Men's Ice Hockey Reaches USCHO Top 20 Poll for First Time in Program History

Men's Ice Hockey Reaches USCHO Top 20 Poll for First Time in Program History

Full USCHO Release

FAIRFIELD, Conn.- The Sacred Heart University Men's Ice Hockey team amassed 56 points in the USCHO (U.S. College Hockey Online) weekly poll to rank 20th in the nation. It marks the first-time in program history that the Pioneers have earned a spot in the USCHO national poll.

"We are obviously happy to be recognized by the USCHO top 20 poll this week. Our team has worked hard together and their sole focus is just playing the next game in front of them," SHU Men's Ice Hockey head coach CJ Marottolo stated.

The Pioneers (11-6-1 overall, 10-4-0 Atlantic Hockey) are on a five game winning streak and have won eight of their last nine games most recently sweeping a two game series from Robert Morris. The Pioneers won with a 6-0 shutout on Saturday and a 4-2 victory on Sunday. Senior Jason Cotton recorded his first career hat trick in Sunday victory and has reached a career-high 13 goals and ranks first in the nation.

Senior Austin McIlmurray has been a power-house on the ice as well as he has generated eight power-play goals for the Pioneers and leads Atlantic Hockey is tied for first in the nation. He has scored at least one goal in four of the last six games he has played in for the Pioneers.

On the assists front, senior Mike Lee currently sits third in the nation in assists with 19 on the year which is a career high for the senior. He currently leads the Pioneers and Atlantic Hockey in points with 21 and in assists with 19. Lee has cashed in at least one assist in eight of his last ten games.

Sophomore goalie Josh Benson has remained a strong presence in net this season as he tallied a career high 36 saves in the Pioneers 4-0 shutout of Boston University on Nov. 29 and recorded his third shutout of the season in Saturday's 6-0 shutout of Robert Morris. He currently has compiled a GAA of 2.26 and a save percentage of .920.

The Pioneers return to action after Christmas break as SHU hosts Bentley on Saturday Dec. 28 at Webster Bank Arena with puck-drop set for 1:05 p.m.

 

USCHO Division I Men's Poll - December 9, 2019

 

Rnk      Team   (First Place Votes)      Record     Points          Last Poll

1          Minnesota State (43)                 14-1-1        992            1

2          North Dakota  (6)                      14-1-2         937            3

3          Cornell (1)                                10-1-0         890            2

4          Clarkson                                   11-3-1         826            5

5          Boston College                          11-4-0        746            10

6          Ohio State                                10-4-2         699            7

7          Penn State                               12-5-0         684            6

8          Denver                                    9-4-3           652            4

9          Massachusetts                        11-4-1          618            11

10        Bowling Green                        11-5-1          500            13

11        Minnesota Duluth                     9-6-1          495            14

12        Northeastern                           10-5-2         425            8

13        Providence                               9-5-3          381          15

14        UMass Lowell                          10-4-4         373            16

15        Notre Dame                             8-6-2           334            9

16        Arizona State                           8-4-2           264            20

17        Harvard                                    6-4-0           217            12

18        Michigan State                           8-7-1          127            NR

19        Western Michigan                       7-7-2            89            17

20        Sacred Heart                          11-6-1           56            NR

 

Others receiving votes: Michigan Tech 52, Northern Michigan 30, Omaha 25, Quinnipiac 13, RIT 13, Army 13, Wisconsin 12, Boston University 9, Alaska 6, Bemidji State 5