October 12, 2007

Men's Hockey Set To Host Niagara In Season-Opener

Oct. 12, 2007

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:

The Teams: Holy Cross (0-0-0, 0-0-0 AHA) vs. Niagara (0-0-0, 0-0-0 CHA)

Date: October 13, 2007

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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

Holy Cross Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester, Mass.

Live Video Streaming: B2 Networks

Series Record: Niagara leads 3-0-0

Last Meeting: Niagara 5, HC 4 (OT) (10/14/06; Niagara Falls, N.Y.)

SATURDAY NIGHT: The Holy Cross men's hockey team will kick off the 2007-08 season when it hosts Niagara (0-0-0 overall, 0-0-0 College Hockey America), at the Hart Center on Saturday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross returns 20 letterwinners from last season's team (10-20-5 overall, 9-14-5 Atlantic Hockey) and welcomes seven newcomers. The Crusaders are coming off a 4-2 win over Dalhousie University in an exhibition game on Oct. 7. Freshman Joe Brock (Cumming, Ga.) scored two power play goals including the game-winner, while freshman Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) also scored a power play goal. Sophomore Peter Lorinser (Marquette, Mich.) added an empty net goal. Freshman goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) earned the win as he made 15 saves in the first 44:51, while sophomore Ian Dams (Manotick, Ontario) stopped five shots in 15:00 for the Crusaders.

THE SERIES WITH NIAGARA: Saturday night's game will mark the fourth meeting between the Crusaders and the Purple Eagles, with Niagara leading 3-0-0. On January 3, 1999 Niagara won 3-0 at Holy Cross, while on Jan. 11, 2000 the Purple Eagles won 6-0 at Niagara. Last season Niagara defeated Holy Cross, 5-4 in overtime, on October 14 at Niagara.

HC IN SEASON & HOME OPENERS: Holy Cross is 15-24-2 all-time in season-openers, while it is 23-15-3 all-time in home -openers. This is the 16th time that Holy Cross' season-opener has also been the home-opener. The Crusaders have a 5-9-1 record in those games.

THE PURPLE EAGLES: Before playing Holy Cross on Saturday, Niagara opens the season on Friday, October 12 with a game at Merrimack. Niagara has been picked to win the College Hockey America championship in the conference's preseason poll, while Ted Cook was picked as the CHA Preseason Player of the Year and Les Reaney earned a spot on the preseason first team. Last season the Purple Eagles went 18-13-6 overall (9-5-6 CHA) and won their second straight CHA regular season championship.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Crusaders will host 17 regular season games at the Hart Center this season, including three non-conference games (Niagara 10/13, Merrimack 12/4 & Quinnipiac 1/19). Last season, Holy Cross went 7-5-2 at home and have a 282-165-24 (.624) all-time record at the Hart Center.

HC VERSUS CHA: The Crusaders are 2-4-1 all-time against teams currently in College Hockey America. Holy Cross is 2-1-1 against Alabama-Huntsville and 0-3-0 against Niagara, while it has never played Bemidji State, Robert Morris and Wayne State.

HC PICKED SIXTH IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross has been picked to finish sixth in the Atlantic Hockey Association Preseason Coaches Poll. The Crusaders received 45 total points. Last season's regular season champion Rochester Institute of Technology was picked as this year's preseason favorite with 80 points and eight first place votes, followed by last season's tournament champion Air Force with 67 points and one first place vote. Army was picked third with 58 points, Mercyhurst was fourth with 55 points and one first place vote and Sacred Heart was fifth with 54 points. Following Holy Cross, Connecticut (34 points), Canisius (25 points), Bentley (23 points) and American International College (9 points) were picked in positions seven through 10 by the league's head coaches.

SENIOR SALUTE: This season's group of 10 seniors: Matt Burke (Milton, Mass.), Brent Franklin (Grosse Point Farms, Mich.), Brian Gabriel (Kenai, Alaska), Bryce Nantes (Calgary, Alberta), Frank O'Grady (Kimberley, British Columbia), Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.), Cal St. Denis (Freelton, Ontario), Chris Trovato (North Attleboro, Mass.), Jim Tselikis (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Matt Werry (Regina Saskatchewan) has been a part of 53 wins, one Atlantic Hockey regular season and tournament title and a victory in the NCAA Tournament.

CAPTAIN Matt Burke: Senior Matt Burke (Milton, Mass.) will serve as the team captain for the 2007-08 season. Burke is coming off a season that saw him rank fourth on the team in points with 18 and assists with 16, while he also added two goals. He has played in all but two games in his career as he has 12 goals and 39 assists for 51 points in 108 games.

REINHARDT APPROACHING 100 POINTS: Senior forward Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) currently has 92 career points (38 goals & 54 assists). He is looking to become the 38th Crusader to reach the 100 career points mark. His 38 goals and 92 points are tied for eighth on the Holy Cross Division I career list.

CRUSADERS WELCOME SEVEN FRESHMEN: Holy Cross welcomes seven freshmen to the program. "I think it is a good group," said head coach Paul Pearl. "On defense, Matt Celin (Gibsonia, Pa.) is a big strong kid that is a solid two way player. Mark Znutas (Emerson, N.J.) is in that line of good offensive defenseman that we have had in the past that can really skate. Offensively, Joe Brock (Cumming, Ga.), Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) and Jamie Jelinek (Great Falls, Va.) all had a lot of success scoring last year for their teams. We think they can do that at this level. J.P. Martignetti (Winchester, Mass.) who is 6-3, 214, is a real strong player, while goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) was considered one of the best goalies in the North American League last year."

HOLY CROSS HEAD COACH Paul Pearl: Paul Pearl is in his 13th 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 191-168-36 (.527) 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.