Jan. 14, 2010
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart will put its five game unbeaten streak on the line this weekend as they host first place Mercyhurst for a weekend series at the Milford Ice Pavilion. The Pioneers are 4-0-1 in their last five games including a win and tie against the Army Black Knights last weekend. SHU is half way through its current eight game homestand with a record of 3-0-1. Mercyhurst currently sits atop the AHA standings with 24 total points. The Lakers swept AIC last weekend and are unbeaten in their last ten conference tilts.
The Series... The Pioneers hold a slight edge in the all-time series with the Lakers, posting a record of 16-14-3. The two teams played just twice last year, Mercyhurst swept the series in Erie, PA by scores of 2-1 and 7-0. The finale of that series marks the last time Sacred Heart was shutout. SHU last defeated the Lakers 6-3 at the Milford Ice Pavilion February 16, 2008.
Hitting Their Stride... The Pioneers are 4-0-1 in their last five games, giving them the fourth longest unbeaten streak in the nation. This hot streak comes at a critical time for Sacred Heart as they will play only Atlantic Hockey contests for the remainder of the season. SHU has outscored opponents 21-6 in its last five tilts and has climbed to seventh in the standings, still with games in hand.
Legatto - Third Straight Rookie of the Week Award... Sacred Heart goaltender Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) was named the AHA rookie of the week for third straight time, dating back to before the semester break. The freshman played superbly against Army and earned his first career shutout Saturday night with a 30 save effort. Legatto started the weekend with 33 saves Friday night in a 3-3 tie. Overall Legatto posted a .955 save percentage against Army while compiling a 1.18 goals against average and .964 save percentage in his last five games.
Boisvert Busts Out... Senior Erik Boisvert (Drummondville, QC) exploded for six points, one goal and five assists, in the Pioneers weekend series against the Black Knights. Boisvert provided an assist on SHU’s first two goals in Friday night’s 3-3 tie with Army. The senior forward bested that effort the following night as he lit the lamp for his sixth goal of the season and tallied three assists for a four point game. For the weekend Boisvert had a hand in six of the Pioneers eight goals.
Special Teams Frenzy... In the Pioneers 3-3 tie against Army last weekend five of the game’s six goals were scored with the special teams on the ice. Sacred Heart scored all of their goals on the power play, going 3 for 6 on the night while the Black Knights went 1 for 3 with the extra attacker. However, the turning point of the game came on Army’s short handed goal to tie the game at one just before the first intermission. Nick Johnson scored twice for SHU including the game tying goal with 3:44 to play.
Scouting the Lakers... Mercyhurst comes into the weekend series unbeaten in their last 10 games against conference opponents. The Laker attack is led by reigning Atlantic Hockey player of the week Brandon Coccimiglio who notched a natural hat trick in Mercyhurst’s series opener with AIC. On the season Coccimiglio has 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 total points. Ryan Zapolski has played 22 games in net for the Lakers and has posted a 2.65 goals against average and .920 save percentage. Zapolski has played even better versus conference opponents with a 1.99 GAA and a .939 save percentage. The junior goaltender now has a 31-21-7 career record.
Lucky #13... Senior Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT), scored twice in SHU’s 3-3 tie. Johnson’s 13th goal of the season was the game tying goal, securing SHU one point in the standings. Of Johnson’s 13 goals he has four power play goals, two game winners, and one game tying marker. His four power play markers rank first in the conference. Johnson’s 13 goals tie him for second in Atlantic Hockey behind Cody Conacher of Canisius.
Dependable Delong... Freshman Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) recorded one goal and two assists for three points in a SHU win and draw against Army. The rookie posted two assists in the series opener Friday night, including one on the game tying goal. He scored the Pioneers third goal Saturday night after crashing the net and gathering a rebound of a Dave Jarman shot. Delong currently leads all Atlantic Hockey rookies, and ranks seventh in the nation, in points per game with 0.94.
Up Next... The Pioneers will conclude an eight game homestand next weekend as they host Canisius for a weekend series. Sacred Heart will then take to the road for a three game week against AIC Tuesday night and a weekend series with UConn.