Jan. 29, 2009
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
Teams: Holy Cross (8-11-5, 7-8-3 Atlantic Hockey) vs. Connecticut (6-18-1, 5-11-1 Atlantic Hockey)
Dates: Jan. 30-31, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Mark E. Freitas Ice Forum (2,000), Storrs, Conn.
Holy Cross Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester, Mass.; Ryan Holt & Kevin Doyle, Listen to games
Live Video Streaming: B2 Networks
Series Record: Tied 42-42-2 (Varsity games since 1966-1967)
Last Meeting: UConn 4, HC 2 (March 1, 2008; Storrs, Conn.)
2007-2008 Series: UConn won 2-1-1
THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (8-11-5 overall, 7-8-3 Atlantic Hockey) will play a two-game series at Atlantic Hockey opponent Connecticut (6-18-1 overall, 5-11-1 Atlantic Hockey) at the Mark E. Freitas Ice Forum on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 30-31 at 7:00 p.m. in Storrs, Conn. The Crusaders are currently on a seven-game unbeaten streak (3-0-4), which is the fourth longest in the nation, while the Huskies just defeated American International, 3-1, on Jan. 27. The Crusaders are in fifth place in Atlantic Hockey with 17 points and UConn is in ninth with 11 points.
HC ON SEVEN-GAME UNBEATEN STREAK: Holy Cross is currently on a seven-game unbeaten streak (3-0-4), which is the fourth longest in the nation, as it has outscored its opponents by a 25-16 margin in these seven contests. The Crusaders are averaging 3.6 goals scored per game and have only allowed 2.3 goals per contest during the streak. 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. Holy Cross has then tied three games in a row with two at Army, 3-3 and 4-4, and a 2-2 tie with No. 18 Dartmouth. This is Holy Cross' longest unbeaten streak since an eight-game streak (8-0-0) between Jan. 19-Feb. 10, 2006. The longest in school history is 10 games (10-0-0) between Dec. 8, 1979-Jan. 16, 1980. Here is a list of the longest unbeaten streaks in school history.
Rank Streak Dates 1 10 games (10-0-0) Dec. 8, 1979-Jan. 16, 1980 2 9 games (9-0-0) Jan. 16, 1999-Feb. 13, 1999 3 8 games (8-0-0) Jan. 19, 2006-Feb. 10, 2006 8 games (7-0-1) Feb. 20, 1999-Mar. 20, 1999 8 games (7-0-1) Feb. 20, 1993-Nov. 27, 1993 8 games (6-0-2) Nov. 26, 1982-Jan. 4, 1983 8 games (8-0-0) Feb. 23, 1976-Dec. 8, 1976
ON THE ROAD: The Crusaders are 2-6-3 on the road this season. Last year, Holy Cross went 5-9-4 in away games.
TEAM EFFORT: This recent success during the seven-game unbeaten streak has been a team effort as 13 different players have scored at least one goal over these seven games. Holy Cross' last 10 goals have been scored by 10 different players.
SIXTH IN FEWEST PENALTY MINUTES: The Crusaders are sixth in the country and third in Atlantic Hockey in fewest penalty minutes per game with 12.6. 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 UCONN: These two games with be the 87th and 88th meetings between these two teams in varsity games since the 1966-1967 season. The series is tied at 42-42-2. Holy Cross is 4-5-1 in the last 10 games against UConn and 2-3-0 in the last five games in Storrs, Conn. Connecticut took the series last year, 2-1-1.
SHEEN PROVIDES OFFENSIVE SPARK: Sophomore Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) has recorded five goals and two assists for seven points over the last seven 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 60 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.
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.
CYR LEADS TEAM IN POINTS & GOALS: Sophomore forward Jordan Cyr (Winnipeg, Manitoba) has five goals and three assists for eight points in the last eight games, as for the year he leads the team in goals with 11 and in points with 18, while his seven 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 10th in the league and is tied for 28th 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 eight assists for 12 points this year. He is third on the team in assists and is fifth in points. In 93 career games, he has 16 goals and 30 assists for 46 points.
FORSHNER WITH 4 GOALS & 3 ASSISTS IN 6 GAMES: Junior Rob Forshner (Sundre, Alberta) has been a major contributor in Holy Cross' seven-game unbeaten streak as he has four goals and three assists for seven points over the last six games. Most recently he assisted on the goal that tied the game at 2-2 in the 2-2 tie with No. 18 Dartmouth on Jan. 21. 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 tied for first on the team in assists with 10, while he is second on the team in points with 17 and his seven goals are third. In 89 career games, he has 17 goals and 35 assists for 52 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, while he is sixth in points with 11 and is tied for sixth in assists with six. 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 eight points. Miller has two goals and six assists, while Cox has one goal and seven assists. Over the last six games, Miller has two goals and four assists for six points, while over the last five games, Cox has one goal and four assists for five points. 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 111 career games which are the most by any current Crusader. He has four goals and 16 assists for 20 points in his career, including two goals and one assist for three points this year. Most recently he tied the game at 1-1 in the 2-2 tie against No. 18 Dartmouth on Jan. 21. 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 eight 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 48 career games.
HC AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: This season the Crusaders have played one of their toughest schedules ever as they have played six times against ranked opponents. Despite its 0-4-2 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, a 2-2 tie at No. 5 Denver and a 2-2 tie with No. 18 Dartmouth. 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 1,256 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 his last four starts this year, he has gone 1-0-3 with a 1.88 goals against average and a .929 save percentage as he has made 105 saves and has only allowed eight goals. Most recently he made 30 saves in the 2-2 tie with No. 18 Dartmouth on Jan. 21. 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 485 saves and has a 5-10-4 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 209-198-48 (.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, seven sophomores and nine freshmen on this year's roster.
NEXT WEEK: The Crusaders will return to action when they meet Atlantic Hockey opponent Bentley in a 7:00 p.m. home-and-home series on Feb. 6-7. On Feb. 6, the Crusaders will host the game, while the contest on Feb. 7 will take place in Watertown, Mass., at the John A. Ryan Arena. This year's series is tied at 1-1-0 as each team won at home earlier this season. Holy Cross lost on Dec. 5 by a score of 4-1, while it won on Dec. 6 by a score of 3-2.