Niagara Purple Eagles (7-14-3, 7-7-3 AHA) vs. Sacred Heart Pioneers (6-18-0, 5-12-0 AHA)
Jan. 31, 7:05 p.m. - Milford Ice Pavilion (1,000) - Milford, Conn.
Feb. 1, 7:05 p.m. - Milford Ice Pavilion (1,000) - Milford, Conn.
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart returns home to host the Niagara Purple Eagles this weekend at Milford Ice Pavilion.
Last Time Out... Air Force's Chris Truehl made 18 saves in a shutout as the Falcons beat the Pioneers 4-0 on Jan. 18. The Falcons completed the weekend sweep after winning 6-4 the night before.
All-Time vs. Niagara... The Purple Eagles have dominated the overall series with Sacred Heart, compiling a record of 9-0-1. The Pioneers' tie against Niagara came on Nov. 27, 2011 when the two sides skated to a 4-4 tie. The Purple Eagles swept last season's series at Dwyer Arena by scores of 5-3 and 5-2.
Last Meeting... Sacred Heart led 2-0 after the first period at Niagara on Dec. 1, 2012, but the Purple Eagles scored five times in the second to win 5-2 and sweep the weekend series with the Pioneers. Brian Sheehan and Chad Filteau had the Pioneer goals in that game.
On a Slide... After being swept at Air Force Jan. 17-18, the Pioneers have lost six of its last seven games. Sacred Heart has been outscored 26-13 in this stretch, despite having four games decided by one goal. The Pioneers are 2-for-28 on the power play over the last seven games and have allowed seven power play goals.
Step In And Produce... Sacred Heart's freshman class has accounted for 69 of the Pioneers' 125 points so far this season. Justin Danforth leads the Pioneers with 18 points with Jordan Minello adding 12. Jeff Carroll also has double-digit points with 11, recording five points in the last three games. David Iacono scored his first career goal on Jan. 17 on the power play.
The CDM Line... Since being put on a line together on Jan. 11, Jeff Carroll, Justin Danforth, and Jordan Minello have combined for 14 points on five goals and nine assists. Carroll has four goals and five points during this stretch of four games, including two goals at Air Force on Jan. 17. He's the first freshman to score two goals in a game since Drew George had a hat trick against UConn on Feb. 10, 2012. Danforth has five assists in the last four games and Minello has a goal and three assists during that stretch as well.
Offense From Defense... Through 24 games this season, Sacred Heart has gotten 10 goals and 17 assists from its corps of defensemen. Junior Will Rayner leads the Pioneers defense with nine points (6G, 3A), a single-season career-high. Freshman Mitch Nylen has three goals and five assists. David Iacono has five points after scoring his first career goal on Jan. 17 at Air Force. In 36 games last season, Sacred Heart's defensemen had 29 points on six goals and 23 assists.