Feb. 22, 2007
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (10-17-5, 9-12-5 AHA) vs. Connecticut (13-17-2, 13-11-2 AHA)
Dates: February 23-24
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Friday-Mark E. Freitas Ice Forum (2,000), Storrs, Conn.
Saturday-Hart Center (1,600), Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross Radio: Friday & Saturday-WCHC 88.1 FM
Series Record: HC leads 41-38-1 (Varsity games since 1966.)
Last Meeting: UConn 2, HC 1 (12/29/06; Storrs, Conn.)
2006-07 Series: Tied 1-1
THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (10-17-5 overall, 9-12-5 Atlantic Hockey) will wrap up regular season play when it faces Connecticut (13-17-2 overall, 13-11-2 Atlantic Hockey), in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday, February 23-24. UConn will host Friday's game, while the Crusaders will host senior night on Saturday at the Hart Center. Both games are set to start at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross has 23 points and currently has the #5 seed in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament, while Connecticut is currently the #3 seed with 28 points. The season series is tied at 1-1, as the Crusaders won the first meeting at the Hart Center by a score of 7-3 on November 21, while the Huskies won the second meeting, 2-1, at the UConn Hockey Classic on December 29.
THE SERIES WITH UCONN: This weekend's games will mark the 80th and 81st meetings between the two teams since Holy Cross became a varsity program in the 1966-67 season. The Crusaders lead the series, 41-38-1.
THE HUSKIES: UConn is led by senior Cole Koidahl's 31 points with 13 goals and 18 assists. Senior Matt Scherer and sophomore Chris Myhro are also having solid seasons as Scherer has 19 goals and 11 assists for 30 points, while Myhro has 18 goals and 10 assists for 28 points. Freshman Beau Erickson has played 15 straight games in net for the Huskies with a 8-6-2 record. He has a 2.91 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in 970:03.
SENIOR NIGHT: 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. Their 75 wins is the second most in a four-year period in school-history.
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 149 career points (46 goals and 103 assists) in 139 games played. Holy Cross started full Division I competition in the 1998-99 season. Sixsmith leads the team in assists (29) and points (44), while he is tied for the lead in goals (15). His 1.38 points per game are tied for fifth in the nation and second in Atlantic Hockey, while his .91 assists per game are tied for fourth nationally and are second in the conference. His 29 assists this season are tied for second 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 46 goals are seventh on the HC Division I goals list.
THE CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross is 7-4-2 at home this season and 282-164-24 all-time at the Hart Center. The Crusaders have a 20-13-1 record against the Huskies in the Hart Center.
STRONG ON THE POWER PLAY: Holy Cross' 20.0 power play percentage is ranked 13th in the nation and second in Atlantic Hockey. The Crusaders scored three power play goals in the home-and-home series with Sacred Heart last week.
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.
REINHARDT ON A ROLL: Junior center Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) has 15 goals, 16 assists and 31 points, as he is tied for the lead in goals, while he is second in points and third in assists. His three game-winning goals lead the team and are tied for 29th nationally, while his two shorthanded goals are tied for 22nd in the nation. For his career, Reinhardt has 37 goals and 52 assists for 89 points in 100 career games. His 37 goals are ninth on the Holy Cross all-time Division I chart and his 89 points are also ninth.
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 191-165-36 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 12 assists in 59 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.