Nov. 13, 2008
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
Teams: Holy Cross (2-4-1, 2-3-1 Atlantic Hockey) vs. #13 Air Force (8-0-0, 6-0-0 Atlantic Hockey)
Dates: Nov. 14-15, 2008
Times: Friday-6:30 p.m. & Saturday-7:00 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: Air Force leads 11-4-5
Last Meeting: HC 2, AFA 2 (11/24/07; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
2007-2008 Series: Air Force won 1-0-1
THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (2-4-1, 2-3-1 Atlantic Hockey) will host No. 13 Air Force (8-0-0 overall, 6-0-0 Atlantic Hockey), at the Hart Center in Atlantic Hockey action on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14-15. Friday's game is set for 6:30 p.m., while Saturday's will begin at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross is coming off a split of a two-game series against Mercyhurst as the Crusaders are in a four-way tie for second place in the Atlantic Hockey standings with five points. The first place Falcons' eight-game winning streak is the longest in the country as they are the only team in the nation without a loss or a tie. Air Force currently has the top ranked offense in the nation with 5.12 goals scored per game, while it is also one of the top teams in the nation on defense as it has only allowed 1.50 goals per game which are tied for third in the country. This is a match-up between the top two power plays in Atlantic Hockey as Air Force is ranked first with a 23.2 power play percentage and Holy Cross is second with a 17.6 power play percentage.
HC STRONG ON THE POWER PLAY: The Crusaders' 17.6 power play percentage is ranked 17th in the country and is second in Atlantic Hockey. Holy Cross is 9-51 on the man-advantage. Junior co-captain Ryan Driscoll (Dorchester, Mass.), junior Brodie Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alberta) and freshman Mike Daly (South Burlington, Vt.) have each scored two power play goals this year. They are tied for 33rd in the country in power play goals and are tied for fifth in the league.
CYR NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore forward Jordan Cyr (Winnipeg, Manitoba) was named the Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week for his four-goal performance in the two-game series against Mercyhurst on Nov. 7-8. This was the first time that Cyr has received this honor. In the first game, he netted two goals, while in the second game he also scored two goals including the game-winner in overtime for the 4-3 victory. For the year, his four goals are tied for first on the team, while his seven points are tied for second. Cyr is tied for seventh in the league in goals per game with 0.57.
HOME ICE: So far this season, the Crusaders are 2-2-1 at home, while last season they went 5-10-2. Holy Cross has a 289-177-27 (.614) all-time record at the Hart Center.
NEXT WEEK: The Crusaders will play Atlantic Hockey opponent AIC in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21-22. Friday's game will be at 7:00 p.m. in West Springfield, Mass., while Holy Cross will host Saturday's game at 4:30 p.m. On Tuesday, Nov. 25, the Crusaders will play at the current No. 1 ranked team in the nation Boston University at 7:00 p.m.
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.
SHEAHAN LEADS TEAM IN POINTS: Brodie Sheahan has four goals and six assists for 10 points this season as he has had at least one point in six straight games. He currently leads the team in assists and points, while he is tied for first in goals. Sheahan recorded five assists in the two games against Mercyhurst. His 1.43 points per game are fifth in Atlantic Hockey and are tied for 16th in the nation, while his 0.57 goals per game are tied for seventh in the league and are tied for 33rd nationally. Also his 0.86 assists per game are eighth in the league and are tied for 34th in the country. Sheahan has 22 goals and 34 assists for 56 points in 72 career games played.
FRESHMEN CONTRIBUTE RIGHT AWAY: Holy Cross has seen major contributions from its freshmen class. Mike Daly has two goals and one assist for three points in six games played. He is averaging 0.50 points per game which are tied for 42nd in the nation and are tied for 14th in Atlantic Hockey by rookies. The Crusaders have three freshmen with two points each. Matt Clune (Toronto, Ontario) and Jay Silvia (Burlington, Mass.) each have one goal and one assist in seven games, while Kyle Atkins (Brockville, Ontario) has two assists in seven games. Andrew Cox (Lombardy, Ontario) has also played in all seven games and has one assist. Gianni Baldassari (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Luke Miller (Andover, Mass.) have played in all seven games, while Matthew Davis (Lancaster, N.Y.) has played in three games.
SHEEN PROVIDES SPARK ON OFFENSE: Sophomore Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) is fourth on the team in points with five as he has two goals and three assists. In only 43 career games played, Sheen already has 17 goals and 12 assists for 29 points. In his freshman season last year, he led the team in goals with 15 as he played in all 36 games.
FORSHNER OFF TO GREAT START: Junior Rob Forshner (Sundre, Alberta) has been a major contributor so far on offense as he has two goals and five assists for seven points. He has had at least one point in six straight games. Forshner had one goal and two assists in the series with Mercyhurst. His five assists this year are second on the team and his seven points are tied for second. His 0.71 assists per game are ranked ninth in the league. In 75 career games, he has 12 goals and 30 assists for 42 points.
THE SERIES WITH AIR FORCE: This weekend's games will mark the 21st and 22nd times that these two teams have met with Air Force leading the all-time series, 11-4-5.
THE FALCONS: The first-place Falcons are ranked No. 13 in the nation which is the highest ranking ever for a team in Atlantic Hockey. Air Force is the only team in the nation with a perfect 1.000 winning percentage as its eight-game winning streak is the longest in the country. The Falcons 8-0-0 start is tied for their best in school history (1971-1972). Air Force currently has the top ranked offense in the nation with 5.12 goals scored per game and is tied for the third best defense with 1.50 goals allowed per game. The Falcons' 23.2 power play percentage is ranked second in the nation. Air Force also has the top two point producers in the country. Sophomore Jacques Lamoureux is averaging 2.38 points per game with 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points in eight games, while senior Brent Olson is averaging 2.12 points per game with three goals and 14 assists for 17 points in eight games. Lamoureux leads the nation in goals per game with 1.38 and Olson leads the nation in assists per game with 1.75. Senior Greg Flynn's 1.38 points per game are tied for first in the country by defenders. Junior goalie Andrew Volkening is a perfect 8-0-0 and his 1.49 goals against average and .935 save percentage lead the league. Frank Serratore is in his 12th season as the head coach of the Falcons. He is the all-time winningest coach in the history of the program with a 178-201-30 record. Serratore has led Air Force to two straight Atlantic Hockey Tournament championships and two straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Sophomore goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) has 919 career saves which are already fourth on Holy Cross' all-time Division I saves list. Also his 10 career victories are tied for fifth all-time on the Division I list. Last year, he set a Holy Cross freshman record for most saves in a single-season with 771 and is ranked second on the school's Division I all-time single-season saves list. This year, he has made 148 saves and has a 2-3-1 record.
SOLID OFFENSE: Holy Cross has scored 20 goals in seven games so far this year. Its 2.86 goals per game are ranked fourth in the conference and are tied for 25th nationally.
HC WINS SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD: Last year, the Crusaders won the Atlantic Hockey Sportsmanship Award. HC led the league and was fourth in the nation in fewest penalty minutes per game with 11.1.
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 203-191-44 (.514) 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, Rissmiller 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).