October 25, 2010

Sacred Heart University and Bridgeport Sound Tigers Reach Partnership

Pioneers to Play Five Games at the Arena at Harbor Yard in 2010-11

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 25, 2010) - The Sacred Heart University men's ice Hockey team and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers have finalized an agreement in which the Pioneers will host five Atlantic Hockey Association games at the Arena at Harbor Yard as part of a doubleheader with the American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders. 

"Our partnership with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers coupled with the opportunity to play select home games at the Arena at Harbor Yard provides a wonderful chance to market, present and highlight the Sacred Heart University men's ice hockey program," said C. Donald Cook, Executive Director of Athletics. 

The Pioneers will host an Atlantic Hockey Association opponent in each of the five games at Harbor Yard with match-ups set against American International College, Air Force, Bentley, Holy Cross and Army.   The Pioneers are coming off a second place finish in Atlantic Hockey last season, reaching the conference championship game in the program's first season under  Head Coach C.J. Marottolo, who went on to win the league's Bauer Head Coach of the Year award.

"We are obviously very excited about our new relationship with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers," said Marottolo.  "We are grateful for their support and I know our guys are looking forward to playing at Harbor Yard."

The Sound Tigers are celebrating their 10th Anniversary Season in the American Hockey League. As the top minor league affiliate of the New York Islanders, the Sound Tigers have been instrumental in the development of future NHL stars including Trent Hunter, Kyle Okposo and Rick DiPietro. Over their 10 seasons the Sound Tigers have worked to develop a strong presence in the local community.

"We are enthusiastic about our relationship with Sacred Heart University," said Howard Saffan, President of the Sound Tigers. "Sacred Heart has been a mainstay in the Fairfield County community and were excited to bring quality Division I hockey to our arena."

"This is a great opportunity for Sacred Heart and Atlantic Hockey to play in such a great facility," stated Robert DeGregorio, Commissioner of Atlantic Hockey Association.  "The arena has served in the past, and will again in the future, as a NCAA regional site and could help our teams later on down the road."

For the players, not only will they get the chance to play at an 8,500 seat arena, but also the opportunity to experience playing important conference games in the same confines of a professional hockey team. "We are all really excited," said Pioneer senior team captain Patrick Knowlton.  "It's a great opportunity for us to play at a world class arena, especially to see the Sound Tigers play afterword.  They are where we all aspire to be, and to play our game in conjunction with theirs is a great opportunity for our team."

All tickets for Sacred Heart's five games are $10.00 and are available now through the Sacred Heart Athletic Ticket Office (203-396-8499).  A ticket to the Sacred Heart game also entitles the holder to a ticket to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers game that day as well.   Sacred Heart students, faculty and staff with a current Sacred Heart ID can pick up their free tickets on campus at the Sacred Heart Athletic Ticket Office in the William H. Pitt Center.  All Sacred Heart / Sound Tigers doubleheader tickets purchased the day of the game at the Arena at Harbor Yard will be sold at Sound Tigers pricing.

The following are the dates and match-ups for the Sacred Heart Pioneer and Bridgeport Sound Tigers doubleheaders:

Sat. Nov. 6, 2010     Sacred Heart vs. AIC, 3:30 pm                  Bridgeport vs. Hartford, 7:00 pm

Sat. Jan. 8, 2011     Sacred Heart vs. Air Force, 4:30 pm         Bridgeport vs. Worcester, 8:00 pm

Sat. Feb. 5, 2011     Sacred Heart vs. Bentley, 3:30 pm             Bridgeport vs. Springfield, 7:00 pm

Sun. Feb. 20, 2011  Sacred Heart vs. Holy Cross, 12:00 pm     Bridgeport vs. Manchester, 3:00 pm

Sat. Feb. 26, 2011   Sacred Heart vs. Army, 3:30 pm                Bridgeport vs. Manchester, 7:00 pm

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