Oct. 30, 2008
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
Teams: Holy Cross (1-1-1, 1-0-1 Atlantic Hockey) vs. RIT (1-4-1, 0-1-1 Atlantic Hockey)
Dates: Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2008
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Frank Ritter Ice Arena (2,100), Rochester, N.Y.
Live Video Streaming: B2 Networks
Series Record: RIT leads 10-5-0
Last Meeting: RIT 5, HC 4 (OT) (3/8/08; Rochester, N.Y.)
2007-2008 Series: RIT won 4-0-0
THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (1-1-1, 1-0-1 Atlantic Hockey) will hit the road for the first time this season to play Atlantic Hockey opponent RIT (1-4-1 overall, 0-1-1 Atlantic Hockey), at the Frank Ritter Ice Arena in Rochester, N.Y., on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 31-Nov. 1. Both games will start at 7:00 p.m. These two teams met in the Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinals last year at RIT, as the Tigers won two 5-4 overtime games to take the best two-out-of-three series. The Crusaders lead Atlantic Hockey in both power play percentage and penalty kill percentage.
#6 IN THE NATION ON THE POWER PLAY: The Crusaders' 23.5 power play percentage is ranked sixth in the country and first in Atlantic Hockey. Holy Cross is 4-17 on the man-advantage, including a 3-8 performance last week against Providence. Junior co-captain Ryan Driscoll (Dorchester, Mass.) scored two power play goals versus the Friars as he is tied for seventh nationally in power play goals and is tied for third in the conference.
#1 IN THE LEAGUE IN PENALTY KILL PERCENTAGE: Holy Cross' 89.5 penalty kill percentage is the best in Atlantic Hockey and is ranked 15th in the nation. The Crusaders have only given up two goals on 19 power play opportunities for their opponents.
THE SERIES WITH RIT: This weekend's games will mark the 16th and 17th times that these two teams have met with RIT leading the all-time series, 10-5-0. The Tigers have won 10 straight against the Crusaders including a 6-0-0 record since RIT became a member of Atlantic Hockey. The Tigers went 2-0-0 versus Holy Cross in 2006-2007 and 4-0-0 in 2007-2008. RIT defeated the Crusaders last year in the Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinals by sweeping the best two-out-of-three series in Rochester as it won two 5-4 overtime games.
HC ON THE ROAD: The two games at RIT are the first two away games this season for the Crusaders. Last year, Holy Cross went 5-9-4 on the road.
NEXT WEEK: The Crusaders will return home for a two-game series against Mercyhurst on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7-8. Both games are set for 7:00 p.m.
LAST WEEK: Last Saturday against Providence, the Crusaders played in front of a standing room only crowd of 2,032 at the Hart Center on Oct. 25. With the 6-4 loss to the Friars, Holy Cross is now 3-2-2 in its last seven games against teams from Hockey East. Ryan Driscoll scored two goals and sophomore forward Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) had one goal and two assists. Junior forward Brodie Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alberta) scored his team-leading third goal of the year, while sophomore defenseman Mark Znutas (Emerson, N.J.) recorded his first two assists of the season. Znutas leads all Holy Cross defenders with two points and his 0.67 points per game are fourth in Atlantic Hockey and are tied for 32nd in the country by defensemen.
THE TIGERS: RIT enters this weekend with a 1-4-1 record and a 0-1-1 mark in Atlantic Hockey. The Tigers are led by junior Dan Ringwald who has one goal and four assists for five points. Both of RIT's goalies have each played in three games. Junior Jared DeMichiel is 1-2-0 with a 2.37 goals against average, while senior Louis Menard is 0-2-1 with a 3.61 goals against average.
HC TO BE ON ESPNU: For the fourth straight season, the Crusaders will be on ESPNU. Holy Cross' game at Army on Jan. 18 will mark the fifth time a Crusader game has been on ESPNU. The previous four times were the 3-1 win over Army at the Hart Center on Nov. 4, 2007, the 7-0 loss at Quinnipiac on Jan. 28, 2007, the 4-3 overtime victory over Minnesota in the first round of the NCAA West Regional Semifinals on Mar. 24, 2006, and the 5-2 loss at North Dakota in the NCAA West Regional Finals on Mar. 25, 2006.
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.
HC #2 IN THE LEAGUE IN SCORING: The Crusaders' 3.33 goals per game are the second most in the league and are tied for 14th nationally. Holy Cross has scored 11 goals in the first three games, including five against Canisius on Oct. 18 and four against Providence on Oct. 25.
SHEEN LEADS CRUSADERS IN POINTS: Sophomore Everett Sheen leads the team in assists with three and in points with five, while he is tied for second in goals with two. His 1.67 points per game are tied for eighth in the nation and fourth in Atlantic Hockey. He netted one goal and had one assist for two points in the 5-4 victory over Canisius on Oct. 18, while against Providence on Oct. 25, he had a goal and two assists for three points. Sheen has 17 goals and 12 assists for 29 points in 39 career games played.
SHEAHAN LEADS TEAM IN GOALS: Junior Brodie Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alberta) scored two goals in the 5-4 win over Canisius on Oct. 18 and scored one goal in the 6-4 loss against Providence on Oct. 25. He currently leads the team in goals and his 1.00 goals per game are tied for sixth in the nation and are tied for third in the league. Sheahan has 21 goals and 28 assists for 49 points in 68 career games played.
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. RIT 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 AIC (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 202-188-44 (.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 2004 and 2006, 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. HC also claimed the AHA regular season and tournament titles.
CRUSADERS IN THE PROS: Former Holy Cross hockey player Patrick Rissmiller is in his first year with the New York Rangers and has played in two games so far. In 180 NHL games with the San Jose Sharks, he had 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points. 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. In 2007-2008, he recorded eight goals and nine assists for 17 points in 79 games. In the 2006-2007 season, Rissmiller scored seven goals and had 15 assists for a career-best 22 points. He has played in 30 career NHL playoff games with three goals and four assists for seven points. Other former Crusaders playing professional hockey are James Sixsmith (Utah Grizzlies, ECHL), Jon Landry (Johnstown Chiefs, ECHL), Dale Reinhardt (Bakersfield Condors, ECHL) and Matt Burke (Phoenix RoadRunners, ECHL).