GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
Teams: Holy Cross (6-10-2, 5-4-2 Atlantic Hockey) vs. Niagara (10-6-2, 7-4-0 Atlantic Hockey)
Dates: January 7-8, 2011
Times: Jan. 7: 7:00 p.m.; Jan. 8: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (1,600), Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester, Mass.; Chris Del Vecchio, Kyle McCarthy & Dan Gentile. Listen to game.
Live Video Streaming: One Networks
Series Records (Holy Cross varsity games since 1966-1967):
Series Record With Niagara: Niagara leads 4-0-0
Series Record At Hart Center: Niagara leads 2-0-0
Last Meeting: Niagara 6, Holy Cross 2 (10/13/07; Worcester, Mass.)
First Meeting: Niagara 3, Holy Cross 0 (1/3/99; Worcester, Mass.)
HC TO PLAY TWO AT HOME VERSUS NIAGARA: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (6-10-2 overall, 5-4-2 Atlantic Hockey) returns to action when it will play two home games at the Hart Center versus Atlantic Hockey opponent Niagara (10-6-2 overall, 7-4-0 Atlantic Hockey) on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 7-8. Both the Crusaders and the Purple Eagles have played 11 Atlantic Hockey games as only two points separate them in the standings. Niagara is tied for fourth with 14 points, while the Crusaders are seventh with 12 points. The Crusaders are 0-4-1 in their last five games and have lost four in a row, while the Purple Eagles are 3-2-0 in their last five. Niagara's Paul Zanette leads Atlantic Hockey and is second nationally with 16 goals. The Purple Eagles lead the league and are sixth in the country with 3.67 goals scored per game, while the Crusaders are seventh in the conference with 2.94 goals per game. Niagara is eighth in Atlantic Hockey by allowing 3.44 goals per game and Holy Cross is ninth with 3.72 goals allowed per game. The Purple Eagles have the third best power play percentage in the league and 15th nationally with a 21.3 percentage, while the Crusaders are fourth in Atlantic Hockey and 16th in the country with a 20.9 percentage. Niagara is the toughest team to score on in the league while on the power play as the Purple Eagles have a conference-best 85.7 penalty kill percentage, while the Crusaders are eighth with a 78.7 percentage.
HC OFF TO BEST AHA START SINCE 2006-2007: The Crusaders have a 5-4-2 Atlantic Hockey record after 11 games. The Crusaders are off to their best Atlantic Hockey start since they were 6-4-1 in the 2006-2007 season.
WHEN SCORING FIRST GOAL: So far this season the Crusaders have found success when they score the first goal of the game. Holy Cross is 6-1-1 when it scores the first goal of the contest.
THE SERIES WITH NIAGARA: These two games will be the fifth and sixth meetings between the Crusaders and the Purple Eagles with Niagara leading 4-0-0. This will be the first contests between the two programs as members of Atlantic Hockey as this is the first season that Niagara has competed in the conference. The Purple Eagles won the last meeting by a 6-2 score in Worcester on Oct. 13, 2007. On January 3, 1999, Niagara won 3-0 at Holy Cross, while on Jan. 11, 2000 the Purple Eagles won 6-0 at Niagara. In the 2006-2007 season, Niagara defeated Holy Cross, 5-4 in overtime, on October 14, 2006 at Niagara.
HC HAS FOURTH RANKED POWER PLAY IN AHA: The Crusaders' 20.9 power play percentage is fourth in Atlantic Hockey and 16th nationally. The Crusaders are 14-67 while on the power play and are 6-2-1 in games when they score a power play goal.
AFTER A LOSS: The Crusaders are looking to end their four-game losing streak. Holy Cross is 3-5-1 so far this season following a loss.
HOME ICE: Holy Cross is 1-3-0 at home this season as it split a two-game series with Robert Morris and lost to Bentley and Providence. The Crusaders will now play 11 of their last 16 games at home this season. Last season, Holy Cross went 6-6-5 at the Hart Center. Holy Cross has a 301-192-33 (.604) all-time record at the Hart Center since it started playing there in 1975-1976.
SOLID OFFENSE: This season the Crusaders have scored 53 goals through 18 games and they are seventh in Atlantic Hockey with 2.94 goals per game. Last season through 18 games, Holy Cross had scored 36 goals and was averaging 2.00 goals per game. This season, the Crusaders have scored three or more goals in 10 of the 18 games with a 6-3-1 record.
ON THE ROAD: The Crusaders have been solid on the road as they are 5-4-2 on their opponents' home ice so far this season. The Crusaders started the season with six straight games away from Worcester. Holy Cross went 0-2-0 on neutral ice at the Ice Breaker Tournament and then went 3-1-0 on its opponents' home ice. Holy Cross won league road games over AIC (Oct. 15) and Army (Oct. 17), while the Crusaders lost at ECACHL member Quinnipiac (Oct. 23). The Crusaders then defeated Hockey East member Northeastern (Oct. 29). Holy Cross went 1-0-1 in Buffalo versus Canisius (Nov. 13-14), and then defeated Sacred Heart (Nov. 19) on the road. The Crusaders went 0-1-1 at Air Force (Dec. 3-4), and then fell at UConn (Dec. 29) and lost to Bowling Green (Dec. 30) on neutral ice. The Crusaders fell at No. 1 Yale by a 10-3 score on Jan. 2. Last season, Holy Cross compiled a 6-12-1 record on its opponents' home ice and went 0-1-0 on neutral ice.
SCOUTING THE ROSTER: Holy Cross has six seniors, nine juniors, seven sophomores and six freshmen on this year's roster. The Crusaders have 15 forwards, 10 defenders and three goalies.
HC ON ONE NETWORKS: All of Holy Cross' home games and Atlantic Hockey away games can be seen via live video streaming. The games can been viewed through One Networks.
BIG IN CLUTCH SITUATIONS: The Crusaders have so far demonstrated the ability to win close games. Holy Cross is 4-4-0 this season in one-goal contests, including three overtime victories. In the overtime win over Army, HC scored with just 11 seconds left and the overtime winning goal over Robert Morris was with just five seconds left. Four of Holy Cross' six game-winning goals this season have occurred in either the third period or in overtime. Also the Crusaders were trailing 3-2 versus Canisius on Nov. 13 in the third period and scored a goal to tie the game at 3-3 as the game ended in a tie. Holy Cross' one-goal losses were versus Providence by a 2-1 score on Nov. 27, at Air Force, 7-6, on Dec. 4, at UConn, 2-1, on Dec. 29, and versus Bowling Green, 3-2 in overtime, on Dec. 30.
CRUSADERS 3-1-2 IN OVERTIME: Three of the six Holy Cross wins this season have been in overtime as it is 3-1-2 in overtime games. The three wins are the Crusaders most overtime victories in a season since they won three in the 1994-1995 season which was Paul Pearl's first season as head coach of the Crusaders. Last season, the Crusaders played in nine overtime games with a 0-3-6 (.333) record in those games. The six ties are tied for the second most ties in a season at the school as the record is seven set in the 2007-2008 season. The most overtime games played in a single-season at Holy Cross was in 2008-2009 when the Crusaders played 10 and went 2-3-5 (.450) in those games. Since the 2006-2007 season and 163 total games, the Crusaders have played 41 overtime contests with a 5-11-25 (.427) record as .252 percent of their games have gone to overtime. Last season, Holy Cross played three straight games that went to overtime as it tied RIT, 1-1, lost to RIT, 3-2, and tied No. 7 Quinnipiac, 1-1. This was the fourth time in program history that the Crusaders had played three straight overtime contests as Holy Cross did it twice in the 2008-2009 season and once in the 1986-1987 season. The school record is four consecutive overtime games set in the 2007-2008 season.
SHEEN SHINES: Senior co-captain Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) leads the team with 16 points, while he is tied for first with six goals and 10 assists. He is also tied for first on the team with three power play goals. He now has 41 goals and 44 assists for 85 career points. His 41 goals are ninth on the all-time Holy Cross Division I list, while his 13 career power play goals are tied for 10th. He has played in all 129 games in his four seasons, while he has the most goals, assists and points by any current Crusader. Sheen recorded three goals and one assist for four points as the Crusaders went 1-0-1 on the road versus Canisius. He scored one goal in the 3-3 tie on Nov. 13, while he tallied two goals and one assist in the 6-2 win on Nov. 14. He scored his fifth career game-winner and his team-best second of the season in the victory. He was named the AHA Player of the Week on Oct. 18 as he recorded two goals and three assists for five points as the Crusaders earned two conference victories on the road. Sheen tallied two assists, including one on the game-winner, in the 3-2 win versus AIC on Oct. 15. He then scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, and recorded one assist for three points in the 5-4 win over Army on Oct. 17. This is his second straight season as a captain. He has been named AHA Player of the Week twice, while he was named to the AHA All-Rookie Team, earned AHA Rookie of the Week honors three times and was named the AHA Rookie of the Month once. Sheen led the team with 15 goals as a freshman.
CLUNE WITH A CAREER-BEST FIVE GOALS: Junior defenseman Matt Clune (Toronto, Ontario) is third on the team with a career-best five goals. He has scored a goal in two of the last three games as he netted the Crusaders' goal in the 2-1 loss at UConn on Dec. 29, and scored one goal in the 3-2 overtime loss versus Bowling Green on Dec. 30. He also has one assist for six points this season. For his career he has nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points in 87 games.
FRESHMEN RECORD FIRST COLLEGIATE POINTS: Freshman Ryan McGrath (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Mark Williamson (Centennial, Colo.) each recorded their first collegiate points last week. McGrath had an assist in his collegiate debut versus Bowling Green on Dec. 30 and Williamson recorded an assist versus Yale on Jan. 2.
POINT IN EIGHT OF 10 GAMES: Junior Andrew Cox (Lombardy, Ontario) has at least one point in eight of the last 10 games. He has three goals and five assists for eight points in the last 10 games. For the season he is tied for third on the team with a career-best four goals, while he is tied for fifth with six assists and a career-best 10 points. For his career, he has nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points in 76 games.
FLETCHER AND LINSMAYER PROVIDE SPARK: Sophomores Rob Linsmayer (Winnetka, Ill.) and Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) have each provided strong offense this season. Fletcher has recorded at least one point in 11 of the last 13 games, while Linsmayer has recorded at least one point in 10 of the last 13. Over this 13-game stretch, Linsmayer has recorded six goals and eight assists for 15 points, while Fletcher has three goals and nine assists for 12 points. For the season, Linsmayer is tied for the team-lead with a career-best six goals, is second in points with 15 and is third with nine assists. Fletcher is tied for first on the team with a career-best 10 assists and is third with a career-best 14 points. He is also tied for third with a career-best four goals. For his career, Linsmayer has 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 points in 55 games, while Fletcher has four goals and 14 assists for 18 points in 28 games.
POINT IN THREE OF FOUR GAMES: Junior Matt Gordon (Perth, Ontario) has recorded at least one point in three of the last four games. For the season, he has played all 18 games with two goals and four assists for six points. He has five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 48 career games.
ZNUTAS LEADS DEFENSEMEN IN POINTS: Senior Mark Znutas (Emerson, N.J.) has three goals and five assists for eight points. His eight points are tied for ninth in Atlantic Hockey by defensemen. He is tied for the team-lead with a career-best three power play goals. He recorded two goals and one assist in the 7-2 victory over Sacred Heart on Nov. 19. He also tallied two assists in the 5-4 overtime victory over Army on Oct. 17. For his career, Znutas has played in 126 games with 13 goals and 38 assists for 51 points.
SCHMIDT & STOCKTON OFF TO GREAT STARTS: Freshmen Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) and Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) have added a lot to the Holy Cross offense. Schmidt is tied for seventh in Atlantic Hockey in rookie scoring with 11 points and is tied for sixth with eight assists. Schmidt's .61 points per game are tied for 43rd nationally by rookies. Schmidt's eight assists and 11 points are fourth on the team. Stockton is tied for fourth on the team with four goals, while his 10 points are tied for fifth. Schmidt scored his first collegiate game-winner and also added an assist in the 7-2 win over Sacred Heart on Nov. 19. He recorded four points with one goal and three assists as Holy Cross won the two-game series with Canisius, 1-0-1, on Nov. 13-14. He recorded one assist in the 3-3 tie on Nov. 13, while he tallied one goal and two assists for three points in the 6-2 victory on Nov. 14. Both Stockton and Schmidt each recorded one goal and one assist for two points in their collegiate debuts versus No. 17 Notre Dame (Oct. 8). Stockton scored the first goal of the season for the Crusaders and Schmidt scored the second goal. Stockton was named the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week for his performance. Stockton was then named the AT&T Crusader of the Week as he scored his first collegiate game-winning goal in the 3-2 victory over AIC on Oct. 15 and then recorded one goal and one assist in the 5-4 overtime win over Army on Oct. 17.
BALDASSARI WITH TWO SHORTHANDED GOALS: Junior Gianni Baldassari (Fort Wayne, Ind.) has a career-best three goals. He scored two goals including his first collegiate game-winner in overtime in Holy Cross' 4-3 victory over Northeastern at Matthews Arena on Oct. 29 and was named the AT&T Crusader of the Week for his performance. Two of his three goals this season are shorthanded. His two shorthanded goals are tied for second nationally. For his career he has recorded five goals and three assists for eight points in 58 games.
KUMP EARNS WIN IN COLLEGIATE DEBUT: Freshman goalie Derek Kump (Falmouth, Maine) made 30 saves and allowed two goals in his collegiate debut in the 3-2 overtime win over Robert Morris on Nov. 6. He recorded a 1.85 goals against average and a .938 save percentage in the victory. Kump then made 18 saves in the 3-3 tie with Canisius on Nov. 13. Kump made a season-best 38 saves for a .950 save percentage in the 2-1 loss versus Providence on Nov. 27. He also had a 2.03 goals against average. He made 31 saves in the 1-1 tie at Air Force on Dec. 3, as he recorded a season-best.969 save percentage and a season-best 0.92 goals against average. He is 1-2-2 on the season.
TYSOWSKY WITH FIVE WINS THIS SEASON: Sophomore goalie Thomas Tysowsky (Amherst, N.Y.) is 5-5-0 overall on the season as he has recorded four conference victories and earned a win over Northeastern on Oct. 29. His .500 winning percentage is sixth in the conference. He made 20 saves and allowed two goals in the 3-2 win over AIC on Oct. 15, while he recorded 31 saves and allowed four goals in the 5-4 overtime win over Army on Oct. 17. Tysowsky made 28 saves and recorded a .903 save percentage in the Crusaders' 4-3 win over the Huskies. Tysowsky made 20 saves on 22 shots in the Crusaders' 6-2 win over Canisius on Nov. 14. He recorded a 2.01 goals against average and a .909 save percentage in the game. He made 29 saves for a .935 save percentage in the 7-2 victory over Sacred Heart (Nov. 19). For his career, he is 16-22-6 with a 2.67 goals against average, 1,106 saves and a .903 save percentage. Last season as a freshman, he had a 2.43 goals against average ranking him second in Atlantic Hockey, 17th nationally and fourth on the school's Division I single-season list. Tysowsky was fourth in the league with a .910 save percentage and ranked second on the all-time Holy Cross Division I single-season save list with 839 saves. He was named the Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week twice, and Goalie of the Month, Rookie of the Month and Rookie of the Week once.
REPPUCCI HAVING GREAT FRESHMAN SEASON: Freshman defenseman Jeffrey Reppucci (Newburyport, Mass.) is tied for fifth on the team with six assists this season as he has played 15 games. He was named the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week on Nov. 22 as he recorded three assists in two conference games. Reppucci tallied two assists in the 7-2 victory over Sacred Heart on Nov. 19, while he assisted on one goal versus Bentley on Nov. 20.
HOLY CROSS HEAD COACH PAUL PEARL: Paul Pearl is in his 16th year at the helm of the Holy Cross ice hockey program, and is just the fifth head coach in the history of ice hockey at Holy Cross. On January 21, 2006, with a 3-2 victory at Dartmouth, Pearl became the school's all-time winningest coach with the 168th victory of his career. Pearl has forged a 232-236-56 (.496) record at Holy Cross and has been the man behind the bench in seven of the nine most successful seasons in Holy Cross history, while he has had three teams post 20-plus win seasons. Along with 14 post-season appearances in 15 years, Pearl led the Crusaders to their first two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2003-2004 and 2005-2006, while he coached the Crusaders to their first ever NCAA Tournament win with the 4-3 overtime victory over Minnesota in Grand Forks, N.D., on March 24, 2006. In 2005-2006, Pearl led the Crusaders to a school single season record 27 victories, as the team posted an overall record of 27-10-2. Holy Cross also claimed the AHA regular season and tournament titles.
HC PICKED EIGHTH IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross was picked eighth in the Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll. Last season's tournament and regular season champion RIT was picked first with 118 points and eight first place votes, followed by Mercyhurst with 101 points and two first place votes. Air Force was picked third with 98 points, while league additions Niagara and Robert Morris tied for fourth with 82 points each. Robert Morris also had two first place votes. Canisius was sixth (63 points), Sacred Heart was seventh (61 points), HC was eighth (60 points), Army was ninth (48 points), Bentley was 10th (47 points), UConn was 11th (21 points) and AIC was 12th (11 points).