October 26, 2006

Men's Hockey Hits The Road To Face Yale On Friday

Oct. 26, 2006

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:

The Teams: Holy Cross (2-2, 1-1 AHA) vs. Yale (0-0, 0-0 ECAC)

Date: October 27

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Place: Ingalls Rink (3,486), New haven, Conn.

Series Record: Yale leads 1-0.

Last Meeting: Yale 6, HC 1 (1/21/01; New Haven, Conn.).

FRIDAY NIGHT: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (2-2-0 overall, 1-1-0 Atlantic Hockey) will hit the road to face ECAC member Yale (0-0-0 overall, 0-0-0 ECAC), at Ingalls Rink on Friday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders are coming off a 2-1 victory at Merrimack on Tuesday, October 24. The win marked the second straight time the Crusaders have defeated a Hockey East opponent as they earned a 3-2 win at UMass-Amherst, on October 21, 2005. This will be the first game of the regular season for the Bulldogs as they lost to McGill, 3-1, in an exhibition game on October 21. Last season, Yale had a 10-20-3 overall mark and a 6-14-2 record in the ECAC. The Crusaders went 3-0 against teams from the ECAC last year.

THE SERIES WITH YALE: Friday night's game with Yale will mark the second meeting between the Crusaders and the Bulldogs, with Yale winning the previous match up by a 6-1 score in New Haven, Conn., on January 21, 2001.

THE BULLDOGS: The game with Holy Cross will open the 2006-07 season for Yale and will be the first game for the Bulldogs under first year head coach Keith Allain. Allain graduated from Yale in 1980 and was a four-year starting goalie as he ranks third at the school in career saves with 2,337. Despite losing three of their top four point producers from 2005-06, the Elis return 17 lettermen, including 11 forwards, five defensemen and the starting goalie. Sophomore goalie Alec Richards returns as he was the starting goaltender last year as he went 8-15-3 with a 3.02 goals against average and a .912 save percentage.

STRONG OFFENSIVE START: Holy Cross has come out strong offensively this season as it is averaging 3.75 goals a game which are good for third in Atlantic Hockey and tied for 12th in the nation. The Crusaders have scored at least four goals or more in three of their first four games and have had eight different goal scorers.

HC ON THE ROAD: The Crusaders are 1-1-0 on its opponent's home ice so far this season with both games against non-conference opponents. Holy Cross took a season-opening 5-4 overtime loss at Niagara (10/14) and a 2-1 win at Merrimack (10/24). Last year, Holy Cross went 13-5-1 on the road setting a school-record for road wins.

HC VERSUS ECAC: Holy Cross has won three straight games against teams in the ECAC, as it went a perfect 3-0-0 in the 2005-06 season. The Crusaders defeated Rensselaer 3-2 at the RPI Holiday Tournament on November 25, 2005, and then defeated the Engineers by a score of 4-2 at the Ohio Hockey Classic on December 30, 2005. Holy Cross also earned a 3-2 win at Dartmouth on January 21, 2006. The Crusaders had a 5-3-0 record in non-conference games last year. Holy Cross has an all-time record of 18-39-0 against teams currently in the ECAC.

MERRIMACK RECAP: Junior Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) scored the game-winner in the second period and assisted on the first goal in Holy Cross' 2-1 victory at Merrimack on Tuesday, October 24. The Crusaders have now one two straight against Hockey East including a win at UMass-Amherst last season. Senior James Sixsmith (Alexandria, Va.) scored the lone goal of the first period and he also assisted on Reinhardt's goal for a two-point night. Freshman goaltender Ian Dams (Manotick, Ontario) was outstanding in net as he made 29 saves to earn his first collegiate win and improve to 1-1-0 on the season.

SENIOR SALUTE: 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 67 wins, two Atlantic Hockey titles, two NCAA Tournaments and one NCAA Tournament victory.

CAPTAIN James Sixsmith: Senior James Sixsmith (Alexandria, Va.) will serve as the team captain for the 2006-07 season. Sixsmith has gotten off to a fast start this season as he already has two goals and six assists for eight points in the first four games, as he leads the team in assists and is tied for first in points. His 1.50 assists per game are second in Atlantic Hockey and tied for eighth nationally, while his 2.0 points per game are tied for second in Atlantic Hockey and fifth in the nation. Sixsmith now has 113 career points moving him into a tie for 31st all-time at Holy Cross and his 80 assists are good for fourth all-time on the Holy Cross Division I chart. He also ranks seventh in points (113) and ninth in goals (33) on the HC all-time Division I list. Last season, Sixsmith was third on the team in points (40) with 12 goals and 28 assists. He has also shown that he is a clutch player as he was named the 2006 Atlantic Hockey Tournament MVP for his three goals and five assists in the three games, while he also scored a game-winning shorthanded goal with just 28 seconds left in the third period in the 3-2 win at Dartmouth on January 21, 2006.

REINHARDT ON A ROLL: Junior center Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) has scored five goals and added three assists for eight points in the first four games. His 1.25 goals per game are second in Atlantic hockey and tied for eighth in the country, while his 2.0 points per game are tied for second in Atlantic Hockey and tied for fifth in the nation. His two game-winning goals and two shorthanded goals lead Atlantic Hockey and are tied for first in the nation. For his career, Reinhardt has 27 goals and 39 assists for 66 points in 72 games. Reinhardt had a strong sophomore season that saw him finish tied for fourth on the team in assists (25), while he was fifth on the team in goals (11) and points (36).

THE FORWARDS: Holy Cross returns 12 forwards, while they lost four and welcome four newcomers. Along with Sixsmith and Reinhardt, senior Sean Nappo (Northville, Mich.) and sophomore Dewey Thomson (Northbridge, Mass.) have started the season strong. Nappo has two goals and two assists for four points, while Thomson has a goal and three assists for four points. Nappo had a solid junior season with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points, while Thomson had two goals and four assists for six points in 27 games as a freshman.

THE DEFENSEMEN: Seniors Jon Landry (Lexington, Mass.) and Rob Godfrey (Thunder Bay, Ontario) bring a lot of big game experience to a veteran defense that has eight players returning and one newcomer, while it lost one. Landry has a goal and two assists for three points so far this season. He has played in 110 career games and is coming off a career season offensively as he was sixth on the team in points with 29, scoring nine goals and adding 20 assists. Landry was also named to the Atlantic Hockey all-conference first team and earned a spot on the NCAA West Regional all-tournament team. Godfrey has one assist early on this season as he also had a career season last year as he received the Atlantic Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman Award and chipped in with four goals and 12 assists for 16 points. Sophomore Marty Dams (Manotick, Ontario) is tied with Landry for fifth on the team in scoring as he has three assists in three games played, while his 1.00 points per game by a defenseman are tied for second in Atlantic hockey and 15th in the nation. Dams had a goal and three assists for four points as a freshman. Junior Frank O'Grady (Kimberley, British Columbia) has made an immediate impact after missing last season due to an injury as he has two assists and has played in all four games. O'Grady had 11 assists in 36 games in the 2004-05 season.

THE GOALTENDERS: Freshmen goalies Tyler Chestnut (Faribault, Minn.) and Ian Dams (Manotick, Ontario) have each played two games for Holy Cross this season and are both 1-1-0. Chestnut earned a win in his collegiate debut making 41 saves in Holy Cross' 4-1 win over Mercyhurst on October 20. Chestnut currently has a 3.51 goals against average and a .911 save percentage in 119:43. Dams earned his first collegiate win in the 2-1 win at Merrimack on October 24 as he made 29 saves. He has a 2.95 goals against average and a .913 save percentage in 121:51. Ian's brother Marty is a sophomore defenseman on the team and his brother Jeff is a former member of the Crusader hockey as a forward and graduated in 2004.

DRISCOLL SCORES FIRST TWO COLLEGIATE GOALS: Freshman center Ryan Driscoll (Dorchester, Mass.) netted his first two collegiate goals in holy Cross' 7-5 loss to Mercyhurst on October 21. He scored back-to-back goals in the first period to tie the game at 2-2.

HC PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross has been picked to finish third in the Atlantic Hockey Association 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), Rochester Institute of Technology (36 points), Army (32 points) and American International College (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 183-150-31 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 a goal in 10 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 another former Crusader goalie Ben Conway, is playing for the Memphis RiverKings of the CHL. Also defenseman Marc Bianchi is playing with the Lubbock Cotton Kings of the CHL.