Setting the Scene: The Sacred Heart University Men's Ice Hockey team opens up the 2018-19 season with a two-game series against #15 Northeastern.
Last Time Out... The Pioneers closed out the 2017-18 season with a 3-2 overtime loss to Mercyhurst in the deciding game two of the Atlantic Hockey second Round. SHU had its season come to a close as Jonathan Charboneau buried the game-winning goal at 9:39 in overtime to give one-seed Mercyhurst the 3-2 victory. The Pioneers got off to the early 2-0 lead but it was the Lakers that ended the game with three unanswered goals to sweep the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinal series at the Mercyhurst Iceter.
Third Meeting...This is the third meeting ever meeting between the Pioneers and Hockey East member Northeastern. The Pioneers went 1-2 overall against the Hockey East last season. The two losses came against the Huskies as SHU fell 7-3 in the first meeting followed by a 7-0 loss in the second. The one Hockey East win came against UCONN when SHU defeated the Huskies 3-1.
Scouting Northeastern... Northeastern enters the 2018-19 season after coming off the 2017-18 season with a total of 23 wins and advancing to the first round of the NCAA Hockey Tournament where they fell to #10 Michigan by a score of 3-2. The team returns 23 players including junior Grant Jozefek who was fourth on team in scoring last season with a total of seven goals. The Huskies did loose the team's top three scorers from last season including Adam Gaudette who led the team with 30 goals. The team was selected to finish fourth in the Hockey East this season.
Pioneers Picked Tenth In Preseason Poll... Sacred Heart was picked to finish tenth in the Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll. Last season, Sacred Heart was 13-22-4 in Atlantic Hockey and finished tenth. SHU has recorded five straight seasons with double digit wins.
Returning Leader.... The Pioneers return 23 student-athletes from a season ago. Junior Vito Bavaro is SHU's top returning point scorer from last year. The forward recorded 32 points and finished third on the team with 16 assists. Six returning players registered double-digit points in 2017-18.
Clare & Crocock Captain Pioneers in 2018-19.... Senior blueliners Liam Clare and Mike Crocock will serve as team captains in 2018-19. Clare skated in 33 games in his junior campaign, finishing fifth on the team in assists (11) and had 12 points. Crocock played in 37 games in his third season with SHU. He tallied three goals, seven assists for a total of 10 points.
Men's Ice Hockey Announces Kirtland As Assistant Coach.... Sacred Heart University head men's ice hockey coach C.J. Marottolo announced the hiring of Paul Kirtland to serve as the Pioneers assistant coach Friday morning. Kirtland will oversee the program's recruiting, implement penalty kill, assist with practice and game planning and the Pioneers video operations, while assisting in the day-to-day operations of the program.