Jan. 22, 2010
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart will wrap up an eight game homestand this weekend as they take on the Canisius Golden Griffins at the Milford Ice Pavilion. The Pioneers are unbeaten in their last seven games with a 6-0-1 record, the longest streak in the country. SHU has climbed to fifth in the Atlantic Hockey standings after last weekend’s sweep of Mercyhurst. Sacred Heart is 6-1-1 on its home ice at the Milford Ice Pavilion this season, the best mark in the conference. Canisius is coming off of a win and a tie against Army last week in Buffalo, NY. The Griffs currently sit in fourth place in the AHA.
The Series... The all-time series between the Pioneers and Golden Griffins currently stands tied at 16-16-3. Canisius took three points from Sacred Heart last year in Buffalo as the Griffs won the series finale 5-1 after a 3-3 tie in the opener. Canisius tied the opener scoring twice with the extra attacker in the third period. The Pioneers last defeated Canisius 7-3 back on February 1, 2008.
Hottest Team in the Nation... The Pioneers current seven game unbeaten streak ranks first in the nation and is SHU’s longest streak since the 2006-07 season. The run also ties the longest unbeaten streak in school history, accomplished three different times. SHU has outsocred opponents 30-11 during this stretch. The Pioneers have benefited playing their last six games at home with a 5-0-1 mark.
Player of the Week Showdown... Junior Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, CO) posted a five point weekend against the Lakers en route to being named the AHA Co-Player of the Week. Canisius winger Cory Conacher also notched five points in the Golden Griffins series with Army as he was also named the Co-Player of the Week. The pair will skate against each other this weekend as Sacred Heart and Canisius meet for the only time this season.
Jarman’s Helping Hands... Senior Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) currently is tied for the lead in the Atlantic Hockey Association with 20 assists in 2009-10. Jarman tallied one goal and two assists in the Pioneers 6-3 win in the series opener with Mercyhurst. The next night the senior forward provided the assist on Nick Johnson’s (Windsor, CT) game winning goal early in the third period. Jarman has 27 total points for the season, tying him for third in the conference.
Johnson’s Senior Season... Nick Johnson (Windosr, CT) is posting the best year of his career in 2009-10, his senior campaign. He leads the Pioneers with 15 goals and 27 total points this season. Johnson ranks second in Atlantic Hockey in goals and is tied with teammate Dave Jarman for third in the league in points. For his career Johnson currently has 35 goals and 47 assists for 82 total points. He would need to average slightly more than a point per game to reach the 100 point plateau for his career.
Scouting the Golden Griffins... Canisius comes into the weekend series with the Pioneers in fourth place in Atlantic Hockey, four points ahead of SHU. The Golden Griffin attack is led by Cory Conacher. Conacher leads the conference in points and goals. The junior currently has 17 goals and 19 assits for 36 total points this season. Conacher was also named a nominee proceeding to the fan voting stage for the Hobey Baker award. Canisius is anchored in net by sophomore Dan Morrison. Morrison has compiled a 2.96 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in 2009-10. Canisius takes a three game unbeaten streak into Friday night.
Offensive Battle... After a slow start to the season the Pioneer offense has kicked into high gear, average 3.38 goals per game. This ranks SHU tenth in the nation but only second in the conference behind Canisius. The Golden Griffins are seventh in the country and lead Atlantic Hockey scoring at a 3.50 goals per game clip. This will be the second straight weekend the Pioneers and their opponent enter into a series as the top two scoring teams in the league.
Down But Never Out... In both of Sacred Heart’s games in a sweep of Mercyhurst the Pioneers gave up the first goal, finding themselves in an early 1-0 hole. SHU rebounded to score three unanswered goals in both games.
“Special” Teams... The Pioneers special teams unit has been hot of late on both the power play and penalty kill. They held the Lakers to 0-for-7 on the man advantage while scoring four power play goals of their own. SHU’s power play ranks first in the conference, seventh in the nation, at 23%.
Up Next... The Pioneers will take to the road next week, but not have to travel far, as they have a Tuesday meeting with AIC before a weekend series at UConn.