Setting the Scene…The Pioneers take on the Bentley Falcons in the best-of-three First Round of the AHA Playoffs.
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 is first on the team with 14 goals, 13 assists, and 27 points. Freshman Brian Sheehan is second with 22 points and freshman Drew George is second with 13 goals. Captain Eric Delong has contributed 21 points, followed by George with 20, Ben Ketchum with 16, and Chad Filteau with 12. Steven Legatto has seen the majority of time in net this year, making the fifth most saves in the AHA (801), but Andrew Bodnarchuk has started the last three games and won two.
About the Falcons...Brett Gensler won the AHA regular season scoring title with 41 points, five more than the next highest scorer, and tied for first with 18 goals. Alex Grieve is tied for fifth in the AHA with 29 points.
Gingera Gets 100…Pioneer assistant captain Matt Gingera recorded his 100th career point with a goal on Senior Night last Friday against Army. He followed that up with a two-goal regular season finale, including the game-winner in a 5-3 win at Army. He leads the team with 27 points, 14 goals, and 13 assists. He now has 58 goals, fourth most on the all-time SHU hockey goals list. He is the 11th player in Pioneer Hockey history to accumulate 100 points or more for a career.
All-Time Vs. Bentley...The Pioneers are 20-19-4 all-time against Bentley, including a record of 0-2-1 this year. SHU lost at the MIP 7-3 to Bentley on 10/25 and 5-2 at Bentley on 2/3. SHU was poised for a win last time out, but Brett Gensler scored with 0.2 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at Webster Bank Arena on 2/4, helping Bentley earn a point in a 3-3 tie. SHU beat Bentley in last season's AHA First Round single game 6-3 behind a Matt Gingera third-period hat trick.
Last Time Out...The Pioneers swept their first weekend series since the 2010 AHA Quarterfinals against Holy Cross with back-to-back 5-3 wins in a home-and-home with Army last weekend. Matt Gingera and Eric Delong both had three goals and an assist on the weekend. Jared Eng scored his first career goal in Friday night's victory. Drew George, Ben Ketchum, and Anthony Yelovich all also lit the lamp last weekend.
By George...Drew George registered a point in both wins against Army last weekend, extending his point streak to ten games. He was named Team USA AHA Player of the Week for his five-point performance three weeks ago against UConn. He has nine goals and five assists during the streak.
Sheehan Making His Mark...Freshman forward Brian Sheehan is now eighth in the AHA among rookies with 22 points, second most on SHU.
Man-Sask Producing for Pios...In the seven games since Regina, SK natives Chad Filteau and Drew George and Winnipeg, MB native Matt Gingera were combined, the "Man-Sask" line has produced 12 goals.
Doubling Up...After Matt Gingera and Eric Delong both scored twice in the season finale, a Pioneer has scored at least twice in the same game now nine times. They others are: Brian Sheehan, 10/25 at Bentley and 10/28 at AIC; Chad Filteau, 11/22 vs. Yale; Gingera and Ben Ketchum, 11/26 vs. Niagara; and Delong, 12/3 vs. Robert Morris. Drew George recorded SHU's only hat trick this year 2/10 at UConn, the last one coming from Gingera in a come-from-behind 6-3 win at Bentley in last season's AHA Playoffs.
Senior Night...Friday night's game marks the final regular season game seniors Anthony Yelovich, Ryan Miniaci, Matt Gingera, and Chris Bailer will take the home ice. All four have played at least 95 games in their careers for the red and white, and were integral members of the 2009-10 team that set a program record with 21 wins and a 12-game unbeaten streak.
All-Time AHA Tournament...SHU is 11-11 all-time in the AHA Tournament, beating Bentley in last season's single-game opening round 6-3 before losing 7-5 and 4-0 at Air Force in the Quarterfinals. The Pioneers have twice reached the AHA Championship game, falling 6-1 to RIT in 2010 and 4-0 to Holy Cross in 2004.