Jan. 8, 2009
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
Teams: Holy Cross (6-11-2, 5-8-1 Atlantic Hockey) vs. AIC (4-14-1, 4-9-0 Atlantic Hockey)
Dates: Jan. 9-10, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Friday-Hart Center (1,600), Worcester, Mass.
Saturday-Olympia Ice Center (2,200), West Springfield, Mass.
Holy Cross Radio: Friday-WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester, Mass.; Ryan Holt, Listen to game
Live Video Streaming: B2 Networks
Series Record: Holy Cross leads 34-18-6
Last Meeting: HC 3, AIC 0 (11/22/08; Worcester, Mass.)
2008-2009 Series: Tied 1-1-0
THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (6-11-2 overall, 5-8-1 Atlantic Hockey) will take on Atlantic Hockey opponent American International (4-14-1 overall, 4-9-0 Atlantic Hockey) in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 9-10, at 7:00 p.m. Friday's game will be in Worcester, while the second game of the series will be at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield. These two teams split a home-and-home series earlier in the season as each team won on its home ice. Last week, the Crusaders had a 2-2 tie at No. 5 Denver and a 4-3 win over Rensselaer, while the Yellow Jackets had a 5-2 loss and a 1-1 tie at Robert Morris. The Crusaders are tied for sixth place in the Atlantic Hockey standings with 11 points, while the Yellow Jackets are in ninth place with eight points.
SEVENTH IN FEWEST PENALTY MINUTES: The Crusaders are seventh in the country and third in Atlantic Hockey in fewest penalty minutes per game with 12.9. Last year, the Crusaders won the Atlantic Hockey Sportsmanship Award as they led the league and were fourth in the nation in fewest penalty minutes per game with 11.1.
SILVIA NAMED ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Freshman Jay Silvia (Burlington, Mass.) was named the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week for his performance at the Denver Cup on Jan. 2-3 where he had two assists. This is the first time that Silvia has received this honor. In the 2-2 tie with No. 5 Denver, Silvia assisted on the goal that tied the game at 2-2 in the third period, while in the 4-3 win over Rensselaer he assisted on Holy Cross' first of four straight goals after trailing 2-0 after the first period. For the year, Silvia has four goals and five assists for nine points. He is tied for fourth on the team in goals and assists, while he is tied for fifth in points.
NEXT WEEK: Holy Cross will play at Atlantic Hockey opponent Army on Jan. 17-18. Sunday's game will be shown live on ESPNU at 4:00 p.m. The Crusaders went 1-2-1 against the Black Knights last year.
CELIN MAKES SUCCESSFUL MOVE TO FORWARD: Sophomore Matt Celin (Gibsonia, Pa.), who played his first 40 collegiate games as a defender, has recorded three goals and two assists in five straight games as a forward, including scoring three of the four Holy Cross goals in the two games against Bentley. After scoring one goal in his debut as a forward on Dec. 5, Celin scored two goals in the 3-2 win on Dec. 6, including the game-winner. He also had one assist at No. 15 New Hampshire on Dec. 11 and one assist in the 4-3 win over Rensselaer on Jan. 3. For the year, Celin has three goals and three assists for six points, including one assist as a defender, while he has four goals and four assists for eight points in 45 career games.
HOME ICE: The Crusaders are 4-5-1 at home so far this season, while last season they went 5-10-2. Holy Cross has a 291-180-27 (.611) all-time record at the Hart Center, including a 16-7-4 record against AIC.
ON THE ROAD: The Crusaders are 1-6-1 on the road this season. Last year, Holy Cross went 5-9-4 in away games.
DAMS & THOMSON REACH 100 CAREER GAMES: Senior Marty Dams (Manotick, Ontario) has played in 106 career games which are the most by any current Crusader. He has three goals and 16 assists for 19 points in his career. Senior Dewey Thomson (Northbridge, Mass.), who recently was named one of 20 candidates for the 2008-2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award as college hockey's outstanding NCAA Division I senior student-athlete for the men's hockey division, just reached 100 career games as he has recorded 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points in his career.
SHEEN SHINES AT DENVER CUP: Sophomore Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) scored three goals at the Denver Cup and was selected to the all-tournament team. In Holy Cross' 2-2 tie with No. 5 Denver on Jan. 2, he scored both goals as he tied the game at 1-1 in the second period and then tied it at 2-2 in the third period. With the Pioneers up 2-0 in the shootout, Sheen came up huge again and kept the Crusaders in the shootout with a highlight reel goal as he spun around with the puck and then backhanded it into the net. In the 4-3 win over Rensselaer on Jan. 3, Sheen scored his third goal in two games when he tied the game at 2-2 with just six seconds left in the second period. His seven goals are second on the team, while his 11 points are tied for third. In 55 career games played, Sheen already has 22 goals and 13 assists for 35 points. In his freshman season last year, he led the team in goals with 15 as he played in all 36 games.
DAMS EARNS WIN VERSUS RPI: Junior goalie Ian Dams (Manotick, Ontario) stopped 25 of 28 shots in the 4-3 win over Rensselaer on Jan. 3 to improve to 2-1-0 on the year. He was also impressive in net in the 3-2 win over Bentley on Dec. 6. In his second start of the season, Dams stopped 29 of 31 shots for a .935 save percentage. His 801 career saves are fifth on the Holy Cross all-time Division I list, while his 12 career victories are tied for fifth.
HC ON B2 NETWORKS: All of Holy Cross' home games and Atlantic Hockey away games can be seen via live video streaming through B2 Networks.
HC TO BE ON ESPNU: For the fourth straight season, the Crusaders will be on ESPNU. Holy Cross' game at Army on Jan. 18 will mark the fifth time a Crusader game has been on ESPNU. Holy Cross is 2-2-0 in these games. The previous four times were the 3-1 win over Army at the Hart Center on Nov. 4, 2007, the 7-0 loss at Quinnipiac on Jan. 28, 2007, the 4-3 overtime victory over Minnesota in the first round of the NCAA West Regional Semifinals on Mar. 24, 2006 and the 5-2 loss at North Dakota in the NCAA West Regional Finals on Mar. 25, 2006.
NOTES FROM DENVER CUP: Everett Sheen was selected to the all-tournament team at the Denver Cup for his three goals in two games and for his shootout goal against No. 5 Denver. With the 4-3 win over Rensselaer in the third-place game on Jan. 3, Holy Cross has now won three in a row over RPI, including two wins in the 2005-2006 season. The Engineers lead the all-time series, 4-3. The Crusaders are now 4-4-0 in their last eight games against teams from the ECACHL. With the 2-2 tie with No. 5 Denver on Jan. 2, Holy Cross is now 1-1-1 in its last three games against teams from the WCHA, including a 5-2 loss at North Dakota in the 2006 NCAA West Regional Finals and a 4-3 overtime win over Minnesota in the 2006 NCAA West Regional Semifinals. Holy Cross held the second best scoring offense in the nation to two goals as Denver entered the contest averaging 3.89 goals per game. The Crusaders now have a 56-51-3 all-time record in 59 regular season tournaments. Holy Cross did not give up a power play goal in the two games as No. 5 Denver went 0-7 and Rensselaer went 0-3. With the win over RPI, the Crusaders are now 3-2-1 in their last six games on neutral ice.
CYR LEADS TEAM IN GOALS: Sophomore forward Jordan Cyr (Winnipeg, Manitoba) leads the team in goals with nine, while his 14 points are tied for second and his five assists are tied for fourth. He was named the Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week for his four-goal performance in the two-game series against Mercyhurst. Cyr is tied for seventh in the league and is tied for 23rd in the country in goals per game with 0.50. In Holy Cross' three games against Hockey East teams this year, he has three goals and three assists for six points, with one assist against Providence, one goal and one assist at No. 8 Boston University and two goals and one assist at No. 15 New Hampshire. Cyr, who transferred from RPI, is in his first season.
HC AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: This season the Crusaders have played one of their toughest schedules ever as they have played five times against ranked opponents. Despite its 0-4-1 record in those games, Holy Cross has challenged some of the best teams in the nation including a 1-0 overtime loss to No. 13 Air Force, a 3-2 loss at No. 8 Boston University and a 2-2 tie at No. 5 Denver. Also the Crusaders were tied with No. 15 New Hampshire, 4-4, going into the third period before falling, 9-4.
MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Sophomore goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) has 1,186 career saves which are already second on Holy Cross' all-time Division I saves list. Also his 12 career victories are tied for fifth all-time on the Division I list. Roy stopped 35 of 37 shots in the 2-2 tie at No. 5 Denver on Jan. 2. Roy was a major factor in Holy Cross holding the second best scoring offense in the nation to two goals as Denver entered the contest averaging 3.89 goals per game. In the first period, Roy made 21 saves, while he then made four saves in the second, five in the third and five in overtime. Roy recorded his first collegiate shutout as he made 17 saves in the 3-0 victory over AIC on Nov. 22. Last year, he set a Holy Cross freshman record for most saves in a single-season with 771 and is ranked second on the school's Division I all-time single-season saves list. This year, he has made 415 saves and has a 4-10-2 record.
HC PICKED SIXTH IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross was picked to finish sixth in the Atlantic Hockey Association Preseason Coaches Poll. The Crusaders received 38 total points. Last season's tournament champion Air Force was picked as this year's preseason favorite with 79 points and seven first place votes, followed by last season's tournament finalist Mercyhurst with 70 points and one first place vote. RIT was picked third with 68 points and two first place votes, Sacred Heart was fourth with 55 points and last year's regular season champion Army was fifth with 40 points. Following Holy Cross, Canisius (34 points), Connecticut (29 points), Bentley (26 points) and AIC (11 points) were picked in positions seven through 10 by the league's head coaches.
HOLY CROSS HEAD COACH PAUL PEARL: Paul Pearl is in his 14th 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 207-198-45 (.510) 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 10 post-season appearances in 11 years, Pearl led the Crusaders to their first two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2004 and 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 2005-06, Pearl led the Crusaders to a school single-season record 27 victories. HC also claimed the AHA regular season and tournament titles.
CRUSADERS IN THE PROS: Former Holy Cross hockey player Patrick Rissmiller is in his first year with the New York Rangers and has appeared in two games and is currently with the Rangers' AHL affiliate in Hartford, Conn. He played in 180 NHL games with the San Jose Sharks from 2004-2008. He had 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points. After being recalled from the Cleveland Barons on March 15, 2006, Rissmiller went on to tally five goals and four assists in 29 games, including two goals and an assist in the playoffs. In 2007-2008, Rissmiller recorded eight goals and nine assists for 17 points in 79 games. In the 2006-2007 season, Rissmiller scored seven goals and had 15 assists for a career-best 22 points. He has played in 30 career NHL playoff games with three goals and four assists for seven points. Other former Crusaders playing professional hockey are James Sixsmith (Bridgeport Sound Tigers, AHL), Jon Landry (Johnstown Chiefs, ECHL), Dale Reinhardt (Bakersfield Condors, ECHL) and Matt Burke (Phoenix RoadRunners, ECHL).