 edge in the last 10 meetings. Army swept the season series last season, shutting out SHU in both contests.
Scouting The Black Knights... Army West Point enters the matchup 6-5-1 overall, playing all Atlantic Hockey foes in the opening 12 games. The Black Knights sit tied for first place and hold a stellar 6-2-0 record away from Tate Rink. Sophomore Michael Wilson leads the offense with nine goals and 13 points. Junior Dalton MacAfee leads the team with nine assists. Senior Cole Bruns owns a sensational 2.10 goals against average and .930 save percentage to rank among the conference leaders. Army boasts the leagues top penalty kill at 90%, that is good for seventh nationally.
Last Meeting vs The Falcons…. SHU earned a 3-2 overtime victory over No. 19 Air Force on February 25, 2017. It was just the second win at Cadet Ice Arena in the series history. Stephen Hladin got the scoring going in 37 seconds into the game. The Falcons owned the second period with a pair of power play goals. The Pioneers tied things up at 19:07 in the third off of Hladin's second goal. Jordan Minello netted the game winner for SHU at 2:31 in overtime. Nathan Perry made a season-high 39 saves in the win.
All-Time Series vs Air Force…. The Falcons hold a 25-9-5 lead in the series all-time. In the last 10 meetings Air Force owns a 6-3-1 record against SHU. The Pioneers will look to snap a three-game win streak by the Falcons on SHU home ice.
Scouting The Falcons... Air Force comes into the series with a 6-6-2 record overall and 2-5-1 in Atlantic Hockey play. The Falcons split the weekend series against RIT last weekend, earning the 4-3 win in the series opener. Air Force is led offensively by Jordan Himley and Evan Giesler with nine points each. Matt Serratore leads the balanced lineup with five goals on the season, while Giesler is tied with Phil Boje with seven assists. Junior netminder Billy Christopoulos owns a 2.36 goals against average in 14 starts for the Falcons.
Cotton Heating Up... Redshirt sophomore Jason Cotton has been on a tear the last six games, picking up the first five points of his career. He recorded his first career goal against Niagara on October 27 and hasn't looked back. In three out of the last four games, Cotton has picked up a goal. He currently leads the team with two power play scores.