Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team travels to NYCB Live on Saturday to take on Army West Point in the newly renovated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
First Things First… The matchup between the Pioneers and Black Knights will play in the first collegiate hockey game at NYCB Live after its renovation in 2016. The building has no shortage of hockey history as the 43-year home of the New York Islanders, including the Islanders streak of four-straight Stanley Cups from 1980-1983.
SHU Pregame Reception… The Pioneers are hosting a pregame reception with SHU Director of Athletics Bobby Valentine, beginning at 5:00 pm. The cost is $40 and includes food and drink and cash bar. Buy tickets and register for the reception here.
Group rates are also available by calling the SHU Ticket Office at 203-396-8499.
Last Time Out... The Pioneers pushed to a 5-2 lead in the second period but couldn't stop three third period goals by Holy Cross, eventually skating to a 5-5 overtime tie. SHU had a season high three power play goals on the night. Sophomore Austin McIlmurray led SHU with his first multi-goal game. Classmate Vito Bavaro recorded three points on one goal and two assists. Junior co-captain Liam Clare registered his first career playmaker with three helpers. Junior Brett Magnus earned 33 saves in goal for SHU.
Last Meeting... The Pioneers & Black Knights battled to a 5-5 overtime tie on November 21 at Webster Bank Arena. After a 2-2 stall in the first period, Army West Point picked up two goals in the first 1:12 of the second to take the lead. SHU battled back with three straight goals by Matt Tugnutt, Jason Cotton & Marc Johnstone to take a 5-4 lead. The Black Knights tied the game on a power play goal by Dalton MacAfee at 12:54 in the third. Nathan Perry made 18 saves in over two periods of play for SHU.
All-Time Series... The all-time series between both teams sits at 28-28-8 overall. The last 10 meetings have been split as well with 4-4-2 record. The last time both teams met four times during the regular season, Army West Point won the season meetings 2-1-1.
Scouting The Black Knights... Army come into the matchup 8-10-2, 6-7-2 in Atlantic Hockey. The Black Knights spent the first 15 games against league opponents before taking the month of December for non-conference play (2-3 record). Dominic Franco is the team's leading point scorer with 18 points. The Black Knights boast the nations fifth best penalty kill at 87.8%. Jared Dempsey has started the last five games in goal for Army and owns a .919 save percentage.
Clare Dishes Way to Atlantic Hockey Defensive Player of the Week…. Junior Liam Clare earned his second career Atlantic Hockey Defensive Player of the Week honor after leading the team with four assists this past weekend. After just dishing out two assists in the first half of the season, the co-captain found his groove against Holy Cross. He had the primary assist on the Pioneers power play goal on Friday night and then registered an assist on SHU's three power play scores on Saturday.
Bavaro Lights the Lamp…. Sophomore forward Vito Bavaro is coming off a two-goal weekend against Holy Cross. He became the first Pioneer this season to reach double digit goals with his 10th and 11th goal. Bavaro also added two assists in the 5-5 tie against the Crusaders for his third three-point game of the year. He now leads the team with 18 points and 11 goals.