Feb. 18, 2010
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart enters this weekend’s home and home series with Holy Cross in second place in Atlantic Hockey. The Pioneers could clinch home ice advantage in the quarterfinals of the AHA tournament with a sweep of the Crusaders. The Pioneers and Holy Cross split a home and home series earlier this season with each team winning on the road. Sacred Heart is 13-1-2 in their last 16 games and returns to action after completing a season sweep of AIC last weekend. Holy Cross swept Bentley last weekend in a home and home series of their own.
The Series... The Pioneers hold a slight edge in the all-time series with the Crusaders, SHU is 21-19-1 against Holy Cross. Holy Cross is one of just two teams to beat Sacred Heart at the Milford Ice Pavilion this season, winning a 4-2 affair November 6. The Pioneers rebounded with a 5-4 victory the next night in Worcester, MA at the Hart Center.
Pair of the NCAA’s Best... Senior Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) currently is tied for the nation’s lead in goals with 23 and ranks third overall in points with 44. Johnson also holds the national lead with six game winning goals this year. Teammate Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) is tied for the NCAA lead with 33 assists in 2009-10 while ranking fourth in points with 43.
A Weekend of Comebacks... The Pioneers found themselves behind in both games against AIC last weekend, but put together four unanswered goals each time to earn a weekend sweep. The Yellow Jackets led 1-0 after the first period Friday night but SHU exploded for four goals in the second frame en route to the 4-1 victory. AIC held a 2-0 advantage in the series finale after a goal just 10 seconds into the second period. SHU would again respond with four straight, two from Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, CO) as the Pioneers earned a season sweep of AIC.
Home Sweet Home... Sacred Heart boasts the conference’s best winning percentage at home with a 9-2-2 record (.769). The Pioneers have outscored opponents 53-36 in the friendly confines of the MIP. SHU can earn a bit of revenge this weekend against the Crusaders as Holy Cross is resopnsible for one of the Pioneers home losses in 2009-10.
Stretch Run... With just four games remaining in the regular season the Pioneers sit in second place, but have Air Force, Mercyhurst, and Canisius close behind. RIT needs just one win to clinch its third AHA regular season title and earn the #1 seed in this year’s conference tournament. However, the road won’t be easy as the Tigers faceoff with Air Force and Canisius in their last four tilts. Sacred Heart needs four points in their remaining four games to clinch a first round playoff series on home ice. Air Force sits just one point behind SHU which means the series between these two teams next weekend in Colorado Springs, CO could hold the #2 seed in the balance.
Scouting the Crusaders... Holy Cross comes into this weekend’s series after sweeping Bentley and earning a pair of AHA weekly honors. Crusader junior Jordan Cyr leads the attack with 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points. He was named the AHA player of the week after posting two goals and three helpers against the Falcons. Senior Brodie Shehan is the Crusaders active scoring leader and has eight goals this season. Thomas Tysowsky earned AHA rookie of the week honors, the freshman netminder has compiled a 2.35 goals against average this season. Tysowsky has the third highest win percentage and save total in Atlantic Hockey.
Plenty Of Firepower... Sacred Heart currently leads the AHA and ranks seventh in the nation scoring 3.60 goals per game. Nick Johnson leads the nation with 23 goals this season while Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) is tied for the NCAA lead in assists with James Marcou of UMass, each posting 33 helpers this season. Sacred Heart has not been shutout in the 2009-10 campaign and has scored at least five goals nine times this season.
Chance at 100... Seniors Nick Johnson and Erik Boisvert are having stellar senior seasons to approach the 100 point mark for their careers. Johnson posted five points, one goal and four assists, against AIC. He needs just one more point to reach the 100 pleateau. Boisvert currently sits at 96 points, netting 24 this year. Sacred Heart has four games and post season play remaining in 2009-10.
In the Polls... For the third straight week Sacred Heart received votes in the USCHO division I poll. The Pioneers received 4 votes, ranking them 28th in the nation.
Up Next... Sacred Heart travels to Air Force for a weekend series to conclude the regular season.