November 8, 2013

Pioneers Travel To Penn State For Friday Night Showdown

Game Notes

Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-5-0) at Penn State Nittany Lions (2-3-1) 

Nov. 8, 7:00 p.m. - Pegula Ice Arena (5,782) - University Park, Pa.

Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart wraps up its current five-game road swing Friday night at Penn State.

Last Time Out... The Pioneers got to within a goal of UConn twice last Saturday night at Freitas Ice Forum, but the Huskies came away with the 4-2 win. UConn scored three times on the power play. Will Rayner and Evan Jasper scored the Sacred Heart goals, as Jordan Minello had a pair of assists. Andrew Bodnarchuk made 17 saves in goal.

All-Time vs. Penn State... The Nittany Lions won the only meeting between the two teams 6-3 on Oct. 27, 2012 at Milford Ice Pavilion. Penn State took a 3-1 lead 10:41 into the game on a Jonathan Miley goal. Brian Sheehan cut the deficit to one late in the first period. Sacred Heart was within a goal, 4-3, after the second period before Mark Yanis and Curtis Loik scored in the third period to make the final score 6-3. 

All-Time vs. Big Ten... Sacred Heart is 0-6 all-time against Big Ten programs. Besides Penn State, the Pioneers have faced off with Michigan State, Minnesota, and Ohio State.

Scouting the Nittany Lions... The Nittany Lions are 2-3-1 this season after a 5-4 win at Robert Morris last Friday. Mike Williamson scored the game-winning goal for Penn State with 1:49 remaining in regulation. Eric Scheid leads Penn State with three goals and is one of four Nittany Lions with four points on the season. Goaltender Matthew Skoff is 2-1-1 on the year with a 2.73 goals against average. Sacred Heart is the fifth different Atlantic Hockey opponent for Penn State this season.

Minello Named Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week ... Freshman forward Jordan Minello was named the Travel Team USA Rookie of the Week by Atlantic Hockey on Tuesday after tallying four points and a +4 rating in games at Holy Cross and UConn last weekend. Minello scored his first career goal Friday night against the Crusaders and added an assist. Last Saturday, Minello had his second consecutive two-point game with two assists at UConn. Minello is the second Pioneer to be named Rookie of the Week. Defenseman Mitch Nylen earned the honor on Oct. 22.

Flying J's ... The forward line of freshmen Evan Jasper, Justin Danforth, and Jordan Minello had a big weekend against Holy Cross and UConn. The trio combined for four goals and seven assists in the two games. Each player was a +4 on the weekend. Jasper scored in both games and had an assist, as both Danforth and Minello each had a goal and three assists. 

Danforth Is Prospering... Freshman forward Justin Danforth leads Sacred Heart with six assists and seven points. Danforth scored his first career goal at Holy Cross, adding two assists for a three-point night. He is currently leading all Atlantic Hockey freshman in points, tied for third in assists overall,  and tied for fifth in power play points (3). 

Rayner on the Power Play ... Junior defenseman Will Rayner tied his career-high for goals in a season Saturday night with his second goal of the year at UConn. He had scored two goals in each of his first two seasons at Sacred Heart. Both of his goals this season have come on the power play.