By Carly Grimaudo
Special to GoHolyCross.com
Celebration and sports culture go hand in hand. From the earliest days, blossoming young athletes celebrate a first basket in the driveway, a first catch in the front yard and the unforgettable first goal in a game. Senior assistant captain Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.), who recently tallied his 100th collegiate point as a Crusader on Feb. 1 when he scored two goals in a Holy Cross win over RIT, had this first moment of sports glory years ago when he was just a mite. After stumbling down the ice, trying to maintain control on a breakaway, a very young Schmidt shot the puck into the back of the net while falling, and proceeding to fall into the goalie, pushing him into the net during that first of many celebrations to come. The celebration of firsts is a popular concept in the sports world because it symbolizes a starting point along an athletic journey and reminds athletes where their success once kicked off later down the road. For Schmidt this first goal, marked a first milestone on his path to being the 41st Crusader to tally 100 points in Holy Cross hockey history and just the 11th to do so in the school's Division I history books.
Skip ahead about 15 years to find Schmidt dressed in a purple Holy Cross jersey for the first of 142 times thus far, which is tied for the sixth most games played all-time. In that number 14 jersey for the first time, during his first Division I college game, Schmidt tallied his first and favorite collegiate goal marking the start of a new path and a new milestone in his hockey journey. "It was in my first game against Norte Dame in the Icebreaker Tournament in St. Louis," Schmidt recalled. "I scored on a shot from the right wing in the second period. It was a goal I'll never forget and a huge feeling of accomplishment after a lifetime of hard work in my hockey career." He'd then go on to score five more that season as a freshman, as he played in all but one of the 38 games. "I was lucky enough to get the opportunity freshman year to play with our captain Everett Sheen and I was able to learn a lot from him," said Schmidt. "Hard work is the start of it all and our team has always prided ourselves on that," he added.
Schmidt's outstanding career totals thus far include 50 goals, 55 assists and 105 points as he's also ranked second in Division I hockey history at Holy Cross for shorthand goals with four, tied for sixth overall in game-winning goals with eight and holds seventh for total goals. The most impressive of all these accomplishments however, is the fact that Schmidt belongs to an elite group of just 10 Division I Holy Cross players to have earned 20 points or more in each of their four seasons, with 21 his freshman year, a team-leading 37 the next, 25 last year and a current team-leading 22 so far this season. "I have just focused on bringing what I can to the table every game and every season as well as improving in every way possible," he said in regard to his consistent offensive performances each year.
While Schmidt's first collegiate goal stands firmly as his favorite, he's tallied some pretty memorable ones along his journey to 100 points and beyond. These include two in the team's 5-4 defeat of No. 7 Boston University in the 2011-2012 season, a shorthanded goal that was the first of the 5-4 victory over Yale, the national champions to be in the 2012-2013 season and a goal in this season's 5-4 historical first-time defeat of Boston College, a likely national champion prediction and the current No. 1 ranked team in the nation. "Scoring goals against these teams is different because it is a big game for the team to be able to prove we can compete just as well with these big programs even though we are a small school," he said. "For each of our players, it offers a chance to prove we are just as good as everyone in Division I hockey, and that's why we are here," he added.
After each of these game-changing goals went into the nets of NCAA Division I's top hockey teams, Schmidt celebrated just as any other player would. In watching a hockey celebration, there's something special that can be observed through the way a player has a brief moment of individual glory before they're joined by the rest of their linesmen to celebrate the real meaning of the goal. They're goals for Schmidt, but more importantly they're goals for Holy Cross, which is exactly what Schmidt recognizes in his reflection on the big-time goals he's tallied. It's also why Schmidt knows the value of not only his 50 goals, but his 55 assists on goals of his teammates. "Hockey is obviously a game that is a team sport," Schmidt noted. "Sharing and working with your teammates is key to a winning success throughout the season and is something Coach Pearl has instilled in us throughout our time at Holy Cross," he furthered.
Since Schmidt has now exceeded 100 points, and still has four regular season games to rack up more before his last post-season action begins, he has plenty of opportunities left to further his mark on Holy Cross hockey history while enjoying what remains of his hockey journey at Holy Cross. "Now that I have gotten 100 points, I am just looking to close out my senior year in the best way possible, helping my team every way I can in winning the Atlantic Hockey championship," he said. Looking back on almost two decades of hockey there's so many moments that have left unforgettable imprints in Schmidt's memories, and now he has one more to add to that list. "The 100th point was a great feeling. One that I feel truly blessed to be able to have attained," he said. "It is something that I did not think of all the time at the start of my career, or think I would have the ability to get easily. It is something I have worked hard for and I just feel so honored to be a part of the 100-point club," he said smiling.
After celebrating his first goal as a mite, his first goal as a Crusader and his recent addition to 100 point history, Schmidt is looking for one more milestone to celebrate, as an Atlantic Hockey champion, before his collegiate hockey road draws to a close. Once he hangs up his Crusader sweater, he'll start down a new path in his hockey journey. "After finishing up the rest of this season, hopefully I'll get the opportunity to play somewhere for a few games. From there, my advisor and I will look to find what the best option is and if I have the opportunity to play elsewhere," he mentioned of his hopes to continue in the game he loves. Until then, Schmidt will "keep it 100" as a Crusader.