Men's Hockey To Host #15 Niagara On Jan. 18-19

Matt Vidal

PDF of Game Notes

2012-2013 Fact Book


Teams: Holy Cross (11-7-2, 7-4-2 Atlantic Hockey) vs. #15 Niagara (13-3-4, 12-0-1 Atlantic Hockey)

Dates: January 18-19, 2013

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Place: Hart Center (1,600), Worcester, Mass.

Holy Cross Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester, Mass.; Dominic Dipersia
Listen to games.

Live Video Streaming: America One Networks

Series Records (Holy Cross varsity games since 1966-1967):
With Niagara: Niagara leads 6-2-0
Series Record At Hart Center: Niagara leads 3-1-0
As Atlantic Hockey Opponents: Tied 2-2-0  
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 4, Niagara 3 (11/5/11; Niagara Falls, N.Y.)
Last Niagara Win: Niagara 4, Holy Cross 2 (11/4/11; Niagara Falls, N.Y.)
First Varsity Meeting: Niagara 3, Holy Cross 0 (1/3/99; Worcester, Mass.)
Current Series Win Streak: Holy Cross, one game
2011-2012 Series: Tied 1-1-0

HC TO HOST #15 NIAGARA ON JAN. 18-19: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (11-7-2 overall, 7-4-2 Atlantic Hockey) returns to action when it hosts No. 15 Niagara (13-3-4 overall, 12-0-1 Atlantic Hockey) at the Hart Center on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18-19 at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders are tied for third place in the Atlantic Hockey standings with 16 points, while the Purple Eagles are undefeated in conference games and are in first place as they have 25 of a possible 26 points. Niagara has an eight-point lead over second-place Army. The Purple Eagles have outscored their opponents by a 46-16 margin in their 13 league games. HC, who went 1-1-0 at Mercyhurst last week, is 2-3-0 over its last five games, while Niagara, who went 2-0-0 versus AIC last week, is 3-1-1 over its last five contests. HC is second in Atlantic Hockey out of 12 teams with 3.20 goals scored per game, while Niagara is tied for fifth with a 3.05 average. The Crusaders are tied for seventh in the league by allowing 3.10 goals per game and the Purple Eagles are second with a 2.05 average. HC is fourth with a .191 power play percentage, while Niagara is seventh with a .160 percentage. The Crusaders are 11th with a .750 penalty kill percentage and the Purple Eagles are second with a .879 percentage. Niagara junior goalie Carsen Chubak leads the nation with a .953 save percentage and five shutouts, while he is second with a 1.46 goals against average. He is 13-2-4 on the season as his .789 winning percentage is third nationally. These two teams are 2-2-0 against each other since Niagara joined Atlantic Hockey in the 2010-2011 season.

HC 11TH IN NATION IN GOALS PER GAME: The Crusaders are averaging 3.20 goals scored per game so far this season, which are second in Atlantic Hockey and 11th nationally. The Crusaders have netted three goals or more in 11 of their 20 games this season and four goals or more in seven games. HC is 9-1-1 so far this season when scoring three or more goals.

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: The Crusaders are 1-2-0 so far this season versus ranked teams with a 5-4 win versus No. 15 Yale on Dec. 30, and a 5-2 loss and a 3-2 loss at No. 7 North Dakota on Jan. 4-5. The Crusaders are 3-18-3 all-time versus ranked teams in their Division I era. Last year, HC defeated No. 7 Boston University on Oct. 22, 2011 and defeated No. 3 Minnesota, 4-3 in overtime, in the NCAA Tournament on March 24, 2006.

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.
HC AT HOME: HC is 5-2-2 so far at home this season with wins versus UConn and Bentley, RIT, two wins versus Penn State, ties versus RIT and Robert Morris and losses versus Army and Robert Morris. The Crusaders went 12-3-2 (.765) last season at home. The Crusaders' home record was their best since going 10-1-2 (.846) in the 2003-2004 season. The 12 wins were the most at home since the Crusaders won 13 in 1998-1999 going 13-3-2 (.778). HC is 328-200-38 (.613) all-time at the Hart Center.

USCHO NATIONAL POLL: The Crusaders have received five points in the most recent Division I National Poll. The five points are the sixth most of other teams receiving votes. On Dec. 31, HC was ranked No. 20 with 65 points. This was the third ever time that the Crusaders have been ranked in this poll as Holy Cross was No. 20 on March 13, 2006 and No. 19 on March 20, 2006.

HC OFF TO STRONG START: The Crusaders' 11-7-2 overall record is their best after the first 20 games since the 2005-2006 season when they were 13-6-1. The Crusaders' 64 goals scored are their most after the first 20 games since they netted 68 in the 2006-2007 season. HC's 7-4-2 Atlantic Hockey record is its best after 13 games since going 9-3-1 in the 2005-2006 season. The Crusaders opened the season by scoring six goals versus AIC on Oct. 16. The six goals were the most by HC in a season-opener since the 7-6 win at RIT on Nov. 5, 1982.  

HOLDING ONTO A LEAD: HC is 7-1-0 when leading after the second period this season. The Crusaders are also 6-2-1 so far when leading after the first period.  The Crusaders are 7-2-2 when scoring the first goal of the contest.

HC WITH DEPTH: The Crusaders have had 21 players already tally at least one point so far. The Crusaders have had 14 players score at least one goal. Twenty players have at least one assist so far this season.

THE SERIES WITH NIAGARA: These two teams have met eight times with Niagara leading the all-time series 6-2-0. The Crusaders are 2-2-0 versus the Purple Eagles since Niagara joined Atlantic Hockey in the 2010-2011 season. Last season, the Crusaders lost at Niagara by a 4-2 score on Nov. 4 and then defeated the Purple Eagles, 4-3 on Nov. 5. Both games were played in Worcester in the 2010-2011 season with the Purple Eagles winning by a 5-2 score on Jan. 7 and the Crusaders taking the win 5-1 on Jan. 8 for their first ever victory versus Niagara. The Purple Eagles won by a 6-2 score in Worcester on Oct. 13, 2007. In the 2006-2007 season, Niagara defeated Holy Cross, 5-4 in overtime, on October 14, 2006 at Niagara. On Jan. 11, 2000 the Purple Eagles won 6-0 at Niagara, while on Jan. 3, 1999, Niagara won 3-0 at Holy Cross.

ZYCH LEADS TEAM IN ASSISTS: Senior Evan Zych (Kilbride, Ontario) leads the team with a career-best 13 assists. He is third in Atlantic Hockey and tied for 25th nationally with 0.68 assists per game. He is sixth in the league and tied for 23rd nationally with 0.68 points per game by defensemen. For his career, he has 22 assists. Zych is on the Hobey Baker Award Fan Ballot. Go here to vote.

WINNING CLOSE GAMES: The Crusaders are 6-3-0 this season in games decided by one goal and 1-0-2 in overtime contests. Senior Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) broke a 1-1 tie in the third period with the game-winner in the 2-1 victory versus UConn on Oct. 26. Junior Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) broke a 2-2 tie in the second period in the 3-2 win at Air Force on Nov. 2. With the game tied at 3-3, senior captain Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario) scored the game-winner in the third period in the 4-3 win versus Bentley on Nov. 9. Vos also netted the game-winner with a goal in overtime in the 5-4 win versus Penn State on Dec. 7. With the Crusaders leading 3-2 versus No. 15 Yale on Dec. 30, Holy Cross netted two goals including the game-winner by senior Brandon Nunn (Fairport, N.Y.) in the 5-4 win versus the Bulldogs. Schmidt broke a 1-1 tie in the third period with his team-best third game-winner of the season in the 2-1 win at Mercyhurst on Jan. 11.
FLETCHER LEADS TEAM WITH 18 POINTS: Senior Kyle Fletcher leads the team this season with 18 points, while he is tied for second with 10 assists and eight goals. His 18 points are tied for fifth in the league. He was named the Team Travel USA Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week on Nov. 12 for his performance in wins versus Bentley and Sacred Heart. This was the third time he has earned Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week as he received this honor twice during his sophomore season. Fletcher led the Crusaders with two goals and four points on the week, while he was tied for first with two assists. On Friday, Nov. 9, in the 4-3 win versus Bentley, Fletcher scored a power play goal in the first period to tie the game at 1-1, while he assisted on the Crusaders' third goal. Then on Sunday, Nov. 13, in the 6-3 victory versus Sacred Heart, he gave the Crusaders a 3-1 lead in the second period and assisted on the Crusaders' fifth goal of the contest. For his career he has 31 goals and 43 assists for 74 points.  

SOMMER OFF TO GREAT START: Freshman Castan Sommer (Shrewsbury, Mass.) has four goals and eight assists for 12 points. His eight assists are fourth on the team. Sommer is third in Atlantic Hockey in points by rookies, while his 0.60 points per game are tied for 30th nationally by rookies.

GINN WITH A 10-6-2 RECORD THIS SEASON: Sophomore goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) is 10-6-2 so far this season as his .611 winning percentage is fourth in Atlantic Hockey and 20th nationally. On Dec. 1, he posted 36 saves as the Crusaders tied Robert Morris, 1-1. He tallied a career-best 51 saves versus Brown on Nov. 25. On Oct. 22, he was named the Team Travel USA Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week. He made 75 saves on 78 shots on the week as he posted a .962 save percentage, a 1.50 goals against average and a 2-0-0 record. He made 39 saves and allowed two goals as the Crusaders defeated AIC by a 6-2 score on the road in the season-opener on Oct. 16. Ginn then tallied 36 saves and allowed only one goal for a .973 save percentage in the 3-1 victory at Clarkson on Oct. 20. Ginn, who was named the HCA's National Rookie of the Month for February last year, was named the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week three times, Rookie of the Month twice and Goalie of the Week once. He went 17-8-2 as his 17 wins were tied for second on the school's Division I single-season list. His 629 saves were sixth all-time for a Division I season, while his 2.42 goals against average was fourth. For his career, he has a 27-14-4 record with a .906 save percentage and a 2.62 goals against average. His 27 wins are second all-time in the program's Division I history and his 1,160 career saves are fifth.  

VOS & LINSMAYER LEAD TEAM AS CAPTAINS: Senior captain Erik Vos has five goals and six assists for 11 points this season. He is tied for fourth on the team in goals. Vos scored the game-winner in the 4-3 win versus Bentley and the game-winner in the 5-4 overtime victory versus Penn State. He has 30 goals and 34 assists for 64 career points. Senior assistant captain Rob Linsmayer (Winnetka, Ill.) has 29 goals and 59 assists for 88 career points. He has the most assists and points of any current Crusader. This season he has five goals and 10 assists for 15 points. He is tied for second on the team in assists, while he is tied for third in points. Last season, Linsmayer tied for first in Atlantic Hockey with five game-winning goals.

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SCHMIDT LEADS THE TEAM IN GOALS: Junior Adam Schmidt leads the team in goals with 10, while he is second with 17 points and tied for fifth with seven assists. His 10 goals are tied for third in Atlantic Hockey and his 17 points are tied for eighth. Also his team-best three game-winning goals are tied for second in Atlantic Hockey and tied for seventh nationally. Schmidt was named the Team Travel USA Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week on Nov. 19 as he tallied three goals and two assists for five points as the Crusaders went 1-0-1 versus RIT. On Nov. 17, he scored three goals for his second career hat-trick in the 7-3 win, while on Nov. 18, he posted two assists as the Crusaders tied the Tigers, 3-3. He netted the game-winner in the 3-1 win at Clarkson on Oct. 20 and in the 3-2 win at Air Force on Nov. 2. Last season, he posted a career-best 18 goals and a career-best 37 points to lead the Crusaders. He was second on the team with a career-best 19 assists. Schmidt earned second team All-Atlantic Hockey honors as he was the first Crusader to earn All-League accolades since 2008. Schmidt was also named the Hockey Commissioners' Association (HCA) National Division I Player of the Month for February. For his career, Schmidt has 34 goals and 41 assists for 75 points as he has the most career goals of any current Crusader.

NUNN WITH 15 POINTS: Senior Brandon Nunn, who missed eight games this season due to an injury, has played in 12 games with eight goals and seven assists for 15 points. He is averaging 1.25 points per game. He is tied for second on the team in goals, tied for third in points and tied for fifth in assists. After missing eight straight games he posted two goals and one assist including netting the game-winner as the Crusaders defeated No. 15 Yale, 5-4 on Dec. 30. He scored the game-winner in the season-opening victory versus AIC and netted a penalty shot goal in the win versus Clarkson. He has 31 goals and 26 assists for 57 career points.

POWER PLAY POINTS FOR PINK: For the second straight season, every time the Holy Cross men's hockey team scores a power play goal in the Hart Center, money pledged will benefit PINK Revolution. PINK Revolution is an alliance of dedicated individuals with a unified commitment to those touched by breast cancer. Its mission is to support early detection and prevention strategies, fund clinical research advancements and promote survivorship programs in Central Mass. through its affiliation with the UMass Memorial Comprehensive Breast Center. For more information and to donate go here: The Crusaders' annual Pink the Rink game will be on February 16 versus UConn.

WORKING FOR WORCESTER: Junior Jeffrey Reppucci (Newburyport, Mass.), who is the Founder and President of the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Students Helping Children Across Borders (SHCAB), is the CEO of the project Working For Worcester 2012-2013. Led by a group of passionate college students, Working for Worcester is a city-wide project designed to promote city pride and ownership while, at the same time, providing necessary improvements to Worcester's recreational spaces. On project day, April 20, 2013, Working for Worcester hopes to mobilize a group of 1000+ students, faculty and local volunteers and make in excess of $50,000 of improvements to the community. Several project locations including the Worcester Youth Center and Cookson Park have already been finalized. Other potential sites include: schoolyards, school libraries, gardens, etc. To learn more about the project please go to:

HC PICKED SIXTH IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross was picked sixth in the Atlantic Hockey Association Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Crusaders received 74 total points. Air Force was first with a total of 112 points and eight first place votes, followed by Niagara with a total of 101 points and three first place votes. Mercyhurst was selected third with a total of 89 points. Bentley and RIT were tied for fourth in the poll with 87 points. The Crusaders were picked sixth, followed by Connecticut (65 points), Robert Morris eighth (61 points) as well as receiving one first place vote, Canisius (38 points), Army (30 points), American International (20 points) and Sacred Heart (19 points).

HOLY CROSS HEAD COACH PAUL PEARL: Paul Pearl is in his 18th 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 274-264-65 (.508) record at Holy Cross and has been the man behind the bench in eight of the 10 most successful seasons in Holy Cross history, while he has had four teams post 20-plus win seasons. Pearl led the Crusaders to their first two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2003-04 and 2005-06, 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. He has been named the Atlantic Hockey Coach of the Year twice (2004 and 2011). 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 Atlantic Hockey regular season and tournament titles. During the 2003-2004 campaign, the Crusaders tallied a 22-10-4 overall record. Holy Cross swept the Atlantic Hockey tournament, and captured two shutout victories en route to the title. Last season, the Crusaders went 20-15-4 overall for the sixth 20-win season in program history. The Crusaders' 15-8-4 Atlantic Hockey record was their best since going 19-7-2 in 2005-2006.

NUNN NAMED A SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE: Senior Brandon Nunn has been named one of 20 candidates for the 2012-2013 Senior CLASS Award as college hockey's outstanding NCAA Division I senior student-athlete for the men's hockey division. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The 20 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, Division I men's coaches and fans.

THINK PINK AND "LIKE" THIS LINK: The Holy Cross hockey teams have partnered together with Bay State Savings Bank and PINK Revolution in order to fight breast cancer. For every "LIKE" of Bay State Savings Bank's Facebook page during the month of January, the bank will donate $1 to PINK Revolution, a breast cancer alliance in central Massachusetts. This is part of Holy Cross hockey's "Power Play Points for Pink" fundraiser which raises money for PINK Revolution through donations and sponsorships. Please like Bay State Saving's Facebook page.