January 27, 2005

Holy Cross Defends Top Spot In League

Jan. 27, 2005

Worcester, Mass. -

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Friday's game marks the 26th meeting between Holy Cross and Canisius. The Crusaders hold a 14-5-6 all-time record against the Golden Griffins, dating back to Nov. 1, 1986, when they defeated Canisius, 3-1, at the Potsdam Tournament. In the last contest between the two teams, the Crusaders posted four unanswered goals after being down 2-0, to soar over the Golden Griffins, 4-2, on Saturday, Jan. 15. Entering the game, the Golden Griffins sit at second in league with a record of 8-4-2 and are 10-11-3 overall. The Crusaders, who are 11-7-4 overall, are riding atop of Atlantic Hockey with a conference record of 8-3-3. Last weekend Holy Cross had its four-game win-streak snapped when it was defeated by Quinnipiac, 4-2, at the Northford Ice Pavilion. Despite the loss, Holy Cross is still on an impressive run, going 8-2-1 in its last 11 games, including a win over Union, which started Holy Cross' hot-streak. In conference action, the Crusaders are 7-1-2 in its last 10 league games.

Holy Cross to play at FleetCenter
The Crusaders will play one game at the FleetCenter in Boston, Mass., on Feb. 12 against Atlantic Hockey rival Quinnipiac at 5 p.m., as part of a conference doubleheader. Connecticut and Bentley will square-off following the Holy Cross-Quinnipiac game at 8 p.m. Holy Cross changed its home game that was scheduled for Friday, Jan. 21 against Quinnipiac to Saturday, Feb. 12 at the FleetCenter. The Crusaders' road contest on Saturday, Feb. 12 at Sacred Heart has been moved to Friday, Feb. 18. The games will mark the first time that the FleetCenter will host a non-tournament college hockey event.

Tracking the Stats
Of the Crusaders 61 goals this season, 27 have come on the power play, as Holy Cross is converting 18.6 percent of their man-up opportunities, good enough for first place in Atlantic Hockey. Holy Cross is tops in league games averaging 36.50 shots per contest. The Crusaders also average the fewest penalty minutes per game (14.00).

Player Notes
•Junior assistant captain Pierre Napert-Frenette (Bathurst, N.B.) is tied for second in the league and leads the team with 22 points, including eight tallies and 14 helpers. Napert-Frenette is one of two players in Atlantic Hockey to net a hat trick, which he scored versus Air Force on Saturday, Oct. 30.
•Sophomore James Sixsmith (Alexandria, Va.) is fourth in in Atlantic Hockey with 21 points. Sixsmith leads the team and is tied for first in the league with 16 assists.
•Junior Tyler McGregor (Ajax, Ont.) leads the team and is second in the conference with 12 goals. McGregor is on a seven-game point streak dating back to Dec. 30 when the Crusaders defeated UConn, 6-3. •Freshman Brian Gabriel (Kenai, Alaska) and McGregor are the only Crusaders to net short-handed goals this season. It was Gabriel's first collegieate-goal.

In the Crease
The Crusaders' duo of junior netminders Tony Quesada (South Freeport, Maine) and Ben Conway (South Hadley, Mass.) are ranked second and third in the league with 2.43 and 2.66 goals against average. In his last five starts, Quesada is 3-1-1, to be fourth in Atlantic Hockey, posting a .916 save percentage, while Conway is 4-1-0 in his last five games, to sit seventh in the league with a .907 save percentage.

Come-From-Behind Victories
In four of their last five games the Crusaders have posted come-from-behind wins to earn a total of eight league points to help the team climb to first place in the league standings. Six of Holy Cross' 11 victories this season have come when the opponent has scored first.

Last Outting: Holy Cross 4, Canisius 2
After trailing 2-0 midway through the second, Holy Cross responded with four unanswered-markers, including three power play goals, to defeat Canisius, 4-2, on Saturday, Jan. 15, at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. Less than a minute after the Golden Griffins put the score at 2-0, the Crusaders put a tally on the board when sophomore James Sixsmith found the back of the net on a man-up opportunity, with help from freshmen Dale Reinhardt and Matt Burke. Senior Jonas Tomiuck evened the score at two-all early in the third period at 2:02. Freshman Cal St. Denis and junior Marc Bianchi assisted on the power play goal. Late in third stanza Reinhardt posted the game-winner, with help from Sixsmith at 14:38. Junior Tyler McGregor added an insurance, power play goal with 23 second remaining in the game, with help from linemates junior assistant captain Pierre Napert-Frenette and senior captain Andrew McKay. Netminder Ben Conway made 15 saves and allowed only two goals for the win.

McGregor Makes it Happen
Junior Tyler McGregor (Ajax, Ont.) scored his first-collegiate penalty shot on Dec. 8 when the Crusaders hosted Quinnipiac. At 8:50 in the second period, McGregor took the puck from center ice and deked to his backhand, sneaking it past the Bobcat's netminder Jamie Holden, to tie the game, 2-2.

Atlantic Hockey Standings
Despite falling to Quinnipiac, 4-2, on Saturday, Jan. 22, the Crusaders still remain in first place in the Atlantic Hockey standings. The Crusaders will look to defend their top spot as they host second place Canisius, Friday-Saturday, Jan. 28-29 at the Hart Center.

Points in the Polls
Holy Cross is the only team in Atlantic Hockey to receive any votes in the national polls this week. The Crusaders received one vote in the USA Today/AHM Poll released on Jan. 24. Holy Cross received one vote in both of the national college hockey polls issued Jan. 17, including USCHO.com and the USA Today/AHM Polls. Last week was the first time the Crusaders have received any votes in the USCHO.com Poll during the 2004-05 season. In the Jan. 3 USA Today/AHM Poll, Holy Cross received three votes.

The Freshman on Fire
Newcomer Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) has been the Crusaders hottest rookie this season. The forward leads the freshman class in goals, assists and points (5-6--11). Reinhardt was named Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the week for Jan. 10 and is the first Holy Cross freshman to receive the honor this season. Reinhardt collected four-points in a four-point week for the Crusaders as he put the team on the board, tying the game, in the 3-1 victory over AIC on Jan. 7, he also registered an assist on the game-winner, for a two-point night. In the 3-2 overtime victory against Sacred Heart on Jan. 4, Reinhardt assisted in the first goal and the game-tying goal, after being down 2-0. When the Crusaders last met the Golden Griffin, Reinhardt registerd the game-winner, for his fifth goal of the season.

INCH First-Half All-Atlantic Hockey Team
The Crusaders' assistant captains, senior defenseman Tony Coskren (Walpole, Mass.) and junior forward Pierre Napert-Frenette (Bathurst, N.B.), were named to the INCH First Half All-Atlantic Hockey Team. Coskren is ranked third in the conference with nine assists and leads all league blue liners with 12 points. Napert-Frenette tallied 14 points in the first-half of the season. Also joining Coskren and Napert-Frenette was Quinnipiac's Reid Cashman and Matt Craig, Pierre-Luc O'Brien from Sacred Heart and netminder Bryan Worosz from Canisius.

A Hockey Family
Not only does freshman Chris Trovato (North Attleboro, Mass.) play division one hockey, but his older brother, Peter, is a senior at the University of Massachusetts, where is he is a member of the Minutemen hockey program. Chris registered his first collegiate-goal on Saturday, Jan. 22 against Quinnipiac.

Not Just Hockey
Sophomore Tanner Fogarty (McMurray, Pa.) is one of three students at Holy Cross who are two-sport athletes. During the spring season, Fogarty is a member of the men's lacrosse team under the direction of Adam Pascal. Last season the midfielder saw action in seven games, posting an assist and picking up 15 ground balls. So far this season on the ice, Fogarty has posted a goal and added three helpers.

Oh Captain! My Captain!
Holy Cross is led by senior captain Andrew McKay (Bellefeuille, Que.), has tallied 16 points this season, including 11 helpers. Backing up McKay is senior assistant captain Tony Coskren (Walpole, Mass.) and junior assistant captain Pierre Napert-Frenette (Bathurst, N.B.). Coskren ranks fourth in the league for blue liners with 12 points, including three goals and nine assists. Napert-Frenette is tied for second in Atlantic Hockey with 22 points.

Numbers for the Newcomers
So far this season seven of the 11 newcomers to the Holy Cross squad have posted their first collegiate-points. Forward Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) leads the freshman class with 11 points, including six helpers. Matt Burke (Milton, Mass.) is right behind Reinhardt with three goals and four assists. Cal St. Denis (Freelton, Ont.) netted his first career-goal in the Crusaders 3-1 loss to Providence on Saturday, Nov. 27. He now has four points, including three helpers. Classmate Matt Werry (Regina, Sask.) posted his first collegiate-goal in the Crusaders come-from-behind victory over Mercyhurst, Jan. 14. He now has three points, including two assists. Brian Kolb (Sandwich, Mass.) was awarded his first collegiate-goal in the 6-3 victory over Connecticut on Thursday, Dec. 30. Brian Gabriel (Kenai, Alaska) scored his first collegiate-goal in style when he nettted a short-hander in the 3-1 victory over AIC, Jan. 7. Most recently Chris Trovato (North Attleboro, Mass.) posted his first career-goal on Jan. 22 at Quinnipiac.

2004-05 Conference Honorees
Nov. 1, Pierre Napert-Frenette, Player of the Week
Nov. 8, Tony Coskren, Player of the Week
Nov. 29, Ben Conway, Goaltender of the Week
Jan. 3, Tyler McGregor, Player of the Week
Jan. 3, Tony Quesada, Goaltender of the Week
Jan. 10, Dale Reinhardt, Rookie of the Week
Jan. 17, Tyler McGregor, Player of the Week