November 2, 2006

Men's Hockey Ready To Host Canisius At The Hart Center

Nov. 2, 2006

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GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:

The Teams: Holy Cross (2-3, 1-1 AHA) vs. Canisius (1-6, 1-2 AHA)

Dates: November 3-4

Times: November 3-7:00 p.m.; November 4-4:00 p.m.

Place: Hart Center, Worcester, Mass.

Holy Cross Student Radio: Friday & Saturday-WCHC 88.1 FM

Series Record: Holy Cross leads 18-8-7.

Last Meeting: Canisius 3, HC 1 (2/11/06; Worcester, Mass.).

2005-06 Season Series: Holy Cross won 3-1-0.

THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (2-3-0 overall, 1-1-0 Atlantic Hockey) will host Canisius (1-6-0 overall, 1-2-0 Atlantic Hockey), in Atlantic Hockey action at the Hart Center on Friday and Saturday, November 3-4. Friday night's game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., while Saturday's contest will begin at 4:00 p.m. The Crusaders are coming off an 1-1 week as they defeated Merrimack, 2-1, and fell to Yale, 2-1. The Golden Griffins dropped two games last week with a 9-0 loss at Colgate and a 4-2 defeat to RIT. The Crusaders are 1-1 in the conference as they split a series with Mercyhurst, while the Griffs are 1-2 as they split with Sacred Heart and fell to RIT. Last season, Holy Cross won the season series with Canisius, 3-1.

THE SERIES WITH CANISIUS: This weekend's games will mark the 34th and 35th meetings between the Crusaders and the Golden Griffins, with Holy Cross leading the series, 18-8-7. The Crusaders are 10-1-4 in the last 15 games against the Griffs. The Crusaders won the first three games against Canisius last season before the Griffs earned the victory in the last meeting.

THE GOLDEN GRIFFINS: Canisius' offense has been led by freshmen as its top four scorers are all rookies. They have accounted for eight of the team's 12 goals, while freshmen have also accounted for 15 of the team's 20 assists. Josh Heidinger leads the team in scoring with two goals and six assists for eight points, while Carl Hudson has three goals and two assists for five points and Jason Weeks has two goals and three assists for five points. Chris Forsman rounds out the top four with a goal and three assists for four points. Junior Bryce Luker has played 236:53 in net with a 0-4 record and a 5.32 goals against average, while Max Buetow is 1-2 with a 3.02 goals against average in 178:42. Last season, Canisius went 10-23-3 overall and 8-18-2 in Atlantic Hockey.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Crusaders will play six of their next seven games at the Hart Center with all of them against Atlantic Hockey teams. In the early going Holy Cross is 1-1 at home. Last season, the Crusaders went 12-4-1 on their home ice and have a 276-161-22 (.626) all-time record at the Hart Center.

Ian Dams NAMED ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Holy Cross freshman goaltender Ian Dams (Manotick, Ontario) was named the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week on October 30 for his performance in games against Merrimack and Yale. He stopped 51 of 54 shots in the two games for a .944 save percentage. Dams earned his first collegiate victory as he made 29 saves in Holy Cross' 2-1 win at Merrimack on Tuesday, October 24, while he stopped 22 shots in the 2-1 loss at Yale on Friday, October 27. His 2.65 goals against average and .914 save percentage in three games are currently ranked fourth in Atlantic Hockey.

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.) is 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 five games, as he leads the team in assists and is tied for first in points. His 1.20 assists per game are second in Atlantic Hockey and 16th nationally, while his 1.60 points per game are tied for third in Atlantic Hockey and tied for 21st in the nation. Sixsmith now has 113 career points in 112 games, 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 five games. His 1.00 goals per game are tied for third in Atlantic Hockey and tied for fifth in the country, while his 1.60 points per game are tied for third in Atlantic Hockey and tied for 21st 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 73 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 three assists for four points as he is tied for third on the team in scoring and tied for 41st in the nation in points per game by a defenseman with .80. He has played in 111 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 for sixth on the team in scoring as he has three assists in four games played, while his .75 points per game by a defenseman are tied for 47th in the nation.

ROOKIE DRISCOLL OFF TO FAST START: Freshman center Ryan Driscoll (Dorchester, Mass.) has scored three goals so far this season as he netted his first two collegiate goals in Holy Cross' 7-5 loss to Mercyhurst on October 21. He scored the Crusaders' lone goal in the 2-1 loss at Yale on October 27.

HC PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross has been picked to finish third in the Atlantic Hockey 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), RIT (36 points), Army (32 points) and AIC (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 183-151-31 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.

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 and an assist in 13 games. Currently four 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 Tyler McGregor and goalie Ben Conway are playing for the Memphis RiverKings of the CHL. Also defenseman Marc Bianchi is playing with the Lubbock Cotton Kings of the CHL.