Setting the Scene...The Sacred Heart Pioneers are back at home this weekend for a two-game Atlantic Hockey Association series against the Air Force Falcons. The Pioneers are looking to tack onto their two points in the AHA, and are still looking for their first win of the season. SHU is the only team in Division I without a victory. Air Force currently sits tied for sixth place in the AHA with 13 conference points.
Pioneers in AHA Play...The Pioneers are 108-119-31 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.
Delong and Sheehan Lead the Way...Sophomore Brian Sheehan and senior Eric Delong lead the team in points, with 17 points each.
Delong Hits 100...Senior captain Eric Delong registered a goal and an assist in a 5-2 loss to RIT on December 8th, giving him 100 points for his career. He is the 12th player in program history to reach 100 for his career. Delong now has 103 points.
Last Time Out...The Pioneers were swept by the Canisius Golden Griffins last weekend in a two-game series at home. The Golden Griffs took the first game 5-1, and then completed the sweep with a 6-3 win on Saturday. Sophomores Brian Sheehan and Chad Barthelmess both had a goal and an assist in Saturday's loss.
Legatto All-Time SHU Saves Leader...No goalie in SHU Hockey history has stopped more pucks than Steven Legatto, who broke the all-time SHU Saves record last year. He has 3,061 saves in his career.
Scouting the Falcons...Air Force currently is tied for sixth place in the Atlantic Hockey Association with a 5-5-3 conference record. The Falcons are 4-2-2 in their last 8 games, earning wins over conference foes Army, RIT, and Bentley during that stretch. The Falcons are led by senior Kyle De Laurell, who leads the team with 19 points this season, good for third in the AHA.
All-Time vs. Air Force...SHU is 6-17-3 all-time against Air Force. The Pioneers were swept last year at Air Force. SHU was defeated 2-1 on November 4th and 3-2 on November 5th. Sacred Heart last beat the Falcons on January 8th 2011, by the score of 4-2. The Pioneers also beat Air Force in the semi-finals of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament in 2010, by a score of 2-1. The Pioneers would go on to lose in the AHA Championship to RIT.