Men's Ice Hockey Set to Kick-Off 2019-20 Season Against UCONN

Men's Ice Hockey Set to Kick-Off 2019-20 Season Against UCONN

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FAIRFIELD, Conn.- The Sacred Heart University Men's Ice Hockey team kicks off the 2019 regular season against in-state rival UConn at Webster Bank Arena Friday night with a 7:05 p.m. puck-drop. 

Last Time Out... The Pioneers were edged in the Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinals by RIT as SHU dropped the third game of the three-game series by a final score of 3-1. The teams were tied late in the third period when a Pioneer clearing pass was intercepted. Alden Dupuis found Jake Hamacher who knocked home the go-ahead, and game-winning tally, with 2:31 to play. Hamacher would provide an insurance goal, scoring an empty-netter with 20 seconds left, to secure the win.

Last Meeting... The Pioneers were able to defeat the Huskies on the road on January 29, 2019 as a pair of goals by current sophomore Ryan Steele at 8:46 in the second period as well as a goal by current junior Matt Tugnutt at 3:44 in the opening period propelled the Pioneers to it's 31st victory over the Huskies in program history. 

Scouting The Huskies... UCONN concluded the 2018-19 season with a 12-20-2 overall record while going 7-15-2 in Hockey East play. They return the team's second best goal scorer from a year ago, Alexander Payusov who tallied 16 goals with four assists for 20 points. The Huskies return goalie Tomas Vomacka who played in 15 games last season and tallied a GAA of 2.32 with a save percentage of .922 with a record of 7-7-0. 

Watch SHU Hockey On Flo Sports... This season, Sacred Heart men's ice hockey home games will be broadcast on Flo Sports. Pioneer fans can access the network through the "flohockey.tv" link on the men's ice hockey page at SacredHeartPioneers.com or at flohockey.tv.

Johnstone & Cotton Captain Pioneers in 2019-20.... Junior forward Marc Johnstone and fellow forward senior Jason Cotton were named to be the teams captains for the 2019-20 season. Cotton had an impressive 2018-19 season tallying nine goals, 14 assists for 23 points which was second best on team. He was fourth in Atlantic Hockey in short-handed goals and registered four multi-point games throughout the season. He was also named the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic team for the second straight year. Johnstone, also recorded a solid year as he tallied five goals on 17 assists (first on team) for 22 points. 24th in Atlantic Hockey in assists. He recorded four multi-point games on the season including a one goal and one assist showing against RIT in the Altantic Hockey Quarterfinals.

Pioneers Picked Third In Preseason Poll... Sacred Heart was picked to finish third in the Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll. Last season, Sacred Heart was 16-17-4 in Atlantic Hockey and finished fifth. SHU has recorded six straight seasons with double digit wins. This was the highest preseason poll ranking for SHU since 2006 when they were picked to finish second. 

Youth Looks to Continue to Shine in 2019-20... Last season the Pioneers had seven players join the squad for the 2018-19 season. Current sophomore Austin Magera led the entire team in points tallying 14 goals on 13 assists for 27 points. He was named to the All-Atlantic Hockey Third Team and All-Rookie team. Sophomore goalie Josh Benson had a breakout year earning All-Rookie team honors and 

Schools Out...Camp In Session.... Senior Jason Cotton was selected to participate in the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League development camp this summer. While at the camp, Cotton was able to work on key aspects of his game and took away skills that he can use into the future of his career and into this upcoming season. "My biggest takeaway from development camp has been trying to add more of a "get-to-the net" and "shoot-first" mentality to my game." He believes through all the hard work a preparation that the development camp has given him, that it will propel him into the upcoming season and into his potentially professional career as well. "I believe this prepares me in the best way possible for next year and further down the line in my pro career because having this type of structure equips me to feel my best on the ice and reaching my full potential." Cotton concluded last season with nine goals, 14 assists for 23 points which was second best on team. He was fourth in Atlantic Hockey in short-handed goals and registered four multi-point games throughout the season. He was also named the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic team for the second straight year.

Pioneers Smart On and Off the Ice... Seven members of the SHU Hockey team were named to the American Hockey Coaches Association/Krampade Division I Scholar All-Americans as announced by the association on July 30. The award honors varsity ice hockey players who attained a 3.60 or better grade-point average in each semester and participated in at least 40 percent of their school's games, with the games requirement waived for injuries or for reserve goalkeepers who dressed but did not play. The members who accomplished this impressive honor were Josh Benson, Vito Bavaro, Matt Tugnutt, Liam Clare, Zach De Concilys, Alex Bates and Mike Crocock. These seven Pioneers were part of a group of 497 division one men and women who also received the honor.