Setting the Scene…The Pioneers return to action for a home-and-home series against the UConn Huskies in two Atlantic Hockey Association games.
Game Coverage...Video and Audio of this weekend's games will be available at www.SacredHeartPioneers.com by following the video and audio links on the men's hockey schedule page.
About the Pioneers…Senior Matt Gingera leads SHU with ten goals and is second with 17 points. Freshman Brian Sheehan leads the team with 19 points and 10 assists. Junior captain Eric Delong has contributed 15 points, followed by Ben Ketchum with 12 points and Drew George with 11 points. Steven Legatto has seen the majority of time in net this year, making the fifth most saves in the AHA (712).
About the Huskies...UConn is in the middle of the tightly-packed race for a bye in the AHA playoffs. The Huskies are tied for seventh with 23 points, but are just four points out of a top-four spot. They are dangerous on special teams, with the AHA's best power play (25.6%) and third-best penalty kill (84.0%). Cole Schneider leads the team with 14 goals and 28 points, good for second and third respectively in the AHA. Brant Harris is second on the team with 12 goals and leads the conference with eight power play goals.
Gingera Closing in on 100…Pioneer assistant captain Matt Gingera has scored a team-best ten goals and is second on the team with 17 points, putting him at 54 goals and 39 assists for 93 points in his career. He is now one behind fifth place (Garrett Larson-55) and two behind third place (Bear Trapp-56) on the all-time SHU hockey goals list. He is seven points away from becoming the 11th player in Pioneer Hockey history to accumulate 100 points or more for a career.
All-Time Vs. UConn...The Pioneers are 23-24-3 all-time against the Huskies. SHU has lost four in a row against UConn, including an 8-3 loss earlier this season at Freitas Ice Forum on 11/16. Alex Gerke registered a hat trick for UConn. Drew George, Tye Lewis, and Ben Ketchum scored goals for Sacred Heart.
Last Time Out...After falling 5-2 at Bentley Friday night, the Pioneers saw a three-goal lead slip away Saturday afternoon and settled for a 3-3 tie after giving up the game-tying goal to the Falcons' Brett Gensler with 0.2 seconds remaining in regulation. Matt Gingera and Brian Sheehan scored for SHU Friday on the road, but the Falcons reeled off four third-period goals for the win. Chad Filteau, Anthony Yelovich, and Sheehan scored for SHU in Saturday's tie at Webster Bank Arena.
By George...Drew George has a five-game point streak (3 g, 3a). He also has four points on the power play in the last five games (3 g, 1 a). The rookie forward now has seven goals and four assists for 11 points on the season.
Sheehan Making His Mark...Freshman forward Brian Sheehan is now tied for fifth in the AHA among rookies with a team-leading 19 points.
Pioneers Upset of #8 Yale 7-6…The Pioneers pulled off their greatest ever upset, beating # 8 Yale 7-6 Tuesday night, 11/22/11 at Webster Bank Arena. It marked the team's first win of the year. Chad Filteau lead SHU with two goals, including the game-winner with 4:14 left in the third period. Steven Legatto made 48 saves in net for the win.
Doubling Up...Six times this season, a Pioneer has scored twice in the same game. They are: Brian Sheehan, 10/25 at Bentley and 10/28 at AIC; Chad Filteau, 11/22 vs. Yale; Matt Gingera and Ben Ketchum, 11/26 vs. Niagara; Eric Delong, 12/3 vs. Robert Morris. No Pioneer has registered a hat trick this year, the last one coming from Gingera who scored three in a come-from-behind 6-3 win at Bentley in last season's AHA First Round Playoff game on 3/5/11.
Up Next...Sacred Heart will play a home-and-home series with Holy Cross next weekend, traveling to Worcester, MA on Friday, Feb. 17 at 7:05 pm before hosting the Crusaders at Webster Bank Arena Saturday, Feb. 18 at 4:00 pm.