Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team returns from the semester break with a home-and-home series against Holy Cross. Friday night kicks off at Webster Bank Arena followed by Saturday's contest at the Hart Center to close out the 2017 calendar year for SHU.
Last Time Out... SHU closed out the fall semester & non-conference play with a 2-1 loss to Yale at Webster Bank Arena on December 9. The Pioneers opened the scoring nine seconds into the second period with a shorthanded goal by Zach Tsekos. The Bulldogs responded with two unanswered goals courtesy of Joe Snively with the game winner coming with 4:28 to go in the third. SHU went 0-for-7 on the man advantage with plenty of chances in the final minutes. Junior Brett Magnus registered 36 saves for SHU.
Last Meeting... The Pioneers & Crusaders skated to a 2-2 overtime tie at Webster Bank Arena on January 14, 2017. SHU jumped to a two-goal lead in the first with tallies by Justin Danforth & Mitch Nylen. Holy Cross tied it up with a goal in the second by T.J. Moore and a third period goal by Tommy Muratore 1:27 into the period. The Pioneers fired seven shots in overtime looking for the series sweep with the second overtime game of the weekend after a 2-1 OT win on Friday night.
All-Time Series... Holy Cross leads the all-time series between both teams at 34-30-4. The Crusaders hold a 5-3-2 advantage in the last 10 meetings, but the Pioneers took the lone victory last season (1-0-1) with Justin Danforth's overtime game winner on January 13, 2017.
Scouting The Crusaders... Holy Cross enters the weekend in third place in Atlantic Hockey standings with 15 points at 5-2-5 in league play and 6-6-6 overall. The Crusaders own a league best 2.33 scoring defense in conference play. Scott Pooley paces the offense with a league leading 14 goals on the year. Paul Berrafato has started all 18 games in goal, leading Atlantic Hockey with a .924 save percentage.
Second Half Reset... The Pioneers look to get off to a good start in the second half of the 2017-18 slate. In the last three seasons, SHU has averaged just over six wins in the second half (19-23-9 second half record). Juniors Liam Clare & Stephen Hladin lead returnees from a year ago with 11 & 10 points respectively in the final 16 regular season games. Hladin tied for the team lead with six goals in that stretch last season.