February 2, 2006

Crusaders To Face Bentley In Home-And-Home Series

Feb. 2, 2006

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:

The Teams: Holy Cross (17-6-1, 13-4-1 AHA) vs. Bentley (9-10-4, 7-6-4 AHA)

Date: February 3-4

Time: Friday-7:30 p.m. Saturday-7:00 p.m.

Place: Friday-John A. Ryan Arena (1,200), Watertown, Mass.

Saturday-Hart Center (1,600), Worcester, Mass.

Holy Cross Radio: Friday-WTAG 580 AM, Worcester, Mass. Dick Lutsk, play-by-play; Mike Maguire, color.

HC Student Radio: Saturday-WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester, Mass.

Series Record: HC leads 15-8-3.

Last Meeting: HC 7, Bentley 2 (3/5/05; Watertown, Mass.).

THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (17-6-1 overall, 13-4-1 Atlantic Hockey) returns to the ice this weekend for a home-and-home series with Bentley (9-10-4 overall, 7-6-4 Atlantic Hockey), on Friday and Saturday, February 3-4. On Friday, The Crusaders travel to Watertown, Mass., to take on the Falcons at the John A. Ryan Skating Arena at 7:30 p.m., while on Saturday the two teams will meet at the Hart Center at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross has won a season-high five straight games and is coming off a weekend sweep over American International, while Bentley skated to two ties at Army. This will be the first meeting between the two teams this season. The Crusaders are currently tied for second place with Sacred Heart and one point behind Mercyhurst in Atlantic Hockey with 27 points, while the Falcons are in fifth place with 18 points.

THE SERIES WITH BENTLEY: This weekend's games will mark the 27th and 28th meetings between the Crusaders and the Falcons, with Holy Cross leading 15-8-3. Last season the series record was 1-1-1. Bentley won the first game at the Hart Center by a score of 5-3 (11/6/04), while two teams tied 2-2 (3/4/05) in Worcester. The Crusaders took the final meeting with a 7-2 win (3/5/05) on the road.

HC IN THE RANKINGS: The Crusaders' .729 overall winning percentage this season is fifth in the nation. Holy Cross is third in the AHA and tied for 15th in the nation in scoring defense with 2.50 goals allowed per game, while it is first in the AHA and third in the nation in penalty kill percentage (.899). Offensively, the Crusaders are second in the AHA and ninth in the nation in scoring offense (3.46 goals per game), while they are tied for first in the AHA and fifth in the nation in power play conversion percentage (.222).

THE FALCONS: Bentley is currently in fifth place in Atlantic Hockey and is 4-4-2 in its last 10 games. The Falcons are led by three freshmen as Anthony Canzoneri, Jeff Gumaer and Dain Prewitt are the top three points leaders on the team. Canzoneri has six goals and 14 assists for 20 points, while Gumaer has 10 goals and six assists for 16 points, and Prewitt has six goals and nine assists for 15 points. Canzoneri is ranked 15th nationally in points per game by a rookie (.87), while Gumaer (.70) is tied for 20th and Prewitt (.68) is 22nd. Junior goaltender Ray Jean has seen the majority of action in net as he is 6-7-3 on the season. Jean has a 3.13 goal against average and a .910 save percentage.

THE WEEK THAT WAS: Last week the Crusaders went 3-0-0 with a win over UConn and two wins over AIC. In the 5-3 victory at UConn on Tuesday night, sophomore defenseman Matt Burke (Milton, Mass.) scored two goals and senior goaltender Tony Quesada (South Freeport, Maine) made a season-high 43 saves. On Friday night, the Crusaders scored four unanswered goals in the third period to defeat AIC on the road by a score of 7-5. Senior Blair Bartlett (Dryden, Ontario) and sophomore Cal St. Denis (Freelton, Ontario) each scored two goals in the win. Holy Cross clinched the perfect week at the Hart Center on Saturday night with a 5-2 win over AIC. Senior Tyler McGregor (Ajax, Ontario) scored two goals and Quesada won his sixth straight game as he made 22 saves.

LOVING THE ROAD: The Crusaders are 10-2-0 on their opponent's home ice this season. They have defeated Massachusetts (10/21), Connecticut (11/4, 1/24), American International (11/19, 1/27), Rensselaer (11/25), Canisius (12/2-3), Army (1/13) and Dartmouth (1/21). Holy Cross' only two losses are to Sacred Heart (1/6) and Army (1/14).

4-2-0 IN NON-CONFERENCE GAMES: The Crusaders concluded their non-conference schedule with a 4-2-0 record. Holy Cross went 3-0-0 in games against an ECACHL opponent with the 3-2 win over Dartmouth on Saturday night and two wins over Rensselaer. Holy Cross earned a 3-2 win at Hockey East member UMass in the season-opener, while it had a 6-1 loss versus Nebraska-Omaha and a 4-0 loss versus Ohio State.

STRONG DEFENSE: Holy Cross is ranked third in Atlantic Hockey and tied for 15th nationally in scoring defense with 2.50 goals allowed per game, and has given up only 14 goals on 137 power play opportunities (.899) for its opponents which is first in the league and third nationally. The Crusaders have also received an offensive spark from their defensemen. Junior Jon Landry (Lexington, Mass.) is sixth on the team in scoring with four goals and 14 assists for 18 points. He is second in the conference and 13th nationally in points per game by a defenseman with .78. Junior Rob Godfrey (Thunder Bay, Ontario) and sophomore Matt Burke (Milton, Mass.) are tied for seventh on the team in scoring. Godfrey has three goals and eight assists, while Burke has two goals and nine assists. Freshman Shane McAdam (Hamilton, Ontario) has had a solid rookie season as he is 10th on the team in scoring with three goals and six assists for nine points, while senior Marc Bianchi (Ithaca, N.Y.) has chipped in with one goal and six assists for seven points.

McGREGOR EARNS WEEKLY HONORS: Senior captain Tyler McGregor (Ajax, Ontario) was named the AHA Player of the Week for his performance in the Crusaders' wins over Connecticut and American International. This was the fourth in his career that he received this honor. He had three goals and six assists for nine points in three games. McGregor had two assists in the 5-3 win at UConn on Tuesday night, while he scored the game-winning goal and added three assists in the 7-5 victory at AIC on Friday. He concluded the week with two goals and an assist as the Crusaders defeated AIC, 5-2, on Saturday night. For the season, McGregor is first on the team in scoring with 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points. McGregor's .78 goals per game is third best in the nation and his 1.48 points per game is fifth nationally. McGregor leads the league in goals and his 10 power plays goals is first in the league and tied for fourth in the nation. He has three goals and 10 assists in the last five games. McGregor has 117 career points which ranks him 29th all-time at Holy Cross, as he has 62 goals and 55 assists in 128 games played. His 10 power play goals ties him for fourth for a single season at Holy Cross. Earlier in the season McGregor was named the AHA Player of the Week for his five goal performance in two games against Mercyhurst, including a hat trick in the 10-3 win on Nov. 11. Last season, he was named Player of the Week twice (1/3/05 & 1/17/05), as he was also named to the 2004-05 Atlantic Hockey All-Conference first team.

QUESADA ON WINNING STREAK: Senior goaltender Tony Quesada (South Freeport, Maine) went a perfect 3-0-0 last week and is now 12-3-1 on the season and has a career record of 51-30-7 (.619), including his fifth career shutout in the 1-0 win over Army (10/28), earlier this season. His .781 winning percentage is the third best in the nation. Quesada made 18 saves in the 4-3 win at Army (1/13), giving him a school-record 46 career wins. The record of 45 wins was previously held by Paul Pijanowski (1984-87). Last week, he made 72 saves on 77 shots. Quesada has played in five straight games, and the Crusaders have won six games in a row when Quesada has been in net. He is currently first on the all-time list at Holy Cross in save percentage (.913). Quesada is also second all-time at Holy Cross in games played (91), minutes played (5184:26) and saves (2305), while he is tied for second in goals against average (2.55). This season, he is tied for second in the AHA and is 14th nationally in save percentage (.923), while he is third in the AHA and 23rd in the nation in goals against average (2.40). Earlier this season, Quesada was named the AHA Goaltender of the Week (10/24) for his 22 save performance in the 3-2 win over UMass. This marked the fourth time that he has received this honor in his career.

NAPERT-FRENETTE HAVING GREAT SENIOR YEAR: Senior captain Pierre Napert-Frenette (Bathurst, New Brunswick) is second on team in scoring with 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points. His 120 career points ranks him 26th on the Holy Cross all-time points list, while he is tied for ninth in game played with 131. In the last five games, Napert-Frenette has four goals and three assists for seven points, including two goals and an assist in the 5-2 win over UConn (1/19).

BARTLETT & REINHARDT ON SCORING STREAK: Senior Blair Bartlett (Dryden, Ontario) and sophomore Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) have been piling up the points since they were put on the same line five games ago. Bartlett has scored in five straight games with six goals and three assists for nine points, while Reinhardt has scored in six straight games with three goals and nine assists for 12 points. Last week they each had seven points in three games. Bartlett had four goals and three assists, including two goals and an assist in the 7-5 win at AIC on Friday. Reinhardt had a goal and six assists with two assists in each game as he also added an empty net goal in the 5-2 win over AIC on Saturday night. For the season, Bartlett is third on the team in scoring with eight goals and 16 assists for 24 points, while Reinhardt is fourth on the team with seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points. Bartlett has played in 103 career games with 28 goals and 40 assists for 68 points. Reinhardt has played in 53 games with 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points.

HOLY CROSS HEAD COACH Paul Pearl: Paul Pearl is in his 11th year at the helm of the Holy Cross ice hockey program. He is just the fifth head coach in the 36-year history of ice hockey at Holy Cross. Pearl has forged a 171-144-30 record at his alma mater and has been the man behind the bench in six of the eight most successful seasons in Holy Cross history. Along with nine post-season appearances in 10 years, Pearl led the Crusaders to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in the 2003-04 season. With the win at Dartmouth (1/21), Pearl now owns the school record for career coaching victories. The record was previously held by Peter Van Buskirk who has 167 career wins (1979-88; 1996-97).