Setting the Scene.... The Sacred Heart University Men's Ice Hockey team returns home as the Pioneers look to continue their impressive five game winning streak with a crucial Atlantic Hockey showdown against RIT. Friday's game will have an early start at 11:05 a.m. while Saturday's will have a puck-drop of 2:05 p.m.
Last Time Out... The Sacred Heart University Men's Ice Hockey team took a two game set away from Niagara this past weekend as the Pioneers defeated the Purple Eagles 4-2 in the first game and 6-3 in the second. Junior Austin Mcllmurray led the Pioneers with three goals, two assists for five points in the series. Freshman Josh Benson compiled 31 saves and allowed just five goals in the entire series. He tallied a GAA of 2.52 and a save percentage of 86.1%.
Scouting the Tigers... The Tigers recorded a split on the road last weekend at Holy Cross, winning 4-3 on Friday, while losing by the same score Saturday night. RIT is currently tied for third in the Atlantic Hockey league standings with a conference record of 11-8-3 and an overall record of 13-12-3. On offense the Tigers are led by senior forward Abbott Girduckis who leads the team in points with 28 and goals with eight. In goal, sophomore Logan Drackett tallies a record of 10-11-3 and compiles a GAA of 2.65 with a save percentage of 90.8.
Last Meeting.... The Pioneers swept a two game series against RIT that took place on Dec. 7 and 8. The SHU took the first game 4-3 in an overtime thriller courtesy of a goal by senior Mike Lee at 04:55 in the first overtime period. In the second game the Pioneers scored six goals in the game to earn a 6-4 victory over the Tigers to complete the weekend sweep. Sophomore Matt Tugnutt led the Pioneers in goals as he tallied two in the game one to seal the game as he netted an empty net goal to make the final score 6-4.
Leave The Game Winners to Magera... Freshman Austin Magera is currently tied for first in Atlantic Hockey in game winning goals this season as he has tallied five for the Pioneers. Magera currently leads the team in points with 21 and is tied for first in goals with nine as well as tied for second in assists with 12.
Mcllmurray Making Moves.... Junior Austin Mcllmurray tallied five goals and three assists in the past five games for the Pioneers. He cashed in a power play goal for the Pioneers in his two goal day against Robert Morris on Feb. 1. He is currently tied for first on team in goals with nine on the year. He was tabbed Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week as well as one of Three Stars by NCAA Hockey for his three goal, two assist weekend at Niagara.
Tugnutt Back on Track .... Sophomore Matt Tugnutt scored his first goal in the past eight games coming into this weekends series with Robert Morris. Tugnutt netted a shorthanded goal in the first period to put the Pioneers up 1-0 against UCONN last Wednesday night. He currently is tied for second on team in goals with seven.