Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team hosts in-state rival UConn in the 2017-18 home opener at Webster Bank Arena on Saturday.
Ticket Info: Tickets for SHU Hockey are available at the WBA Click it or Ticket Box Office during regular business hours and on game days. Fans may also purchase tickets via Ticketmaster. If you are interested in season or group ticketing information, contact the SHU Ticket Office at 203-396-TIXX.
Last Time Out...The Pioneers dropped the series finale to No. 20/13 Northeastern 7-0 last Saturday. The Huskies offense got to work putting up four goals in the opening period. SHU failed to match the firepower as they were held to just 11 shots in the final two periods. Zach Tsekos and Marc Johnstone led the Pioneers with four shots on goal. Junior Brett Magnus recorded 21 saves for SHU in the second & third period.
Last Meeting... UConn got off to a 2-0 lead through the first period in the last matchup on November 26, 2016. Jordan Minello got the Pioneers on the board in the second period. SHU carried that momentum into the third as Minello added his second goal of the game. The Pioneers added two more scores from Austin McIlmurray & Justin Danforth to end the game with four unanswered scores. Brett Magnus registered 32 saves in the victory for SHU.
All-Time Series... This is the 59th meeting all-time between the two Nutmeg state schools. Sacred Heart holds a 5-4-1 edge in the last 10 meetings. The Pioneers have won four straight games against the Huskies, including three in a row since UConn moved from Atlantic Hockey to Hockey East in 2014. SHU has had UConn's number in five out of the last six meetings as well.
Scouting The Huskies... UConn kicked off the season with a series split against Maine. After a 4-3 overtime loss to open the season, the Huskies bounced back with a 5-1 win. The offense features a balanced attack as eight different Huskies scored in the opening weekend. Senior defenseman Johnny Austin leads the team with three assists. Sophomore Adam Huska has started both games between the pipes for UConn recording a 2.51 goals against average and .931 save percentage.
Pios in Home Openers... Since joining the Division 1 ranks in 1998, Sacred Heart has recorded a 11-5-2 over the last 18 seasons. The Pioneers owned an impressive 10 straight home opening victories from 1999-2009. Last season, the Pioneers rallied with two goals in the third period to force overtime against Union ending in a 4-4 tie.
Rookies Enter the Fold... In the Pioneers opening series against Northeastern, eight rookies made their debuts in the starting line up. Marc Johnstone led the Pioneers with nine shots on goal in the series. He registered his first collegiate point with his helper on Stephen Hladin's power play goal. Jordan Kaplan also recorded his first collegiate assist on the play.