February 14, 2007

HC Set For Home-And-Home Series With Sacred Heart

Feb. 14, 2007

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:

The Teams: Holy Cross (10-15-5, 9-10-5 AHA) vs. Sacred Heart (17-9-4, 14-6-4 AHA)

Dates: February 16-17

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Place: Friday-Hart Center (1,600), Worcester, Mass.

Saturday-Milford Ice Pavilion (1,000), Milford, Conn.

Holy Cross Radio: Friday & Saturday-WCHC 88.1 FM

Series Record: Holy Cross leads 15-14-1

Last Meeting: SH 5, HC 4 (OT) (11/11/06; Worcester, Mass.)

THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (10-15-5 overall, 9-10-5 Atlantic Hockey) will face Sacred Heart (17-9-4 overall, 14-6-4 Atlantic Hockey), in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday, February 16-17. The Crusaders will host Friday's game at the Hart Center, while Saturday night's contest will be at the Milford Ice Pavilion in Milford, Conn. Both games are set to start at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders are coming off a two-game series split at Canisius, while the Pioneers swept a two-game series at Mercyhurst. Holy Cross has 23 points and is in sixth place, while Sacred Heart is in second place with 32 points. The Pioneers won both previous meetings this season with a 4-2 win in Milford and a 5-4 overtime victory at the Hart Center on November 10-11.

THE SERIES WITH SACRED HEART: This weekend's games will mark the 31st and 32nd meetings between the two teams, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series, 15-14-1.

CRUSADERS RETURN TO THE HART CENTER: The Crusaders just concluded a four-game road trip and return to the Hart Center as they will play two of next four games in Worcester, with a home-and-home series with Sacred Heart this weekend and a home-and-home series with Connecticut next weekend to conclude regular season play. Holy Cross is 7-3-2 at home this season and 282-163-24 all-time at the Hart Center.

THE PIONEERS: Sacred Heart is led by senior Pierre-Luc O'Brien's 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points. Sophomore Bear Trapp and junior Alexandre Parent are also having strong seasons, as Trapp has 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points, while Parent has 12 goals and 20 assists for 32 points. Freshman Dave Jarman was just named the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week for his two goals and two assists in a two-game series at Mercyhurst. Senior goalie Jason Smith has seen the majority of time in the net for the Pioneers with a 2.84 goals against average and a .908 save percentage in 1396:20. Sophomore Stefan Drew has a 2.26 goals against average and a .924 save percentage in 424:53. Smith is 13-7-3 on the season, while Drew is 4-2-1.

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 146 career points (44 goals and 102 assists) in 137 games played. Holy Cross started full Division I competition in the 1998-99 season. His 28 assists this season are tied for third on the DI single-season assists list. The record is 30 set by Rissmiller in the 2001-02 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 (28) and points (41), while he is second in goals (13). His 1.37 points per game are tied for seventh in the nation and second in Atlantic Hockey, while his .93 assists per game are fourth nationally and first in the conference.

STRONG ON THE POWER PLAY: Holy Cross' 19.7 power play percentage is ranked 15th in the nation and second in Atlantic Hockey.

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 75 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, 15 assists and 30 points, as he leads the team in goals, while he is second in assists and points. His three game-winning goals lead the team and are tied for 27th nationally, while his two shorthanded goals are tied for 18th in the nation. For his career, Reinhardt has 37 goals and 51 assists for 88 points in 98 career games. His 37 goals are ninth on the Holy Cross all-time Division I chart and his 88 points are also ninth.

SHEAHAN HAS STRONG WEEKEND: Freshman Brodie Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alberta) had a three point weekend at Canisius to lead the team in points. On Friday night he scored Holy Cross' first goal of the game, while in the 2-1 win on Saturday afternoon he assisted on both goals for the Crusaders. Sheahan now has five goals and six assists for 11 points on the season.

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 191-163-36 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 56 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.