Men's Hockey To Open AHA Season At Mercyhurst

Oct. 24, 2007

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The Teams: Holy Cross (1-1, 0-0 AHA) vs. Mercyhurst (0-4, 0-0 AHA)

Dates: October 26-27, 2007

Times: Friday-7:35 p.m. & Saturday-7:05 p.m.

Place: Mercyhurst Ice Center (1,500), Erie, Pa.

Live Video Streaming: B2 Networks

Series Record: Mercyhurst leads 16-8-3

Last Meeting: Holy Cross 3, Mercyhurst 3 (11/25/06; Erie, Pa.)

2006-07 Season Series: Mercyhurst won 2-1-1

THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (1-1-0, 0-0-0 Atlantic Hockey) will travel to Erie, Pa., to take on Mercyhurst (0-4-0, 0-0-0 Atlantic Hockey) in the Atlantic Hockey season-opener for both teams on October 26-27. Friday night's game will start at 7:35 p.m., while Saturday night's game will begin at 7:05 p.m. The Crusaders are coming off a 6-4 win at Providence on October 20, while Mercyhurst dropped two games at Maine over the weekend.

THE SERIES WITH MERCYHURST: This weekend's games will mark the 28th and 29th meetings between the Crusaders and the Lakers with Mercyhurst leading the series, 16-8-3. Last season, the Lakers won the season series, 2-1-1.

THE LAKERS: Mercyhurst has started the season 0-4-0 against strong non-conference competition. The Lakers have lost to Ohio State (2-1), Notre Dame (4-0), and Maine twice (4-2 & 4-1). Senior Ben Cottreau leads the team in scoring with two goals and two assists for four points, while freshman Brandon Coccimiglio has three assists for three points. Freshman Ryan Zapolski has played in three games with a 3.71 goals against average and a .911 save percentage. Junior Matt Lundin has played in one game with a 2.03 goals against average and a .958 save percentage. Mercyhurst was picked to finish fourth in the Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll. Last season the Lakers finished with a 9-20-6 overall record and a 9-15-4 conference mark.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Crusaders will conclude a three-game road trip with the two games at Mercyhurst after defeating Providence on October 20. Holy Cross will return home on November 3-4 for a two-game weekend series against Army. The game on November 4 will be televised live on ESPNU at 4:00 p.m.

HC IN AHA OPENERS: The Crusaders are 4-0-0 in AHA openers with a 3-1 win at Canisius on October 11, 2003, a 3-1 win at AIC on November 5, 2004, a 1-0 victory over Army on October 28, 2005 and a 4-1 win over Mercyhurst on October 20, 2006. This is the third time the Crusaders have opened the AHA season on the road.

#1 IN THE NATION ON THE POWER PLAY: Holy Cross' 38.5 power play percentage is tied for first in the nation with Wisconsin. The Crusaders are 5-13 on the power play in their first two games of the season. Holy Cross went 2-8 against Niagara and 3-5 in the win at Providence. Sophomore Ryan Driscoll (Dorchester, Mass.) is tied for fourth in the nation in power play goals with two.

STRONG OFFENSE: The Crusaders' 4.00 goals per game are tied for fourth in the nation and tied for first in Atlantic Hockey. Driscoll and sophomore Peter Lorinser (Marquette, Mich.) each have two goals to lead the team and are tied for fourth in the nation in goals per game with 1.00.

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 54 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 42 assists for 54 points in 110 games. After two games this season he is tied for the team lead in assists with three. Burke is also tied for second in the nation in points per game by defensemen with 1.50 and he is fourth in assists per game with 1.50.

REINHARDT APPROACHING 100 POINTS: Senior forward Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) currently has 93 career points (39 goals & 54 assists). He is looking to become the 38th Crusader to reach the 100 career points mark. So far this season Reinhardt has one goal with the game-winner in the 6-4 win at Providence. His 39 goals and 93 points are eighth on the Holy Cross Division I career list.

ROOKIES GET OFF TO FAST START: All seven Holy Cross freshmen have seen playing time so far this season. Defenseman Mark Znutas (Emerson, N.J.) is tied for the team-lead in points with one goal and two assists for three points. His 1.50 points per game are tied for second in the nation by defensemen and fourth by rookies. J.P. Martignetti (Winchester, Mass.) has already been named the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week once (Oct. 15) as he has two assists on the season. His 1.00 points per game are tied for 15th in the country by rookies.

THE WEEK THAT WAS: With the 6-4 win at Providence last Saturday night, the Crusaders have now won three out of their last four games against teams from Hockey East. Last season, the Crusaders fell to Northeastern, 7-2, on December 30, while they defeated Merrimack, 2-1, on October 24. Two seasons ago the Crusaders earned a 3-2 win at UMass-Amherst on October 21, 2005. Saturday night's win marked the first Holy Cross win over Providence. The Crusaders are now 1-2 all-time against the Friars since Holy Cross became a varsity program in the 1966-67 season. The Crusaders went 3-5 on the power play. Sophomore Peter Lorinser (Marquette, Mich.) recorded his first two collegiate goals in the game. He gave the Crusaders a 4-3 lead in the second period and added an empty net goal with one second left in the third. Freshman Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) earned his first collegiate point with an assist. Sophomore Ryan Driscoll (Dorchester, Mass.) scored the first two goals of the game while on the power play. Sophomore goalie Ian Dams (Manotick, Ontario) stopped 31 of 35 shots to earn the win to improve to 1-0-0 on the season.

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.

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.

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 192-169-36 (.529) 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.

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."

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. In 2006-07, he had seven goals and 15 assists in 79 games, while this season he has played in eight games. Overall Rissmiller has recorded 10 goals and 18 assists for 28 points in 106 games. Currently two players from last season's graduating class are on professional rosters. Forward James Sixsmith is on Cincinnati of the ECHL and defenseman Jon Landry is playing for Elmira of the ECHL

HC TO HOST 2008 NCAA REGIONAL: Holy Cross will host the 2008 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Division I Northeast Regional at Worcester's DCU Center on March 29-30. The East Regional will be held at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., on March 28-29, and will be hosted by the ECAC Hockey League and RPI, while the Midwest Regional will be on March 29-30 and will be held at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., and will be hosted by Wisconsin. On March 28-29, the West Regional will be at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., and will be hosted by Colorado College. Holy Cross will host again in 2010.