Oct. 16, 2008
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
Teams: Holy Cross (0-0-0, 0-0-0 AHA) vs. Canisius (1-1-0, 0-0-0 AHA)
Dates: Oct. 17-18, 2008
Times: Friday-7:00 p.m.; Saturday-4:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (1,600), Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester, Mass.; Ryan Holt & Dan Gaudet, Listen to games
Live Video Streaming: B2 Networks
Series Record: Holy Cross leads 23-11-7
Last Meeting: Canisius 2, HC 1 (2/17/08; Buffalo, N.Y.)
2007-2008 Series: Tied 2-2-0
THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team will kick off the 2008-2009 season when it hosts Atlantic Hockey opponent Canisius (1-1-0 overall, 0-0-0 Atlantic Hockey), at the Hart Center on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 18 at 4:00 p.m. These two teams split a four-game series last year. The Crusaders return 16 players, including four starters and eight of its top 10 point producers from a year ago (10-19-7, 9-15-4 Atlantic Hockey), to a team that will be looking to capture its third AHA championship and third NCAA Tournament appearance. The Golden Griffins started the season last week as they split a two-game series at CCHA member Ferris State.
THE SERIES WITH CANISIUS: This weekend's games will mark the 42nd and 43rd meetings between the Crusaders and the Golden Griffins with Holy Cross leading the all-time series, 23-11-7, and lead 12-6-2 in games at the Hart Center. Last season, the series was tied 2-2-0, as each team won one game at home and one game on the road.
HC IN SEASON & HOME OPENERS: Holy Cross is 15-25-2 all-time in season-openers, while it is 23-16-3 all-time in home -openers. This is the 17th time that Holy Cross' season-opener has also been the home-opener. The Crusaders have a 5-10-1 record in those games.
PERFECT IN AHA OPENERS: The Crusaders are 5-0-0 in Atlantic Hockey openers with a 3-1 win at Canisius on Oct. 11, 2003, a 3-1 win at AIC on Nov. 5, 2004, a 1-0 victory over Army on Oct. 28, 2005, a 4-1 win over Mercyhurst on Oct. 20, 2006 and a 4-1 win at Mercyhurst on Oct. 26, 2007. The game with Canisius will be the third time the Crusaders have played the AHA opener at home.
NEXT WEEK: The Crusaders will return to action when they host Hockey East member Providence at the Hart Center on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 7:00 p.m. This will mark the first time that the Friars have played at Holy Cross. The Crusaders are 3-1-2 in their last six games against teams from Hockey East, including a 6-4 win at Providence last year on Oct. 20, giving Holy Cross its first win over Providence.
THE GOLDEN GRIFFINS: Canisius opened its season last week with a split of a two-game series at Ferris State. On Oct. 10, the Golden Griffins won 5-2, while they lost 5-2 on Oct. 11. Junior goalie Andrew Loewen was named the Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Week for making 50 saves in the 5-2 win. Sophomore forward Cory Conacher leads the team with two goals and two assists for four points, while junior defenseman Carl Hudson, junior forward Jason Weeks, junior forward Josh Heidinger and sophomore forward Vincent Scarsella each have one goal and two assists for three points. Last season, the Golden Griffins went 11-20-6 overall and 10-13-5 in Atlantic Hockey. They tied for sixth in the regular season standings.
HOME ICE: The Crusaders will host 16 regular season games at the Hart Center this season, including two non-conference games (Providence 10/25 & Dartmouth 1/21). Holy Cross has a 287-175-26 (.615) all-time record at the Hart Center.
CRUSADERS TIE UPEI: Holy Cross tied the University of Prince Edward Island, 1-1, in an exhibition game in Worcester on Oct. 11. Freshman Jay Silvia (Burlington, Mass.) tied the game at the 6:46 mark of the first period, when he placed the puck into the lower left side of the net off a crossing pass by junior co-captain Ryan Driscoll (Dorchester, Mass.). Freshman Luke Miller (Andover, Mass.) was also credited with an assist. Sophomore goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) allowed one goal and made 14 saves in the first two periods, while junior Ian Dams (Manotick, Ontario) stopped three shots.
HC WINS SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD: Last year, the Crusaders won the Atlantic Hockey Sportsmanship Award. Holy Cross led the league and was fourth in the nation in fewest penalty minutes per game with 11.1. Five times last year, Holy Cross committed only two penalties in a game (Canisius 11/9, Canisius 11/10, RIT 1/4, RIT 1/5 and AIC 1/15).
HC ON B2 NETWORKS: All of Holy Cross' home games and Atlantic Hockey away games can be seen via live video streaming through B2 Networks.
#4 ON THE POWER PLAY IN 2007-2008: Holy Cross' 22.7 power play percentage last year ranked second in the league and fourth in the nation. The Crusaders went 39-172 on power play opportunities.
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 38 total points. Last season's tournament champion Air Force was picked as this year's preseason favorite with 79 points and seven first place votes, followed by last season's tournament finalist Mercyhurst with 70 points and one first place vote. Rochester Institute of Technology was picked third with 68 points and two first place votes, Sacred Heart was fourth with 55 points and last year's regular season champion Army was fifth with 40 points. Following Holy Cross, Canisius (34 points), Connecticut (29 points), Bentley (26 points) and American International College (11 points) were picked in positions seven through 10 by the league's head coaches.
HOLY CROSS HEAD COACH Paul Pearl: Paul Pearl is in his 14th 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 201-187-43 (.516) 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 AHA regular season and tournament titles.