(Fairfield, CT) – The Sacred Heart Men's Hockey team has released its schedule for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
For the third straight season, the Pioneers will call both Webster Bank Arena and the Milford Ice Pavilion home. This season, however, SHU will play the majority of its home games at Webster Bank Arena, the 8,412 seat home to the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. SHU's home games at Webster Bank Arena will once again be played as part of a dual admission ticket, with the Pioneers game preceding a Sound Tigers home game.
"We're thrilled once again to be playing so many of our home games at Webster Bank Arena," said Sacred Heart Hockey head coach C.J. Marottolo. "Howard Saffan and his staff at the Bridgeport Sound Tigers have gone above and beyond to make us feel at home. Our players can't wait to lace 'em up at 'the Bank'."
The Pioneers kick off the season on the road against Providence College on October 12, marking the first time the Pioneers will play a team from Hockey East since opening the 2006-07 season at UMass-Lowell.
"We are excited to open our season at Providence and begin the challenge of our season against a Hockey East institution. We're also looking forward to hosting Penn State in their inaugural Division I season in the new Big 10."
Along with the Providence and Penn State games, SHU's other non-conference match-ups include a Friday afternoon home game at Webster Bank Arena against Princeton the day after Thanksgiving (November 23), a New Year's Eve afternoon game at Rensselaer (December 31), two games at Colgate January 4-5, and another game at Princeton at Hobey Baker Rink on January 27.
"We are looking forward to the challenge of another demanding schedule, both in Atlantic Hockey and non-conference play," said Marottolo.
The Pioneers' second game of the season is also their first conference game, as they open Atlantic Hockey Association play at Bentley. The Pioneers take on the Falcons at the John A. Ryan Arena on October 16, where both teams met in the playoffs for the past two seasons. Last year, Bentley ended SHU's season in the best-of-three opening round of the playoffs after SHU knocked Bentley out the season before in what was then a single elimination opening round.
The Pioneers host the Army Black Knights in the home opener at the Milford Ice Pavilion on October 20 at 7:05 pm. Also highlighting the conference schedule is a two-game home series at Webster Bank Arena against the defending Atlantic Hockey Association champion Air Force Falcons January 18-19. The Pioneers will also host Mercyhurst November 2-3, Holy Cross on November 11 and February 9, AIC on November 17 and February 16, Canisius on January 11-12, Bentley on February 23, and UConn in the regular season finale on March 2.
SHU's conference road games this season also include Army on October 19 and November 16, UConn on November 9 and March 1, Niagara on November 30-December 1, RIT on December 7-8, Robert Morris on February 1-2, Holy Cross on February 8, and AIC on February 15.
February 16 marks a particularly important day to Sacred Heart Hockey as well. The annual Alumni Game will be played in the afternoon at the Milford Ice Pavilion, with SHU hosting AIC at 7:05 pm. Before the game, the team and alumni will honor former SHU great Garrett Larson ('05) in a special pre-game ceremony that will include hanging his jersey into the rafters of the MIP. Larson tragically passed away earlier this summer in a car accident in his native Alberta, Canada.
"Garrett Larson was a special young man and clearly was an important part of the fabric of the both the Sacred Heart Hockey community and the university community," said Marottolo. "We look forward to honoring Garrett's life and his family. We also are looking for a huge turnout in bringing back members of the Sacred Heart Hockey family for this alumni game and special night."
The entire schedule can be viewed here.