Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team travels out to Mercyhurst for a two-game set at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. The series will be the Pioneers final road series of the fall semester.
Last Time Out... The Pioneers dropped the series finale to Air Force 5-3 this past Sunday. SHU held a two goal lead early in the second period thanks to a goals by Austin McIlmurray and Matt Tugnutt. The Falcons turned on the offense scoring five straight goals over the second and third period to take a 5-2 lead. The Pioneers added another goal by Vito Bavaro at 12:19 in the third but were unable to mount another late comeback at Webster Bank Arena.
Last Meeting... SHU came away with a 4-3 overtime win over Mercyhurst on February 4, 2017. Vito Bavaro registered the game winner 1:53 in overtime. The back-and-forth contest saw the Pioneers register goals in all four periods. Zach De Concilys and Liam Clare registered two assists each in the game. Brett Magnus recorded 22 saves between the pipes for the Pioneers.
All-Time Series... The Lakers own the overall series record by a slim 25-23-5 margin. Both teams have split the last 10 meetings at 4-4-2. The Pioneers hold a 3-1-1 record in the last five meetings and have won twice at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in that span.
Scouting The Lakers... Mercyhurst enters the weekend 5-5-2 record, coming off a series split with #7 Wisconsin. The Lakers own Atlantic Hockey's second highest scoring offense at 3.33 goals per game. Mercyhurst also owns the league best power play percentage at 27.6%. Senior Jonathan Charbonneau leads the attack with five goals on the year. Juniors Taylor Best & Derek Barach both lead Mercyhurst with eight assists and 12 points. Senior Brandon Wildung has started all 12 games in goal for the Lakers, allowing 2.95 goals against.
Johnstone Nabs Second Rookie of the Week Honor… Freshman Marc Johnstone earned his second Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week honor after scoring three goals this past week. He recorded his first multi-goal game with a shorthanded & power play goal in the third period comeback tie against Air Force. Johnstone leads the team and Atlantic Hockey freshmen with 14 points. Johnstone registered five goals this month to lead AHA rookies with six goals this season. He is tied for third nationally among rookies with a an average of 1.00 points per game.
Bates, Johnstone & Tugnutt Among Atlantic Hockey Rookie Leaders... The trio of Alex Bates, Marc Johnstone and Matt Tugnutt rank in the top three in Atlantic Hockey freshman scoring. Johnstone leads the way with 14 points and 1.00 points per game average. Both Tugnutt and Bates are tied for third with eight points. Tugnutt has picked up three goals and five assists in 11 games. Bates has registered two goals and six assists in 13 games, sitting second on the team in defenseman scoring.