Men's Hockey Skates at RIT Over Holiday Weekend

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Sacred Heart men's hockey team is spending its Thanksgiving weekend in upstate New York as the Pioneers pay a visit to the Rochester Institute of Technology for an Atlantic Hockey Association weekend series.  The puck drops for game one tonight at 7:05 pm.

Game Coverage... Audio and video for this weekend's games will be available at www.SacredHeartPioneers.com by following the audio/video links on the men's hockey schedule page. The game will also be carried by the America One Network.

About the Pioneers... Sacred Heart hits the road with an overall record of 1-8-3, while holding five points in Atlantic Hockey with a 1-4-3 record. The Pioneers lone victory of the season came at the Arena at Harbor Yard against American Int'l, 4-2, on November 6. Senior David Berube and sophomore Eric Delong lead SHU with nine points apiece. Berube has scored three times and collected six assists, while Delong has two goals and a team-high seven assists.

Scouting the Tigers... RIT is off to a 4-6-1 start on the season, while posting a 3-2 record in conference match-ups. Senior Andrew Favot leads the Tiger offense in scoring with four goals and nine assists for 13 total points. Sophomore Adam Hartley has chipped in 11 points, on five goals and six assists, while junior Tyler Brenner is the team's top goal scorer with seven. Senior Jan Ropponen has started six games in net and holds a 3.18 GAA and .904 save percentage. Also seeing time in the cage are sophomore Shane Madolora and freshman Josh Watson with three and two starts, repectively.

Last Time They Met ... The Pioneers and Tigers last met in the Atlantic Hockey championship game on March 20. RIT won the game 6-1 on its way to the NCAA Tournament and an eventual appearance in the Frozen Four. Tournament MVP Cameron Burt led the Tigers with four assists and one goal of his own. Delong posted the only SHU goal of the game at the 3:48 mark of the third period. Legatto totaled 33 saves in net for the Pioneers.

All-Time vs. RIT... The Tigers lead the all-time series with the Pioneers 9-4-1. RIT put an end to Sacred Heart's nation longest unbeaten streak of 12 with a 5-2 win at the MIP last February. The Pioneers responded with a 5-4 win the following night. The rivalry started with an 8-5 SHU victory in 2005, but since RIT joined Atlantic Hockey the Pioneers have only been able to strike the win column three times in 13 tries. Twice in series history have the Tigers rattled off a four-game winning streak, including the first three match-ups a year ago.

Last Time Out... The Pioneers fell at #3 Yale on Tuesday night, 5-1. Senior forward Patrick Knowlton scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season in the loss. Sophomore netminder Steven Legatto stopped 39 shots, his third highest total of the season. The four-goal defeat was only the second match-up between the two local rivals. Last season the Bulldogs put together an 8-2 win over the Pioneers.

Vs. the Ranked... On the season, Sacred Heart is noe 0-4-1 against ranked opponents. The Pioneers opened the season with a weekend series at then #19 Union. Two weeks ago SHU earned a 4-4 tie before losing game number two at Robert Morris. Last night's loss to #3 Yale was the Pioneer's highest ranked opponent in program history.

Berube and Delong Leading the Way... Senior forward David Berbube leads the team with three goals and six assists for nine points.  He has registered five points over the last four games. Sophomore forward Eric Delong has come on strong of late as well, reaching nine points on the season with a goal and an assist in last Saturday's game at Army.

Up Next... Sacred Heart returns home for a six-game stretch at the Milford Ice Pavilion beginning with a pair of conference against Mercyhurst on December 3 and 4.