FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart Men's Hockey Head Coach C.J. Marottolo announced the Pioneers' 2014-15 schedule on Thursday. The Pioneers will play 16 home games and appear in the inaugural Frozen Hockey Classic at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.
For the first time since 2008, Sacred Heart will open the season with a pair of Atlantic Hockey games. The Pioneers open the season at Army on October 10th and wrap up the weekend series on October 12th. Sacred Heart won two of the three meetings with the Black Knights last season. On Friday, October 17th, the Pioneers open their home slate against Bentley as part of a home-and-home weekend. Sacred Heart will host Colgate October 24th and 25th, as well as Holy Cross on November 1st as part of another home-and-home series.
The Pioneers host Canisius November 7th and 8th before playing their next eight games away from home. That stretch begins on November 14 against UConn, now a member of Hockey East, at The Taft School in Watertown. Sacred Heart will also have conference road weekend series at RIT (Nov. 21-22) and defending Atlantic Hockey champions Robert Morris (Dec. 5-6). The Pioneers will play at Dartmouth on December 14th before the Christmas holiday.
Sacred Heart will take on UMass Lowell in the Frozen Hockey Classic at Webster Bank Arena on December 27th. The Pioneers opened the 2013-14 season with a 2-1 win over the then-#1 River Hawks. Sacred Heart will then play either UConn or defending national champion Union on December 28th. The Pioneers ring in 2015 by hosting Niagara January 2nd and 3rd, followed by a road weekend series at Mercyhurst January 9th and 10th. A four-game homestand opens January 16th with a two-game series with RIT. Sacred Heart will also host Mercyhurst January 23rd and 24th.
The Pioneers close January with two games at AIC January 30th and 31st. Sacred Heart hosts Air Force February 6th and 7th, followed by a road game at Bentley on February 13th. The Pioneers close the regular season with a home-and-home series against Holy Cross February 20th and 21st, and a home game against Bentley February 27th.
"We're excited about our upcoming season," said head coach C.J. Marottolo. "We made great strides last season and can build upon that with our schedule this season. Playing in the Frozen Hockey Classic against UMass Lowell, with the potential to play defending national champion Union, is a big opportunity for our team. Games against Colgate, Dartmouth, and UConn should prove to be good tests as we play in the highly competitive Atlantic Hockey Association."
Sacred Heart was one of three teams nationally to improve by 10 wins in 2013-14, finishing the season with a record of 12-24-0. The Pioneers had two student-athletes selected to the Atlantic Hockey All-Rookie Team in forward Justin Danforth and defenseman Mitch Nylen. Danforth was the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year after posting 24 assists and 29 points last season.