Feb. 7, 2007
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (9-14-5, 8-9-5 AHA) vs. Canisius (7-20-2, 7-14-2 AHA)
Dates: February 9-10, 2007
Times: Friday-7:00 p.m.; Saturday-5:00 p.m.
Place: Buffalo State Sports Arena (1,800), Buffalo, N.Y.
Series Record: Holy Cross leads 20-8-7
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 6, Canisius 3 (11/4/06; Worcester, Mass.)
2006-07 Season Series: Holy Cross leads 2-0-0
THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (9-14-5 overall, 8-9-5 Atlantic Hockey) will travel to Buffalo, N.Y., to take on Canisius (7-20-2 overall, 7-14-2 Atlantic Hockey), on Friday and Saturday, February 9-10 at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. Friday night's game is set to start at 7:00 p.m., while Saturday's game will begin at 5:00 p.m. The Crusaders are coming off a 3-3 tie at Army last Saturday, while the Golden Griffins split a home-and-home series with RIT. Holy Cross has played 22 Atlantic Hockey games and is in sixth place with 21 points, while Canisius has played in 23 league contests and is in ninth place with 16 points. Holy Cross leads the season series, 2-0, with 5-4 and 6-3 victories on November 3-4 at the Hart Center.
THE SERIES WITH CANISIUS: This weekend's games will mark the 36th and 37th meetings between the two teams, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series, 20-8-7. The Crusaders are 12-2-6 against the Golden Griffins in the last 20 games, while Holy Cross is 5-0-3 in the last eight games played at Canisius. The Crusaders took the season series last year, 3-1-0.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Crusaders will conclude a four-game road trip with the two games at Canisius. Holy Cross is 0-1-1 on the trip with a loss at Quinnipiac and a tie at Army. The Crusaders return to the Hart Center when they play Sacred Heart on February 16. The Crusaders are no strangers to road trips as earlier this season Holy Cross played nine consecutive games on the road.
THE GOLDEN GRIFFINS: Canisius is led by freshman Josh Heidinger's eight goals and 22 assists for 30 points. Heidinger's 1.03 points per game by a rookie are ranked 10th in the nation and first in Atlantic Hockey. Freshman Jason Weeks is second on the team in points with 25 as he leads the team in goals with 14 and is second in assists with 11. Weeks was just named the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week for scoring four points in two games versus RIT. Freshman Carl Hudson and senior Michael Cohen each have nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points. In net, freshman Andrew Loewen has a 2.99 goals against average and a .908 save percentage with a 7-9-2 record in 1123:48.
SIXSMITH SETS POINTS RECORD: With his goal in the 4-3 win over AIC on January 20, senior captain James Sixsmith (Alexandria, Va.) moved to first on the Holy Cross all-time Division I career points list. He passed current San Jose Shark Patrick Rissmiller (1998-2002) who had 143 points. Sixsmith now has 145 career points (44 goals and 101 assists) in 135 games played. Holy Cross started full Division I competition in the 1998-99 season. Sixsmith, who already holds the Division I record for career assists, is also just the fifth Crusader since the start of varsity action (1966-1967 season) to reach 100 assists. His 44 goals are seventh on the HC Division I goals list. Sixsmith leads the team in assists (27) and points (40), while he is second in goals (13). His 1.43 points per game are fifth in the nation and second in Atlantic Hockey, while his .96 assists per game are fourth nationally and first in the conference. Last season, Sixsmith was named the 2006 Atlantic Hockey Tournament MVP for his three goals and five assists in the three games.
STRONG ON THE POWER PLAY: Holy Cross' 20.4 power play percentage is ranked 11th in the nation and second in Atlantic Hockey. The Crusaders went 1-3 on the power play in the 3-3 tie at Army last Saturday.
SIXSMITH NAMED WALTER BROWN SEMIFINALIST: James Sixsmith recently was named one of 15 semifinalists for the 55th Walter Brown Award presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. Sixsmith is the fifth Holy Cross player to be named a semifinalist for this award in the program's history, along with Jim Stewart, Patrick Rissmiller, Tony Coskren and Tony Quesada. The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston plans to announce the finalists and winner of the 55th Walter Brown Award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of NCAA Tournament play.
SENIOR SALUTE: Holy Cross' five seniors Tanner Fogarty (McMurray, Pa.), Rob Godfrey (Thunder Bay, Ontario), Jon Landry (Lexington, Mass.), Sean Nappo (Northville, Mich.) and captain James Sixsmith (Alexandria, Va.) are one of the most successful classes in the history of Holy Cross men's hockey. They have been a part of 74 wins, two Atlantic Hockey titles, two NCAA Tournaments and one NCAA Tournament victory. The most wins by a class in a four-year period is 82 by last year's graduating seniors.
REINHARDT ON A ROLL: Junior center Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) has 15 goals, 14 assists and 29 points, as he leads the team in goals, while he is second in points and tied for third in assists. He scored two goals in the 3-3 tie at Army last Saturday. This was his third two-goal game of the season as he previously netted two against Mercyhurst (10/20) and UConn (11/21). His three game-winning goals lead the team and are tied for 25th nationally, while his two shorthanded goals are tied for 17th in the nation. For his career, Reinhardt has 37 goals and 50 assists for 87 points in 96 career games. His 37 goals are ninth on the Holy Cross all-time Division I chart and his 87 points are also ninth.
ROOKIE DRISCOLL HAVING SOLID SEASON: Freshman center Ryan Driscoll (Dorchester, Mass.) has six goals and 11 assists for 17 points on the season. Driscoll is tied for fourth on the team in goals, while he is fifth in assists and fourth in points. Driscoll has played in all 28 games and his .61 points per game by a rookie are 43rd in the country.
HC PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross was picked to finish third in the Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll. The Crusaders received 83 total points with one first place vote. Mercyhurst was picked as this year's preseason favorite with 96 points and seven first place votes, followed by Sacred Heart with 88 points and two first place votes. Following Holy Cross, Connecticut was picked fourth with 55 points, and Air Force and Bentley tied for fifth with 51 points each. Canisius (45 points), RIT (36 points), Army (32 points) and AIC (13 points) were picked in positions seven through 10 by the league's head coaches.
2005-06 REVIEW: The Crusaders are coming off their most successful season with a school-best 27-10-2 record as they earned their first win in the NCAA Tournament. The 4-3 overtime victory over Minnesota in the NCAA West Regional Semifinals marked the first time that a No. 4 seed defeated a No. 1 seed in NCAA action (since the tournament expanded to 16 teams). The Crusaders also won the Atlantic Hockey regular season and tournament titles for the second time in three years, and were ranked No. 14 in the final USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll for its highest ever national ranking.
HOLY CROSS HEAD COACH Paul Pearl: Paul Pearl is in his 12th 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 Holy Cross. On January 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 190-162-36 record at Holy Cross and has been the man behind the bench in seven of the nine most successful seasons in Holy Cross 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 2003-04 and 2005-06, 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 March 24, 2006. In 2005-06, Pearl led the Crusaders to a school single season record 27 victories, as the team posted an overall record of 27-10-2. Holy Cross also claimed the Atlantic Hockey regular season and tournament titles. As a four-year letterwinner for the Crusaders, he played in 125 games as a defenseman, tallying 14 goals and 63 assists. Pearl led Holy Cross with 25 assists as a senior captain on the 1988-89 squad. During his four-year playing-career, Holy Cross won 63 games and qualified for the ECAC East Tournament twice.
CRUSADERS IN THE PROS: Former Holy Cross hockey player Patrick Rissmiller has been having success in the NHL with the San Jose Sharks. After being recalled from the Cleveland Barons on March 15, 2006, Rissmiller went onto to tally five goals and four assists in 29 games, including two goals and an assist in the playoffs. Rissmiller scored the first goal of the game in San Jose's 5-4 win over Nashville in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals as the Sharks went onto win the series, 4-1. So far this year he has four goals and 11 assists in 54 games. Currently three players from last season's graduating class are on professional rosters. Goalie Tony Quesada is with the Houston Aeros of the AHL which is the affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild, while Tyler McGregor is playing for the Memphis RiverKings of the CHL. Also defenseman Marc Bianchi is playing with the Lubbock Cotton Kings of the CHL.