Feb. 17, 2005
Worcester, Mass. -
The first-place Crusaders visit second-place Sacred Heart on Friday with critical conference points up for grabs. Friday's game marks the 23rd meeting between the two teams and the third this season. Holy Cross has the upper hand as they own a 13-8-1 all-time record against the Pioneers, dating back to Oct. 30, 1998 when the Crusaders defeated Sacred Heart, 7-3. Holy Cross is looking to snatch the remaining two points left in the series, as each team has already skated away with one victory. In the first game, Holy Cross rallied from a two-point deficit to net two goals and send the game into overtime. Junior Pierre Napert-Frenette posted the game-winner, just 41 seconds into the extra stanza. The Crusaders fell to the Pioneers, 5-3, in the second game of the series after taking a 1-0 lead and then tying it at two-all. Holy Cross is coming off of two impressive Atlantic Hockey wins, including a five-goal shutout over UConn, its first of the season. In their last 10 conference games, the Crusaders are 7-2-1, going back to the last time they traveled to Milford, Conn., when they defeated the Pioneers in overtime, 3-2.
A Look at the Standings
Critical points are up for grab in Atlantic Hockey as all nine teams square-off at some point over the weekend. Here is a look at how Holy Cross could fair after this weekend's games:
Currently, Holy Cross sits at No. 1, with a game against the Sacred Heart on Friday. With a Crusader victory against SHU, HC would stay in the top spot, despite the outcomes of other games.
With a loss to the SHU and a Quinnipiac weekend sweep of Canisius, HC would sit tied for second with QU, regardless of the Sacred Heart-AIC game.
With a loss to the SHU and a CC weekend sweep of QU, HC would sit in third, as CC and SHU will be tied for first or fall first and second, depending on the outcome of the SHU-AIC game on Saturday.
With a loss to SHU, and a split in the QU-CC series, HC would sit at the No. 2 spot, regardless of the SHU-AIC outcome.
Junior assistant captain Pierre Napert-Frenette is the top leading scorer in Atlantic Hockey with 31 points, including 13 tallies and 18 helpers. He is one of four players in Atlantic Hockey to net a hat trick, which he scored versus Air Force on Saturday, Oct. 30.
Sophomore James Sixsmith leads the conference in assists (23). He is tied for second in the league with 30 points and ranks first in the league 17 power play points.
Junior Tyler McGregor is tied for first in Atlantic Hockey in goals (16). He is tied for third in the league with seven power play goals.
Senior captain Andrew McKay is eighth in the league and second on the team with 16 helpers. McKay and Napert-Frenette are tied for second in the league with 3 game-winning goals each.
Freshman Brian Gabriel, McGregor and Napert-Frenette are the only Crusaders to net short-handed goals this season. It was Gabriel's first collegiate-goal.
Between the Pipes
The duo of juniors Tony Quesada and Ben Conway are the back bone of Holy Cross' goaltending. Quesada posted his first shutout of the season on Tuesday, Feb. 15 against Connecticut, 5-0. He is now second in the league in goals against average (2.68) for a .907 save percentage. Conway is ranked third in league games with 2.25 goals against average (2.73 overall) and fourth with a .915 save percentage (.906 overall). On Saturday, Feb. 12 against Quinnipiac, Conway posted a career-high 40 saves and set a new career-high of six wins en route to a 5-2 victory over the Bobcats. Of Holy Cross' five all-time wins against Quinnipiac, Conway owns three.
Defense Up Front
Holy Cross' blue liners have allowed only 2.61 goals per league game, making them second to conference leading Canisius (2.44). The Crusaders' defense are ranked 27th nationally, allowing 2.86 goals per game overall. Sophomore Jon Landry and senior assistant captain Tony Coskren are among the top defensemen in the league. Landry is tied for fifth with 13 points, while Coskren is tied for seventh with 12 points.
The Crusaders are the least penalized team in Atlantic Hockey, averaging 13.58 during league games (14.79 overall). Only four of the other 58 division one college hockey teams have fewer penalty minutes than the Crusaders, including nationally ranked No. 8 New Hampshire. On the flip side, Holy Cross is last in the conference as they have killed off 78.6 percent of all their opponents' man-up advantages. Leading the Crusaders in the box is sophomore Jon Landry, who has recorded 23 penalties for 46 minutes this season. Freshman Dale Reinhardt has played in 23 games to date and has yet to sit in the penalty box.
On the Man-Advantage
Holy Cross remains on top of the power play in Atlantic Hockey by converting 21.4 percent of its advantages in league action. The Crusaders are ranked 18th in the nation with a 19.3 conversion percentage. Junior Tyler McGregor leads the Crusaders with seven power play goals.
Several of Holy Cross' team members are ranked nationally. Newcomer Dale Reinhardt is ranked 13th among rookies in the nation in points per game (0.83). Junior Tyler McGregor is ranked 23rd in the nation, posting .57 goals per game, as sophomore James Sixsmith is ranked 18th in the nation averaging 0.79 assists per game.
Coskren Named Semi-Finalist for Walter Brown Award
Senior assistant captain Tony Coskren has been named as one of 15 NCAA Division One ice hockey players that are semi-finalists for the 53rd Walter Brown Award as announced by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston. The defenseman is the only candidate nominated from Atlantic Hockey. He has posted three goals and added nine assists this season and to help the Crusaders rise to the tops of the conference standings. Coskren is the second player from Holy Cross to be nominated for the Walter Brown Award. In 2002, Patrick Rissmiller `02 was nominated as one of 12 finalists for the award.
Win No. 150
Head Coach Paul Pearl became the second hockey coach in Holy Cross history to reach 150 victories; current women's hockey Head Coach Peter Van Buskirk tallied 167 wins while he was with the men's program. The Crusaders defeated Canisius, 4-3, on Friday, Jan. 28, to help Pearl post his 150th win. On Oct. 13, 2002, Pearl notched his 100th victory with a 3-2 win over Connecticut. It has since taken him 93 games, with 10 ties, to reach the 150 mark.
Always on Ice
Six Crusaders have played in every game this season, including seniors Andrew McKay and Chris Sullivan, junior Pierre Napert-Frenette and sophomores Frank O'Grady, James Sixsmith and Jon Landry.
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 leads the freshman class with 19 points, including 11 helpers. Matt Burke has tallied five goals and five assists, while Cal St. Denis is right behind him with nine point, including six assists. Matt Werry posted his first collegiate-goal in the Crusaders come-from-behind victory over Mercyhurst on Jan. 14. He now has a total of four points. Brian Gabriel scored his first collegiate-goal in style when he netted a short-hander in the 3-1 victory over AIC, Jan. 7. He has a total of two points. Brian Kolb was awarded his first collegiate-goal in the 6-3 victory over UConn on Dec. 30. Chris Trovato posted his first career-goal on Jan. 22 at Quinnipiac and followed up with his second in his next game on Jan. 28 against Canisius. He now has a total of three points.
Oh Captain! My Captain!
Holy Cross is led by senior captain Andrew McKay, has tallied 25 points this season, including 16 helpers. Backing up McKay is senior assistant captain Tony Coskren and junior assistant captain Pierre Napert-Frenette. Coskren is tied for seventh in the league for blue liners with 12 points, including three goals and nine assists. Napert-Frenette leads the team with 31 points, including 13 goals and 18 assists.
2004-05 Conference Honorees
Nov. 1-Pierre Napert-Frenette, Player
Nov. 8-Tony Coskren, Player
Nov. 29-Ben Conway, Goaltender
Jan. 3-Tyler McGregor, Player
Jan. 3-Tony Quesada, Goaltender
Jan. 10-Dale Reinhardt, Rookie
Jan. 17-Tyler McGregor, Player