Jan. 1, 2010
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart kicks off 2010 with a New Year’s weekend series with defending conference champion Air Force. The Pioneers last played December 13 as they snapped a five game losing skid against ECAC member Dartmouth. Air Force and Sacred last met in the quarterfinals of last season’s championship tournament. The Falcons eliminated the Pioneers 2-1 in a best of three series. Air Force enters this weekend’s series tied for first in the Atlantic Hockey standings but in their last contest had a ten game unbeated streak stopped in a 3-1 loss to Mercyhurst.
The Series...The Falcons lead the all-time series over Sacred Heart 11-2-3 including six wins against the Pioneers last season. Sacred Heart last defeated Air Force 4-1 March 14, 2009 as the Pioneers won game two of an Atlantic Hockey quarterfinal series.
Home Sweet Home... Sacred Heart returns to the friendly confines of the Milford Ice Pavilion after a nine game road trip spanning over six weeks. The Pioneers struggled away from home posting a 2-6-1 record in their last nine contests. Sacred Heart has played just two home games this season, both against Atlantic Hockey opponents, and have a 1-1-0 mark.
Early Eruption... Sacred Heart exploded for four first period goals in their last game, a 4-1 victory over the Dartmouth Big Green. Matt Gordon (Lynnfield, MA), Erik Boisvert (Drummondville, QC), Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT), and Tommy Castonguay (Rimouski, QC) lit the lamp early for SHU. The two teams played the final 40 minutes scoreless as the Pioneers left Hanover, NH with the win.
Legatto Stands Tall... Freshman Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) made 35 saves to earn a victory over the Big Green. Legatto surrendered just one goal on the first shot he saw but rebounded to turn away the next 35.
Double J’s... Seniors Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) and Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) each posted two points in the Pioneers triumph over Dartmouth. Jarman notched two assists giving him 13 on the season, tying him for fourth in Atlantic Hockey. Jarman leads SHU in scoring with four goals and 13 assists for 17 total points. Johnson compiled a goal and an assist giving him ten goals and six assists for 16 points in 2009-10. Johnson used a spectacular one-on-one move to beat the goalkeeper and give Sacred Heart a 3-1 advantage. Johnson’s ten markers tie him for fourth in the conference.
Power Play - AHA Best... Sacred Heart’s power play is clicking at an Atlantic Hockey best 21.6% in 2009-10. The Pioneers took a 2-1 lead against Dartmouth as Erik Boisvert (Drummondville, QC) found the back of the net with the extra attacker on the ice. Boisvert lit the lamp with a hard slap shot from the top of the right circle for his fifth goal of the season.
Scouting the Falcons... Air Force is the three-time defending conference champions and are currently tied for first place in this year’s standings. The Falcon attack is led by junior Jacques Lamoureux who currently has 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 total points. Lamoureux is currently second in the conference in points and third in goals. Andrew Volkening anchors the Falcons between the pipes posting a 2.59 goals against average and .911 save percentage this season. Volkening has also notched two shutous already in 2009-10. Air Foce boasts the nations second best penalty kill, shutting down opponents an impressive 91% of the time.
Senior Scoring... Four seniors top Sacred Heart’s scoring list at the midpoint of the 2009-10 season. Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) leads the way with 17 points, highlighted by 13 assists. Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) has been SHU’s most consistent goal scorer with 10 goals and 16 total points. Erik Boisvert (Drummondville, QC) has been a balanced source of offense with five goals and five assists. Paul Ferraro (Pleasantville, NY) leads all defenseman with nine total points, notching eight assists.
One-Two Punch... Heading into this weekend’s series Air Force and Sacred Heart rank first and second, respectively, in Atlantic Hockey in combined special teams. The Falcons have been successful 55.8% of the time on special teams while the Pioneers are clicking at 51.6%.
Winning When it Counts... The Pioneers series with Air Force marks the beginning of an eight game homestand as well as the first of SHU’s final 19 games of the season, all against Atlantic Hockey opponents. Twelve of Sacred Heart’s final 19 games will be at home as they look to make a run to the top of the standings. The Pioneers welcome Army to the MIP next weekend for games January 8 and 9.