Jan. 14, 2009
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
Teams: Holy Cross (8-11-2, 7-8-1 Atlantic Hockey) vs. Army (7-12-1, 6-7-1 Atlantic Hockey)
Dates: Jan. 17-18, 2009
Times: Jan. 17: 7:00 p.m.; Jan. 18: 4:00 p.m.
Place: Tate Rink (2,648), West Point, N.Y.
Television: Jan. 18-ESPNU; Dan Parkhurst & Ken Hodge, Jr.
Live Video Streaming: B2 Networks
Series Record: Army leads 26-18-6 (Varsity games since 1966)
Last Meeting: HC 1, Army 1 (OT) (2/9/08; West Point, N.Y.)
2007-2008 Series: Army won 2-1-1
THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (8-11-2 overall, 7-8-1 Atlantic Hockey) will play two games at Atlantic Hockey opponent Army (7-12-1 overall, 6-7-1 Atlantic Hockey) at Tate Rink in West Point, N.Y., on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 17-18. Saturday's game will be at 7:00 p.m., while Sunday's game will be shown live on ESPNU to a national audience at 4:00 p.m. Dan Parkhurst and Ken Hodge, Jr. will call the game. The Crusaders are currently on a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1), including three wins in a row, while the Black Knights have also won three consecutive games. This is also a key match up in the Atlantic Hockey standings as Holy Cross is tied for third place with 15 points, while Army is in fifth place with 13 points. Last year, the Black Knights won the season series, 2-1-1.
CRUSADERS ON FOUR-GAME UNBEATEN STREAK: Holy Cross is currently on a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1), as it has outscored its opponents by a 16-7 margin in these four contests. The Crusaders are averaging 4.0 goals scored per game and have only allowed 1.75 goals per contest during the streak. This is the longest streak for Holy Cross since last season when it had a six-game unbeaten streak (1-0-5). This current streak started with a 2-2 tie at No. 5 Denver at the Denver Cup. The Crusaders have then won three in a row with a 4-3 win over Rensselaer at the Denver Cup, and two 5-1 victories over league opponent American International. Over the last four games, sophomore Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) has scored four goals and over the last three games junior Rob Forshner (Sundre, Alberta) has three goals and two assists for five points.
HC ON ESPNU: For the fourth straight season, the Crusaders are on ESPNU. The game at Army on Jan. 18 will mark the fifth time a Crusader game has been on ESPNU. HC 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 5-2 loss at North Dakota in the NCAA Tournament on Mar. 25, 2006 and the 4-3 overtime victory over Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament on Mar. 24, 2006.
SEVENTH IN FEWEST PENALTY MINUTES: The Crusaders are seventh in the country and third in Atlantic Hockey in fewest penalty minutes per game with 12.6. 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.
THE SERIES WITH ARMY: This weekend's games will mark the 51st and 52nd meetings between these two teams in varsity games since 1966-1967. The Black Knights lead the series, 26-18-6, while the Crusaders are 4-3-3 against Army in the last 10 games between the two schools, but they are 0-2-3 in the last five games at Tate Rink. So far this season the Black Knights are 4-1-0 at Tate Rink. Last year, these two teams split a two-game series in Worcester, while Army went 1-0-1 in West Point to win the season series 2-1-1.
NEXT WEEK: Holy Cross will host Dartmouth of the ECACHL in the first-ever meeting between the two teams played in Worcester on Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 7:00 p.m. The Big Green lead the all-time series, 3-2-0, in varsity game since 1966.
EVENLY MATCHED TEAMS: Not only are there only two points that separate Holy Cross (15 points) and Army (13 points) in the Atlantic Hockey standings, these two teams also have very similar season statistics not to mention they have both won three straight games. The Crusaders have scored 2.7 goals per game and have allowed 3.3 goals per contest, while the Black Knights have netted 2.8 goals per game and have allowed 3.7 goals per contest. Both teams are very stingy in committing penalties as Holy Cross is only averaging 6.0 penalties per game and Army is only averaging 5.0.
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.
SHEEN PROVIDES OFFENSIVE SPARK: Sophomore Everett Sheen has scored four goals over the last four games as he is second on the team in goals with eight and is fourth on the team in points with 12. He 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 most recent goal came in the 5-1 win over AIC on Jan. 9 as he netted the first goal of the game. In 57 career games played, Sheen already has 23 goals and 13 assists for 36 points. In his freshman season last year, he led the team in goals with 15 as he played in all 36 games.
ON THE ROAD: The Crusaders are 2-6-1 on the road this season. Last year, Holy Cross went 5-9-4 in away games.
FORSHNER WITH 5 POINTS IN LAST 3 GAMES: Junior Rob Forshner has been a major contributor in Holy Cross' four-game unbeaten streak as he has three goals and two assists for five points over the last three games. In the 5-1 win on Jan. 10 over American International in West Springfield, Forshner had two assists including one on the eventual game-winner. In the 5-1 win over the Yellow Jackets on Jan. 9 in Worcester, he scored the eventual game-winner in the first period and netted Holy Cross' third goal of the contest in the second period. In the 4-3 win over Rensselaer in the Denver Cup on Jan. 3, he gave the Crusaders a 3-2 lead with a goal. So far this season, Forshner is tied for first on the team in assists with nine, while his 15 points are tied for second and his six goals are tied for third. In 86 career games, he has 16 goals and 34 assists for 50 points.
CYR LEADS TEAM IN POINTS & GOALS: Sophomore forward Jordan Cyr (Winnipeg, Manitoba) leads the team in goals with 10 and in points with 16, while his six 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 22nd 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.
DAMS & THOMSON REACH 100 CAREER GAMES: Senior Marty Dams has played in 108 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, has played in 101 career games as he has recorded 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points in his career.
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.
DAMS EARNS THIRD STRAIGHT WIN: Junior goalie Ian Dams (Manotick, Ontario) made 26 saves for a save percentage of .963 in the 5-1 win over American International on Jan. 10 at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield, Mass. He is now 3-1-0 on the season and has earned wins in his last three starts. Dams stopped 25 of 28 shots in the 4-3 win over Rensselaer on Jan. 3. He was also impressive in net in the 3-2 win over Bentley on Dec. 6, as he stopped 29 of 31 shots for a .935 save percentage. His 827 career saves are fifth on the Holy Cross all-time Division I list, while his 13 career victories are tied for fifth. This year, Dams has a 2.56 goals against average and a .912 save percentage in five games.
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.
FRESHMEN CONTRIBUTE RIGHT AWAY: The Crusaders have received major contributions from their freshman class this year which was best demonstrated in the two games against Bentley on Dec. 5-6, when eight of the 12 Holy Cross points and seven of the eight assists were recorded by freshmen. Jay Silvia (Burlington, Mass.), who was named the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week (Jan. 5) once this season, is tied for fourth on the team in assists with six, while he is tied for fifth in goals with four and in points with 10. Andrew Cox (Lombardy, Ontario) and Luke Miller (Andover, Mass.), who each scored their first collegiate goal in the 5-1 win over American International on Jan. 10, both have one goal and five assists for six points. Both of them also had two assists for three total points over the two-game series with the Yellow Jackets. Mike Daly (South Burlington, Vt.), Matt Clune (Toronto, Ontario) and Kyle Atkins (Brockville, Ontario) each have four points. Daly and Clune have two goals and two assists, while Atkins has four assists. Gianni Baldassari (Fort Wayne, Ind.) has three assists. Matthew Davis (Lancaster, N.Y.) has one assist.
MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Sophomore goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) has 1,203 career saves which are already second on Holy Cross' all-time Division I saves list. Also his 13 career victories are tied for fifth all-time on the Division I list. Most recently Roy earned the win in the 5-1 victory over American International on Jan. 9 as he made 17 saves. He 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 432 saves and has a 5-10-2 record.
CAPTAIN DRISCOLL: Junior co-captain Ryan Driscoll has three goals and seven assists for 10 points this year. He ranks third on the team in assists and is tied for fifth in points. In 90 career games, he has 15 goals and 29 assists for 44 points.
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.
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.
THE LAST MEETING: In the last two-game series between Holy Cross and Army, the Black Knights won 2-0 on Feb. 8 and the teams tied, 1-1, on Feb. 9. Both games were played in West Point. In the first game, the Black Knights took a 1-0 lead while on the power play when Bryce Hollweg knocked in a rebound at the 10:58 mark of the second period. At 1:14 into the third period, Army increased its lead to 2-0 when Jeff Fearing scored off a rebound for the final goal of the game. Goalie Adam Roy made 40 saves, while Josh Kassel stopped 29 shots for Army to earn the shutout. The Black Knights outshot the Crusaders by a 42-29 margin, while Holy Cross went 0-4 on the power play and Army went 1-7. In the second game, the Crusaders took a 1-0 lead at 14:43 into the first period when Brodie Sheahan blasted a slap shot into the net while on the power play. The Black Knights tied the game at 1-1 at 1:58 into the third period when Robb Ross scored a goal. The game remained tied through overtime for the 1-1 final score. Roy made 23 saves, while Kassel stopped 27 shots for Army. The Crusaders outshot the Black Knights by a 28-24 margin, while Holy Cross went 1-4 on the power play and Army went 0-4.
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 HC. On Jan. 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 209-198-45 (.512) record at Holy Cross and has been the man behind the bench in seven of the nine most successful seasons in school 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 Mar. 24, 2006. In 2005-06, Pearl led the Crusaders to a school single-season record 27 victories. HC also claimed the league regular season and tournament titles.
HOLY CROSS TO HOST 2010 NCAA REGIONAL: Holy Cross will once again host the NCAA Men's Hockey Division I Northeast Regional in 2010. The dates are Mar. 27-28 at the DCU Center in Worcester. Holy Cross held the event for the first time in school history in 2008.
HC SWEEPS AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL: Last week the Crusaders earned two 5-1 wins over American International to sweep the home-and-home series and also win the four-game season series, 3-1-0. In the first game on Jan. 9 in Worcester, junior Rob Forshner scored two goals including the game-winner. Sophomore Everett Sheen, junior Brodie Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alberta) and sophomore Jordan Cyr each scored goals. Sophomore goalie Adam Roy made 17 saves to improve to 5-10-2 on the year, while Dan Ramirez stopped 23 shots. Holy Cross outshot AIC, 28-18, while the Crusaders went 0-6 on the power play and the Yellow Jackets went 0-3. In the second game in West Springfield on Jan. 10, freshmen Andrew Cox and Luke Miller each scored their first collegiate goal. Sophomore Mark Znutas (Emerson, N.J.) and junior Peter Lorinser (Marquette, Mich.) both scored their second goal of the year, while sophomore J.P. Martignetti (Winchester, Mass.) netted his fourth goal of the season. Junior goalie Ian Dams made 26 saves to improve to 3-1-0 on the year, while Ramirez stopped 18 shots for the Yellow Jackets and is now 4-10-1. AIC outshot Holy Cross by a 27-23 margin, while the Crusaders went 1-4 on the power play and the Yellow Jackets went 1-6.
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 as he 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).
SCOUTING THE ROSTER BY CLASS: Holy Cross has four seniors, five juniors, eight sophomores and nine freshmen on this year's roster.