Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team wraps up a four game home stand as they welcome Niagara for a weekend series at Webster Bank Arena.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart fell to Robert Morris 4-1 last Sunday. The Pioneers outshot the Colonials 30-16 but were unable to get past goaltender Francis Marotte. RMU held a two goal lead into the third period before senior Justin Danforth found classmate Jordan Minello for the power play goal bring the game to 2-1. But the Colonials added two more goals in the final four minutes to secure 4-1 win.
All -Time vs. Niagara... The Purple Eagles lead the all-time series 10-4-2. Sacred Heart holds a 3-0-1 record in the last four meetings including a their first series sweep over Niagara last season. In the last 10 meetings, both teams are tied at 4-4-2.
Last Meeting... The Pioneers picked up a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory in their last meeting against the Purple Eagles on January 3, 2016. Justin Danforth recorded two goals on the day with including the game winning goal in overtime to give Sacred Heart their first weekend series sweep over Niagara. Goaltender Brett Magnus 39 saves for the Pioneers.
Scouting The Purple Eagles... Niagara (1-7-2) picked up their first win of the season on Tuesday night, defeating Mercyhurst, 5-4. Senior T.J. Sarona led the Purple Eagles with two goal and one assist. A pair of freshmen, Kris Spriggs and Derek Brown lead Niagara with seven points (3 G, 4A). Sophomore Johnny Curran is the Purple Eagles leading goal scorer with four goals on the year. Niagara ranks fourth nationally with 19.6 penalty minutes per game.
Danforth Zeroing In On Century Mark... Senior Justin Danforth enters the weekend with 97 career points, good for seventh in the NCAA among active players. His 64 career assists also sits top five nationally. In his career against Niagara, Danforth has recorded 10 points on four goals and six assists. He led the Pioneers to their first ever series sweep over the Purple Eagles last season with five points on three assists and two goal, including a 2-1 game winning goal in overtime.
Minello Streaking for SHU... Senior Forward Jordan Minello has found his rhythm as he registered a goal in four of his last five games, including three straight games for the Pioneers. Minello's first goal came in the second period of a 2-2 tie vs. New Hampshire. He added two more this past weekend against Robert Morris with both goals coming in the third period.