Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team begins a four-game homestand to open Atlantic Hockey play. The Pioneers host Niagara starting Friday, October 27 at 7:05 p.m.
Last Time Out... The Pioneers fell to fifth ranked Notre Dame 3-1 on Friday, October 19. SHU earned a series split after shocking the college hockey universe the previous night. Notre Dame got off to a 3-0 lead after the first two periods. The Pioneers fired 17 shots in the third with Austin McIlmurray picking up his third goal of the season. SHU held the Irish top-ranked power play unit scoreless for the first time all season. Senior Nathan Perry made a career-high 40 saves in goal for SHU.
Last Meeting... The Purple Eagles shutout the Pioneers 4-0 in the last meeting between both teams on November 19, 2016. Niagara put up three goals in the second frame to put the game away. Johnny Curran led the Purple Eagles with two goals. SHU put up a 14-3 shot margin in the third period but Jackson Teichroeb put up the 37 save shutout. Justin Danforth & Evan Jasper put up six shots on goal each for the Pioneers.
All-Time Series... Niagara holds a 11-5-2 lead over SHU in the series history. In the last 10 meetings the Pioneers own a 5-4-1 lead over the Purple Eagles. The Pioneers have won three out of the last four meetings.
Scouting The Purple Eagles... The Purple Eagles enter the weekend 2-2, coming off a weekend split vs. RPI (W, 4-3) & Union (L, 5-1). Niagara was picked 11th among the league coaches is 1-0 in league play. Beating Robert Morris 4-3 in overtime. Johnny Curran leads the team with three goals on the year. Noah Delmas is the team leader in assists with four assists. Guillaume Therien leads the team between the pipes with a 3.52 goals against average and .864 save percentage.
Bavaro & Johnstone Take Home Atlantic Hockey Weekly Honors... Vito Bavaro & Marc Johnstone earned Player of the Week & Rookie of the week respectively for their performances in the Pioneers 6-4 win over fifth ranked Notre Dame. Bavaro picked up his first career hat trick leading the Pioneers comeback with two 3rd period goals including the game winner. Johnstone registered his first career playmaker with three helpers in the upset win.
Rakhmatov Rocking From The Blue Line.... Sophomore Ruslan Rakhmatov has been on a tear to start his second season with the Pioneers. He currently leads the team with five assists through five games. He has registered a helper in each of the last three games. His first multi-assist game of the season came in the Pioneers 6-4 upset win over Notre Dame. He is tied for first in Atlantic Hockey in assists.