Setting the Scene...The Sacred Heart Pioneers have four conference points on the line this weekend in a home-and-home weekend series with the Army Black Knights. Saturday night will be SHU Hockey's Home Opener at the Milford Ice Pavilion.
Series Notes...The Pioneers are 22-20-5 all-time against Army, including a record of 2-1 last year. SHU swept Army in a home-and-home series on the final weekend of the regular season last year with consecutive 5-3 wins. Eric Delong scored three goals and two assists on the weekend, including two goals in the regular season finale at Tate Rink.
Pioneers in AHA Play...The Pioneers are 108-106-29 in this their tenth year of play in the Atlantic Hockey Association. While they are looking for their first AHA title, they have been to the conference championship twice, falling 4-0 to Holy Cross in the inaugural season of 2003-04 and 6-1 to RIT in 2009-10. SHU posted its best conference record in 2005-06, when the Pioneers went 18-8-2 in AHA play.
By George, He's Picking Up Where He Left Off...Drew George has scored a goal in both of SHU's first two games to start the season. Dating back to last year, he has registered a point in 14 of the last 15 games. The only game in which he did not score was the 5-0 shutout loss to Bentley in Game 3 of last year's AHA playoffs, when his 12-game point streak was snapped and the Pioneers' season came to an end.
Last Time Out...Sacred Heart lost 7-1 in the opener of Atlantic Hockey play Tuesday night at Bentley. All of the Falcons' goals were scored on special teams, including four power play goals and three shorthanded goals. Drew George scored his second goal of the season on a two-man advantage for the Pioneers' lone goal. Alex Grieve scored twice and Brett Gensler totaled three points for Bentley.
Scouting the Black Knights..Army opened its season at the Ice Breaker Tournament in Kansas City, MO last weekend, falling 5-1 to Nebraska-Omaha and giving Maine a scare in a 4-3 loss. Army has last its last 10 games dating back to last year. Andy Starczewski, last year's team-leading scorer (13-11-24), returns for his senior season. Cheyne Rocha will captain this team, which features 13 freshmen.
Up Next...SHU will host Penn State on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7:05 pm at the Milford Ice Pavilion. The Nittany Lions are in their first season as a Division I program.
Pioneer Sports Network...Once again Sacred Heart men's ice hockey games will be broadcast by America One, formerly known as B2. Pioneer fans can access the network through the "America One" link on the men's ice hockey page at SacredHeartPioneers.com or at AtlanticHockeyOnline.com. Live audio will also be carried for most games through Stretch Internet, also accessible on SacredHeartPioneers.com by following the audio links. Randy Brochu calls the play-by-play alongside Kyle Tyll (home) providing the color commentary. Watch both games on America One here or listen live to Saturday night's game here.