Jan. 20, 2009
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
Teams: Holy Cross (8-11-4, 7-8-3 Atlantic Hockey) vs. #18 Dartmouth (10-7-0, 7-4-0 ECACHL)
Date: Jan. 21, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (1,600), Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester, Mass.; Ryan Holt, Listen to game
Live Video Streaming: B2 Networks
Series Record: Dartmouth leads 3-2-0
Last Meeting: Dartmouth 4, HC 0 (Jan. 16, 2007; Hanover, N.H.)
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (8-11-4 overall, 7-8-3 Atlantic Hockey) will host No. 18 Dartmouth (10-7-0 overall, 7-4-0 ECACHL) at the Hart Center in non-conference action on Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 7:00 p.m. This game will be the 500th Crusader men's hockey game played at the Hart Center as this will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools in Worcester. All five previous match ups have been in Hanover, N.H. The Crusaders are currently on a six-game unbeaten streak (3-0-3), while Dartmouth is 2-3-0 in its last five contests. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 nationally in fewest penalty minutes per game as HC is ranked sixth and the Big Green are ranked eighth. The Crusaders are tied for third place in Atlantic Hockey and Dartmouth is tied for third place in the ECACHL.
HC ON SIX-GAME UNBEATEN STREAK: Holy Cross is currently on a six-game unbeaten streak (3-0-3), which is tied for the sixth longest in the country, as it has outscored its opponents by a 23-14 margin in these six contests. The Crusaders are averaging 3.8 goals scored per game and have only allowed 2.3 goals per contest during the streak. This ties last season's six-game unbeaten streak (1-0-5). HC also had a six-game unbeaten streak (6-0-0) between Mar. 3-24, 2006. This is the longest unbeaten streak since an eight-game streak (8-0-0) between Jan. 19-Feb. 10, 2006. This current streak started with a 2-2 tie at No. 5 Denver at the Denver Cup. The Crusaders 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. Last week HC tied Army, 3-3 and 4-4. Freshman Andrew Cox (Lombardy, Ontario) has recorded at least one point in the last four contests with one goal and four assists for five points. Over the last six games, junior Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) has five goals and two assists for seven points. Freshman Luke Miller (Andover, Mass.) has at least one point in the last five games with two goals and four assists for six points. Junior Rob Forshner (Sundre, Alberta) has four goals and two assists for six points over the last five games. This success has been a team effort as 12 different players have scored at least one goal over these six 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 and will play their sixth game against a ranked team when they play No. 18 Dartmouth on Jan. 21. 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.
HOME ICE: The Crusaders are 5-5-1 at home so far this season, while last season they went 5-10-2. Tonight's game will be 500th played at the Hart Center as Holy Cross has a 292-180-27 (.612) all-time record in the building since it started playing there in 1975-1976.
SIXTH IN FEWEST PENALTY MINUTES: The Crusaders are sixth in the country and third in Atlantic Hockey in fewest penalty minutes per game with 12.4. 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.
VERSUS ECACHL: Holy Cross is 4-4-0 in its last eight games against ECACHL opponents, including a 4-3 win over Rensselaer on Jan. 3 at the Denver Cup as the Crusaders have won three straight over the Engineers. Last year, the Crusaders fell to Quinnipiac, while two years ago they fell at Yale, at Dartmouth and at Quinnipiac. In the 2005-2006 season, Holy Cross went a perfect 3-0-0 with two wins over Rensselaer and a victory over Dartmouth. The Crusaders have an all-time record of 19-44-4 against teams currently in the ECACHL (2-3-0 against Brown, 0-5-0 vs. Colgate, 2-3-0 against Dartmouth, 0-4-0 vs. Princeton, 5-17-3 against Quinnipiac, 3-4-0 vs. Rensselaer, 0-1-0 against St. Lawrence, 7-5-1 vs. Union and 0-2-0 against Yale).
THE SERIES WITH THE BIG GREEN: This will be the sixth match up between these two programs and the first in Worcester as all of the previous games have taken place in Hanover. Dartmouth leads the all-time series with Holy Cross, 3-2-0, including a 4-0 win over the Crusaders on Jan. 16, 2007. The Crusaders defeated the Big Green by a score of 3-2 on Jan. 21, 2006 as Dartmouth had won two in a row prior, while Holy Cross won the first ever game in the series, 5-2 on Dec. 30, 1986, at Dartmouth's Auld Lang Syne Classic.
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.
DAMS EXTENDS UNBEATEN STREAK TO FOUR: Junior goalie Ian Dams (Manotick, Ontario) is 3-0-1 in his last four starts. Most recently he made 35 saves in the 4-4 tie at Army on Jan. 18. He made five saves in the first period, 12 in the second, 15 in the third and three in overtime. Dams 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 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 862 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 2.79 goals against average and a .909 save percentage in six games.
SHEEN PROVIDES OFFENSIVE SPARK: Sophomore Everett Sheen has recorded five goals and two assists for seven points over the last six games as he is second on the team in goals with nine, fourth in points with 15 and is tied for sixth in assists with six. 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. He then scored in the 5-1 win over AIC on Jan. 9 as he netted the first goal of the game. In the 3-3 tie at Army on Jan. 17, he scored Holy Cross' second goal of the contest to give the Crusaders a 2-1 lead in the first period, while in the 4-4 tie on Jan. 18, he had two assists. In 59 career games played, Sheen already has 24 goals and 15 assists for 39 points. In his freshman season last year, he led the team in goals with 15 as he played in all 36 games.
CYR LEADS TEAM IN POINTS & GOALS: Sophomore forward Jordan Cyr (Winnipeg, Manitoba) leads the team in goals with 10 and in points with 17, while his seven assists are tied for third. He was named the Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week for his four-goal performance in the two-game series against Mercyhurst. Cyr is 10th in the league and is tied for 39th in the country in goals per game. He leads the team in game-winning goals with two. 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.
CAPTAIN DRISCOLL: Junior co-captain Ryan Driscoll has four goals and seven assists for 11 points this year. He is tied for third on the team in assists and is tied for fifth in points. In 92 career games, he has 16 goals and 29 assists for 45 points.
FORSHNER WITH 6 POINTS IN LAST 5 GAMES: Junior Rob Forshner has been a major contributor in Holy Cross' six-game unbeaten streak as he has four goals and two assists for six points over the last five games. In the 3-3 tie at Army on Jan. 17, he scored the first goal of the game, while 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 second on the team in assists with nine, while he is tied for second on the team in points with 16 and his seven goals are third. In 88 career games, he has 17 goals and 34 assists for 51 points.
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 once this season, is tied for fifth on the team in goals with five and in points with 11, while he is tied for sixth in assists with six. Andrew Cox and Luke Miller who each scored their first collegiate goal in the 5-1 win over American International on Jan. 10, both have eight points. Miller has two goals and six assists, while Cox has one goal and seven assists. Mike Daly (South Burlington, Vt.), Matt Clune (Toronto, Ontario), Gianni Baldassari (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Kyle Atkins (Brockville, Ontario) each have four points. Daly and Clune have two goals and two assists, while Baldassari has one goal and three assists and Atkins has four assists. Matthew Davis (Lancaster, N.Y.) has two assists.
DAMS & THOMSON REACH 100 CAREER GAMES: Senior Marty Dams has played in 110 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 102 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 three assists in seven 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, one assist in the 4-3 win over Rensselaer on Jan. 3 and one assist in the 3-3 tie at Army on Jan. 17. For the year, Celin has three goals and four assists for seven points, including one assist as a defender, while he has four goals and five assists for nine points in 47 career games.
MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Sophomore goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) has 1,226 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. In the 3-3 tie at Army on Jan. 17 he made 23 saves. 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 455 saves and has a 5-10-3 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 hockey coach 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. He has forged a 209-198-47 (.512) record at HC 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, he led the team to a school record 27 victories. HC also claimed the league 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 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 (Syracuse Crunch, AHL), Dale Reinhardt (Bakersfield Condors, ECHL) and Matt Burke (Phoenix RoadRunners, ECHL)
HOLY CROSS TO HOST 2010 NCAA REGIONAL: Holy Cross will host the NCAA Men's Hockey Division I Northeast Regional in 2010. The dates are Mar. 27-28 at the DCU Center in Worcester. HC held the event for the first time in 2008.
HC ON ESPNU: For the fourth straight season, the Crusaders were on ESPNU. HC is 2-2-1 in these games, including the 4-4 tie at Army on Jan. 18. 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.
SCOUTING THE ROSTER BY CLASS: HC has four seniors, five juniors, eight sophomores and nine freshmen on this year's roster.
NEXT WEEK: The Crusaders will return to action when they travel to Storrs, Conn., to meet Atlantic Hockey opponent Connecticut for two games on Jan. 30-31.