Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team welcomes RIT its final home series of the 2017-18 regular season . The Pioneers host Senior Night on Saturday at Webster Bank before wrapping up the series at Ingalls Rink on Sunday.
Last Time Out... SHU recorded it's third straight win with the 2-1 overtime win over Air Force on Tuesday. Marc Johnstone opened the scoring in the first with his third straight power play goal. The Falcons tied things up at 5:59 in the third as Marshall Bowery buried the open look. The Pioneers finally got the puck moving just over the halfway point in overtime as Stephen Hladin sent the pass into the slot. The puck deflected off of Jordan Kaplan's stick for the wide open Matt Tugnutt to fire home the open net. Brett Magnus recorded 23 stops in the win.
Last Meeting... The Pioneers pulled away with the 5-1 series finale win over the Tigers on January 5, 2017. After RIT scored in the first period. SHU netted five consecutive goals to secure the win. Erlich Doerksen led the Pioneers with two goals while Mitch Nylen led in assists with two. Brett Magnus turned away 32 shots in goal for SHU.
All-Time Series... The Tigers own the all-time series over SHU at 22-6-2. RIT leads the last 10 meetings with an 8-2 mark, with the Pioneers earning the win in the last meeting. Both teams come into the weekend on a three-game win streak.
Scouting The Tigers... Like the Pioneers, RIT enters the weekend having won its last three games in the span of five days. The Tigers sit fifth in Atlantic Hockey at 12-11-1 in league play. Erik Brown leads the team's scoring with 30 points on 20 goals and 10 assists. Myles Powell is the main RIT distributor with 19 assists. Gabe Valenzuela is the reigning Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week after scoring three goals in the weekend sweep over RIT. Christian Short has made the start in goal the last three games recording 71 saves in three league wins.
Senior Saturday... Prior to Saturday night's contest SHU will honor its two seniors Kory Kennedy and Nathan Perry. Kennedy has appeared in 101 career games in his four seasons with the Pioneers, recording 44 points on 18 goals and 26 assists. Perry has played 26 games between the pipes for SHU during his four seasons, making 576 saves and a 3.21 goals against average.
Rolling Pioneers... The Pioneers enter the weekend riding a three-game win streak . It is the longest streak since SHU went on a four-game tear from Feb. 20-March 7, 2015. The Pios have outscored their opponents 14-5 in the last three games, picking up six points in the Atlantic Hockey postseason race. Liam Clare, Marc Johnstone, Kory Kennedy and Matt Tugnutt lead the Pioneers with four points each in the last three games.
Strong Special Teams... SHU has excelled on special teams during it's recent three-game winning streak. The Pioneers power play unit has registered a 27.8 conversion percentage, going 5-for-18 on the man advantage. On the other end of the ice, SHU is 16-for-18 on the penalty kill in the last three games.
Clare And Magnus Garner Atlantic Hockey Weekly Honors... Co-captain Liam Clare was named Atlantic Hockey defensive player of the week for the second time this season. Brett Magnus recorded his third Atlantic Hockey Goalie of The Week honor as SHU earned the weekend sweep over Niagara. Clare led the team with four assists and a plus-five rating while Magnus stopped 51saves with a .927 save percentage.