Men's Hockey Season In Review
SEASON AT A GLANCE: The Holy Cross men's ice hockey team finished its season 14-22-3 overall (11-13-3 AHA). During their non-conference strech of the season, the Crusaders took on two ECAC teams and three Hockey East teams for a total of seven games. The two ECAC teams the Crusaders played, No. 9 Quinnipiac and No. 11 Yale, were the two teams that played for the 2013 NCAA national championship title. During non-conference play, the Crusaders walked away with one hard-fought victory over the No. 7 Boston College, who is now advancing to the Frozen Four in Philadelphia, Pa. Holy Cross was chosen this year to be one of the Atlantic Hockey teams to play in the AHA game to open up Frozen Fenway 2014 on Dec. 28, 2013. The Crusaders took on Bentley and fell 3-2 to the Falcons. The team also hosted the 2014 NCAA Northeast Regional from March 29-30, where No. 3 Boston College won to advance on. The Crusaders met with the Mercyhurst Lakers for the third consecutive season in the AHA quarterfinal series to end their season. Nov. 1 marked the second time in Division I history at Holy Cross that three players scored their first collegiate goal. The only other time that it happened was on Oct. 16, 2012. That game also marked the ninth time out of 582 Division I games at the college that three different freshmen scored a goal. On Feb, 1 at RIT, senior assistant captain Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) became the 41st Crusader to ever reach the 100 point milestone. On Feb. 8, freshman Mike Barrett (Orland Park, Ill.) became the first freshman since Everett Sheen on Dec. 30, 2007 vs. Western Michigan to score a short-handed goal.
SENIOR CAPTAINS LEAVE HART IN STYLE: Senior assistant captains Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) and Adam Schmidt combined with senior captain Ryan McGrath (Pittsburgh, Pa.) to score 10 of the team's 25 points during their final stand at the Hart Center during the weekend series against RIT. Schmidt and Stockton each tallied four points during the weekend as Stockton scored three times and posted an assist, while Schmidt scored one goal and tallied three assists. McGrath posted two assists during the Saturday night 5-1 win. Stockton notched the game-winner with the second goal of the game on Saturday after stealing the puck in the slot and scoring off of his own rebound. Schmidt took the puck streaking up the boards before doubling back to pass the puck to the center and set up freshman Mike Barrett's OT game-winner on Sunday to seal the series for the Crusaders.
THREE CRUSADERS LED THE TEAM: The Crusaders were led this season by senior captain Ryan McGrath. McGrath's leadership was joined by assistant captains Adam Schmidt and Shayne Stockton. The three captains combined for 60 points this season scoring 26 goals and tallying 34 assists.
TEAM FINISHES 4TH IN FACEOFF PERCENTAGE: Holy Cross finished its season ranked fourth nationally and first in the conference in faceoff percentage with a .542. Holy Cross was one of only three teams in the conference to go over .500. The team won 1,391 of 2,565 draws it took this season and outfaceoffed their opponents during 27 of their 39 games and went exactly .500 in one. Sophomore forward Brett Lubanski (Farmington Hills, Mich.) is ranked 23rd in the country, winning .576 percent of his draws. Junior Jake Youso (International Falls, Minn.) is in 73rd with a .546, freshman Mike Barrett is 90th in the country with his .539 percentage and Shayne Stockton is .533. Their season-high was against Mercyhurst on Jan. 10 when the team combined to win 42 of 60 faceoffs (.700).
HC LED IN NATION IN BLOCKED SHOTS: The Holy Cross defense finished its season leading the country with 658 shots blocked by an individual. The Crusaders led the conference with their 16.87 blocks per game and were second in the country. Three defensemen ranked nationally in blocked shots. Joe McNamara (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) finished tied for 33rd with 67 blocks, sophomore Jake Bolton (Ellington, Conn.) was tied for 44th with 64 and junior Nilan Nagy (Canonsburg, Pa.) was tied for 50th with 63. The team combined for 65 blocked shots during the weekend series against Air Force Dec. 7-8. During the game on Saturday, Feb. 8, Nagy blocked nine shots, a team-high for the season.
12-3-2 WITH THREE OR MORE: This season, the Crusaders went 12-3-2 when they scored three or more goals. The Crusaders outscored their opponents 66-43 during the 17 contests. During these games, the Crusaders outfaceoffed their opponents 596-534 (.527). Goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) made 408 saves and Derek Kump (Falmouth, Maine) has made 80 for a total of 488 compared to the 497 made by the other teams' goalies. The Crusader goaltenders were strong in the 16 third periods during these contests posting 176 saves compared to the opposing teams' 133 saves. Holy Cross outscored its opponents 21-12 in the first period and 27-11 during the second of these games. Adam Schmidt led the team with 18 points including nine goals and nine assists during the 17 games. Matt Vidal (Manorville, N.Y.) was second on the team with four goals and 12 assists for 16 points during these games. Freshman Mike Barrett was tied for the lead in goal scoring with nine goals and had six assists for 15 points, tied with Shayne Stockton with 15 points from five goals and 10 assists. During these 17 games, the Crusaders had a +105 combined +/- rating, led by sophomore Karl Beckman (Okemos, Mich.) with a +14. The Crusader defense blocked 297 shots led by Jake Bolton with 32 and Nilan Nagy had 27. Of the 23 active skaters who took the ice during at least one of these 17 games, 20 tallied at least one point and all 20 had multiple points.
GINN'S 1076 FINISH SECOND: Matt Ginn finished the season second in the nation with 1076 saves this season. He has also played 2118:04 during this season, which is the fifth most time in the country. This season, during the Oct. 19 game at Northeastern, Ginn posted 48 saves, the third most of any Division I goalie at HC for a game. He also posted 45 saves against No. 9 Quinnipiac on Oct. 26, against RIT on March 7 and March 14 against Mercyhurst, tied for the sixth most of any goalie at the school. He has been in net for five of the top 10 games with the most saves by a goalie. His 1076 saves and 2118:04 broke his own school record for saves and minutes played in a single season.
BARRETT FIRST OF FRESHMEN: Freshman forward Mike Barrett led all freshman Crusaders in points and led the team with his three game-winners this season. The Crusaders' lone goal on Saturday March 15 was Barrett's 12th of the season, the fifth most among Division I freshmen in program history. Barrett scored 38 seconds into overtime during the third and deciding game against RIT on March 9 to clinch a quarterfinal appearance. Barrett netted his second game-winner of the season against UConn on Feb. 14 for his 10th of the season. Barrett scored the first short-handed goal by a rookie on Feb. 8 against Sacred Heart since Everett Sheen on Dec. 30, 2007 vs. Western Michigan. He tallied the first game-winning goal of his career on Saturday, Feb. 1 at RIT for his seventh of the season. His 12 goals are the most by a freshman since Everett Sheen in 2007-2008. Barrett tallied his sixth goal and fifth assist during the sweep of Niagara. Barrett finished the season with 20 points, the fourth most on the team. His 12 goals finished tied for the seventh most among freshmen nationally. He had an assist against No. 11 Yale for his fourth assist of the season and eighth point. Barrett was named the Travel Team USA Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week for his three-point performance in the Crusaders' 5-4 win at No. 7 Boston College on Nov. 29. This was Barrett's first career AHA weekly honor. Barrett tallied two goals and one assist for three points versus the Eagles. Barrett leads the team with his 378 faceoff victories which are tied for 15th in the country and second among all rookies. Barrett this season had 12 goals and eight assists for 20 points. He also started 24 of his 39 games played.
VIDAL LED WITH ASSISTS: Sophomore Matt Vidal scored a team-second 23 points on the season of which 18 were assists. Vidal had five goals to go with his team-leading 18 assists on the year. Vidal posted a career-high three assists during the Saturday night game on Feb. 8 against SHU, tying him for the 10th most assists by a single player in a game. During the weekend in Rochester against RIT, Vidal posted two assists to have tallied eight points in the last eight games. He tallied his eighth assist of the season during the Crusaders' 4-2 loss against Mercyhurst. He scored the Crusaders' lone goal against No. 11 Yale on Dec. 29 for his fourth goal of the season. He tallied an assist in the first game and scored a goal in the second of a two game home series against AHA rival Air Force. Vidal also scored the game-winning goal and posted two assists for three points when the Crusaders upset No. 7 Boston College at Conte Forum on Nov. 29. Vidal gave the team a 5-1 lead at 16:53 of the second period. The goal was his first career game-winner and the game was his first collegiate multi-point game. Vidal has six goals and 22 assists for 28 career points in his 71 games played.
MCKINNON STARTED CAREER RIGHT: Freshman Brett McKinnon (West Kelowna, British Columbia) tallied two goals including the game-winner on Saturday, Feb. 22 for his first two-goal game and the first game-winning goal of his collegiate career. McKinnon also scored two goals during the first quarterfinal game at Mercyhurst on March 14. McKinnon previously set up Mike Barrett's game-winner on Feb. 14 against Connecticut for his sixth point of the season. McKinnon scored the first goal of his collegiate career on Saturday, Feb. 8 in a 6-1 victory over SHU. McKinnon also has assists in games against RIT, Niagara and Mercyhurst. He posted his first point with a second assist on the goal by Adam Schmidt against Bentley on Dec. 28 at Fenway Park. The freshman also picked up his first start the following afternoon against No. 11 Yale on Dec. 29. In his 24 games played, McKinnon has five goals and five assists for 10 points.
STOCKTON FINISHES CAREER STRONG: During the AHA first round series with RIT, Shayne Stockton tallied four points with three goals and an assist in the three games and posted an assist in the quarterfinal series with Mercyhurst. Stockton posted the game-winner on Saturday, March 8 to force a deciding game three. He posted nine goals and tallied 13 assists for 22 points in his 29 games played. Stockton scored a goal in the final regular season game of his career on March 1 at Army for his sixth of the season. Stockton had a goal and an assist against AIC on Feb. 22. He posted two assists during the 6-1 victory over Sacred Heart on Feb. 8 for his second multiple point game of the season. During his return home to Rochester, Stockton scored on a wrist shot on Friday night and posted an assist on fellow assistant captain Adam Schmidt's second goal of the night on Saturday. Stockton notched his sixth assist of the season on Schmidt's short-handed goal against Bentley. He previously tallied his fourth and fifth assists of the season during the weekend sweep of Niagara on Jan. 17-18. Stockton also had an assist on Schmidt's goal against Canisius on Jan. 3 for his third assist. He posted an assist on Schmidt's goal at Fenway Park against Bentley, which he followed up with a goal of his own. In his career, Stockton scored 38 goals and tallied 56 assists for 94 points in his 131 games played. Stockton went on a five-game and four-game streak earlier this season, a five-game, a four-game and a three-game streak during his junior year and three three-game streaks during his sophomore season. As a freshman Stockton went on three streaks, one for three games, one for six games and one career-streak extending seven games from his freshman season to his sophomore season.
SCHMIDT SET GAMES RECORD: Adam Schmidt played in his 151st game on March 15 at Mercyhurst to become the leader in all-time games played. He posted four points during the final three home games of his career against RIT, including an assist on the game-winner on Sunday, March 9 to keep the season alive. Schmidt scored a goal and posted three assists during the weekend. On Saturday, Feb. 1, Schmidt netted a pair of goals that enabled him to become the 41st player at Holy Cross to reach the prestigious milestone of 100 career points. In his career, Schmidt had 52 goals and 60 assists for 112 points in his 151 games, tied for the sixth most goals in tied for the second most games played in history at Holy Cross. Schmidt had 14 goals and 15 assists this season to tally 29 points, the highest on the team. This season marks the fourth consecutive season in which Schmidt has scored at least 20 points making him the 10th player in Division I history to tally these numbers. During the game Friday, Feb. 14, Schmidt netted a goal and posted an assist which brought his career goal total to 50 goals, seventh in DI school history, a rank his 51 goals still holds. Schmidt netted a short-handed goal against Sacred Heart during the Friday night match on Feb. 7 for the fourth of his career, tying him for the second most in Division I history at the school. His two short-handed goals this season tie him for 10th in the country. He previously scored against Sacred Heart twice, RIT, Canisius, No. 7 Boston College, No. 19 Boston University and Bentley twice, including once at Fenway Park. He posted assists this season at No. 9 Quinnipiac, Army, Robert Morris and Bentley at Fenway, and against Sacred Heart and both games versus Air Force. Schmidt has gone two four-game point streaks, including a four-game goal streak, and two three-game point streaks this season and is currently on a four-game point streak. Schmidt previously went on an eight-game streak as a sophomore, a six-game streak as a sophomore to begin the season, a five game streak as a junior, two three-game streaks as a junior and two three-game streaks as a freshman.
SCHMIDT AND STOCKTON ATO: Senior assistant captains Adam Schmidt and Shayne Stockton signed Amateur Try Out agreements following the season. Stockton played in the final two games with the Columbus Cottonmouths (SPHL) of their regular season and is currently on their playoff roster. Schmidt has played in two games so far with the Worcester Sharks (AHL).
DWYER FOUND THE NET: Junior forward Tommy Dwyer (Ridgefield, Conn.) had six goals and six assists for 12 points this season, all career-highs for the junior. Dwyer netted a goal against RIT on Sunday, March 9 to tie the game, eventually forcing overtime. Dwyer scored a goal and tallied two assists during the weekend sweep of AIC. During the weekend against RIT, Dwyer tallied an assist Friday, Jan. 31 on the second goal of the game and netted his fourth goal of the season on an empty net on Saturday, Feb. 1. Dwyer scored his third goal of the season against Bentley on Jan. 25. Dwyer tallied one goal and one assist for two points as the Crusaders swept a two-game series at Niagara on Jan. 17-18. He assisted on the game-winner in the 4-2 victory on Friday, while on Saturday he broke a 2-2 tie with 2:18 left in the third period when he scored his first collegiate game-winner to give the Crusaders a 3-2 win versus the Purple Eagles. Previously this season, Dwyer posted a point in six straight games with four goals and two assists for six points. Dwyer has played in 88 career games with eight goals and 10 assists for 19 points.
ONE-TIMERS: This season the Crusaders played three teams (Boston University, No. 2 Boston College and No. 13 Yale) who have won national championships... The Crusaders played six teams (Boston University, No. 9 Quinnipiac, No. 10 Northeastern, No. 2 Boston College, No. 13 Yale and RIT) who have made at least one Frozen Four appearance... The Crusaders finished with six players on the roster with more than 10 career goals, Adam Schmidt (52), Shayne Stockton (38), Castan Sommer (Shrewsbury, Mass.) (14), Tim Driscoll (Hingham, Mass.) (12), Jake Youso (11), Mike Barrett (11)... Four players on the team have at least 20 career assists, Schmidt (60), Stockton (55), Matt Vidal (22) and Joe McNamara (21)… Four skaters in their careers have totaled at least 10 goals and 15 assists, Schmidt (52-60-112), Stockton (38-56-94), Sommer (14-19-33) and Youso (11-18-29)… Only three skaters on the active roster are awaiting the first goal of their career... The team finished undefeated in the state of New York (5-0-1).
GINN'S CAREER 2,699 LEADS ALL JUNIOR GOALIES: Junior goalie Matt Ginn now has 2,699 career saves, which lead all junior goalies in the country and are the eighth most career saves of any active goalie nationally in Division I. Ginn is the second Crusader in Division I history to reach 2,000 career saves and the first junior to reach this milestone.
SMITH LED DEFENSE IN POINTS: Freshman Logan Smith (Littleton, Colo.) finished the season leading all defensemen in point-scoring with 12 points. During the final game of the season, Smith tallied a second assist on the Crusaders' lone goal. Smith scored on Feb. 28 against Army for his fourth of the season, tied for the 10th most by a defenseman in a single season at Holy Cross. Smith posted an assist against SHU on Saturday, Jan. 8, a goal and an assist at RIT on Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 1. Smith netted his first career goal with a power play goal in the game against Sacred Heart on Nov. 1 and his first career point with an assist against Northeastern during the home-opener. Smith previously tallied assists against No. 9 Quinnipiac, Army and Niagara and a goal against Air Force. He has scored a defenseman-high four goals this season. This season, Smith had four goals and seven assists for 11 points in his 39 games played. Smith also started in 22 of his 39 games.
GUSTIN WITH CAREER-HIGH SEASON: Sophomore Sean Gustin (Stoneham, Mass.) had five goals and five assists for 10 points in the 33 games he played this season. Gustin went on a three-game point streak, putting up a goal and three assists for four points earlier this season. During the weekend series at RIT, Gustin tallied one point each night with a goal on Friday, Jan. 31 and an assist on Saturday, Feb. 1. Gustin tallied his first career multiple point game on Saturday, Jan. 25 with two assists. He tallied his first career game-winning goal against Niagara on Friday, Jan. 17. Gustin posted an assist against Mercyhurst on Jan. 11. He previously posted his first assist on Saturday, Dec. 7 against Air Force. He also scored the lone goal for the Crusaders on Nov. 23 against RMU for his third goal of the season. Gustin previously scored his first two of the season at Army and at Northeastern. Gustin has played in 38 career games with six goals and five assists for 11 points.
49 GAME-STREAK SETS SCHOOL RECORD: Matt Ginn played in 49 consecutive games, 20th on the NCAA Division I career list for consecutive games played by a goalie. His streak began on Dec. 30, 2012 against No. 15 and eventual national champion Yale, as the Crusaders won 5-4, and ended with a 4-2 loss on Feb. 7 at Sacred Heart. Ginn's streak is the longest in Division I history at the school. Ginn also made 18 consecutive appearances between the end of his freshman and beginning of his sophomore years which are tied for the third longest streak at the school.
BOLTON STRONG ON DEFENSE: Sophomore Jake Bolton had two goals and eight assists for 10 points, all career-highs for the defenseman, to accompany his team-second 64 blocked shots. Bolton had the second most points among defensemen this season. Bolton's eighth assist came during the regular season finale against Army on March 1. Bolton posted his seventh assist of the season with a second assist on Adam Schmidt's first goal of the night against SHU on Feb. 8. Bolton tallied an assist onLogan Smith's goal on Jan. 31 at RIT. He scored the Crusaders' second goal of the game on Friday, Jan. 17 at Niagara. Bolton led all defenders during the weekend series against Air Force with 15 of the team's 65 blocks. He tallied his fifth assist on the game-winning goal against No. 7 Boston College on Nov. 29. He also tallied an assist against Atlantic Hockey opponent Robert Morris on the game-winning goal on Friday, Nov. 22. Bolton tallied assists against Army, No. 9 Quinnipiac and tallied two points in game two of the Northeastern series. In his 73 career games played, Bolton has scored three times and tallied 14 assists for 17 points.
GINN BREAKS OWN RECORDS: Matt Ginn set three school records and broke into the top 10 list of every goalie record at the school and was named the team's Most Valuable Player for his sophomore season. His 19 victories in 2012-2013 are the second most in a season. He holds the record for playing the most games (35) both this past season and during the 2012-2013 season totaling the highest minutes in net this season (2118:04). This season on Sunday, March 9 Ginn broke his own record as he finished the game with 999 saves for this season, and finished the season with 1,076 becoming the first Holy Cross goalie to ever make more than 1,000 saves in a season. His 2,699 saves, 47 victories, 98 games played and 5879:30 minutes played are all the second most by Division I goaltenders for a career at the school. Ginn is one save away from tying Holy Cross' all-time career saves record and will set the record in six less games played.
BECKMAN FINISHES +11: Sophomore Karl Beckman finished this season +11, improving his career +/- to +13. Beckman posted four assists during his 18 games played this season. In his 54 career games played, Beckman has scored four times and tallied 18 assists for 22 points.
FRESHMAN CLASS SCORING: The freshman class features the second leading goal-scorer, and every freshman with a point has at least three, including a goal this season. The freshman class has a total of 27 goals which account for 28 percent of the team total. Mike Barrett finished second on the team with 12 goals scored and fourth on the team with 20 points. Barrett and Nick Finn (Canton, Mass.) are also the only two Crusaders to receive Atlantic Hockey weekly honors.
POWER PLAY POINTS FOR PINK: For the third straight season, every time the Holy Cross men's hockey team scored a power play goal in the Hart Center, money pledged will benefit PINK Revolution. The Crusadersscored 10 power play goals at home. On Saturday, Feb. 15, the Crusaders held their fifth annual "Pink the Rink." The team wore special edition pink and white jerseys to show its support for breast cancer awareness. The jerseys were auctioned off throughout the game with all proceeds going to Pink Revolution. The jerseys in the auction sold for more than $3,000. A ceremonial puck drop featured Nancy Vidal, the mother of sophomore Matt Vidal. Vidal and junior Tommy Dwyer presented a check for $5,000 to Pink Revolution from the Power Play Points for Pink organization. Breast cancer survivor Robin Batchelder performed the national anthem. Also a limited amount of special edition "Pink the Rink" t-shirts were sold, along with a chuck-a-puck competition and a 50/50 raffle. For more information and to donate go here: http://www.powerplaypointsforpink.com/.
HOLY CROSS WITH DEPTH: All 21 players on the roster who participated in more than 15 games during the season tallied at least two points. Each of the 21 players had an assist and 20 had more than one. Fourteen players on the team tallied 10 or more points during the season and four tallied 20. Seventeen players tallied at least five assists and four players posted double-digit assists. Ten players scored five or more goals.
REPPUCCI NOMINATED FOR NATIONAL AWARDS: Student assistant coach Jeffrey Reppucci has been named a finalist for two major national awards this season. He was named one of five finalists for the prestigious Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, an award given to a collegiate and a professional athlete who have made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others. Additionally, for the second year in a row, Reppucci is one of the five finalists for the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award and is the only repeat finalist. Reppucci is the Founder and President of the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Students Helping Children Across Borders (http://www.shcab.org/index.html). He is also the Founder and Executive Director of Working For Worcester (http://www.workingforworcester.com/).
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TEAM EARNING STARS: This season 14 players earned at least one "star of the game" headlined by Matt Ginn who tallied stars during eight occasions including two first stars, one second star and five third stars. Adam Schmidt led the team with three first-star games. The senior class received eight stars, the junior class earned 10, the sophomores tallied 10 and the freshmen were given six. Both goalies that played each earned at least one star, and Logan Smith was the only defenseman to have earned a star during the season.
HOLY CROSS HEAD COACH PAUL PEARL: Paul Pearl is concluded his 19th 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 297-293-69 (.503) record at Holy Cross over 18 years and has been the man behind the bench in nine of the 11 most successful seasons in Holy Cross history, while he has had four teams post 20-plus win seasons, including the first ever back-to-back 20-win seasons at the college. He has been named the Atlantic Hockey Coach of the Year twice (2004 and 2011). 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.
HC DEFEATED BOSTON COLLEGE: On Nov. 29, the Crusaders defeated No. 7 Boston College at Conte Forum by a 5-4 score. The Eagles are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation with a 24-4-3 overall record (15-1-1 Hockey East). The win over Boston College was the Crusaders' first victory over the Eagles as a varsity program as Boston College had won the previous eight meetings. BC is the sixth program that has won at least one NCAA national championship that the Crusaders defeated. The other five programs that have won at least one national title that Holy Cross has posted a win versus are Boston University, Maine, Minnesota, Rensselaer and Yale. The victory was Holy Cross' fifth win over a nationally ranked team in program history and the third versus a top-10 team. This was also the first ever win by an Atlantic Hockey team versus BC.
HC SET TO HOST 2016 NCAA REGIONAL: The College of the Holy Cross will play host to the 2016 NCAA Division I men's ice hockey Northeast Regional at the DCU Center in Worcester on March 25-26, 2016. Holy Cross, which hosted the Northeast Regional this season on March 29-30, 2014, previously held this event at the DCU Center in 2008, 2010 and 2012. The 2016 event will mark the 14th overall time that the regional will take place at the DCU Center. Ten of the 12 teams to win the regional in Worcester have gone on to play in the national championship game, with six of those teams winning the national title. The total of 45 NCAA regional hockey games which have been played at the DCU Center are currently the most in the 66 year history of the Division I men's ice hockey tournament. Boston College earned their fourth consecutive victory at the DCU center to advance to the Frozen Four.
PLAYING TOGETHER AGAIN: Prior to Holy Cross, eight Crusaders had already played seasons together. Sophomore defenseman Jake Bolton and sophomore forward Matt Vidal played together as a part of the EJHL Selects Team USA in Omsk, Russia during the summer of 2011 at the 2011 World Cup. Bolton also spent a season with the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs (EJHL) with fellow sophomore defenseman Ben Kaplan (Burlington, Vt.). Senior forwards Shayne Stockton and Mark Williamson (Centennial, Colo.) spent three seasons of junior hockey playing in Brockville, Ontario for the Brockville Braves (CJHL). In high school, Bolton played a season of varsity hockey at the Westminster School with freshman forward Nick Finn. Sophomores Joe McNamara and Sean Gustin played three years of hockey together at Belmont Hill.
HC PICKED EIGHTH IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross was picked eighth in the AHA Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Crusaders received 59 total points. Last year's regular season champion, Niagara, has been picked as this year's preseason favorite with a total of 102 points and three first place votes, followed by both Mercyhurst (four first place votes) and Air Force (two first place votes), tied at 98 points. After its first AHA Tournament championship title last year, Canisius received 92 points, with three first place votes. RIT was picked fifth (81 points), Connecticut sixth (79 points), Robert Morris seventh (66 points) and the Crusaders were picked eighth. Bentley received 53 points, in ninth place, Army 10th (28 points), AIC 11th (22 points) and Sacred Heart 12th (16 points).