Nov. 14, 2006
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (4-5-0, 3-3-0 AHA) vs. Army (6-3-1, 6-1-1 AHA)
Dates: November 17-18
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (1,600), Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross Student Radio: Friday & Saturday-WCHC 88.1 FM
Series Record: Army leads 24-15-3 (Varsity games since 1966).
Last Meeting: Army 3, Holy Cross 2 (1/14/06; West Point, N.Y.).
2005-06 Season Series: Holy Cross won 3-1.
THIS WEEKEND: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (4-5-0 overall, 3-3-0 Atlantic Hockey) will host Army (6-3-1 overall, 6-1-1 Atlantic Hockey), at the Hart Center on Friday and Saturday, November 17-18. Both games are set to start at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders are coming off two losses to Sacred Heart in a home-and-home series, while the Black Knights split a two-game series at Bentley. The Black Knights have played eight league games and are tied with Sacred Heart for first place with 13 points, while the Crusaders have played six Atlantic Hockey games and are tied for fifth place with six points. Last season, Holy Cross won the season series, 3-1.
THE SERIES WITH ARMY: This weekend's games will mark the 43rd and 44th meetings between the Crusaders and the Black Knights since Holy Cross became a varsity program in the 1966-67 season, with Army leading the series, 24-15-3. The Crusaders have a 10-7 records against the Black Knights in the Hart Center.
THE BLACK KNIGHTS: The Black Knights' 6-1-1 Atlantic Hockey record is good enough for a first place tie with Sacred Heart. Army's 90.6 penalty kill percentage is ranked sixth in the nation, while its defense has allowed 2.30 goals a game which is the 11th best in the country. Sophomore goalie Josh Kassel's .925 save percentage is ranked 12th in the nation, while his 2.19 goals against average ranks 17th nationally. He currently leads Atlantic Hockey in both categories. Offensively the Black Knights are led by sophomore defenseman Tim Manthey's two goals and nine assists for 11 points, while junior Luke Flicek has five goals and five assists for 10 points and junior Bryce Hollweg has three goals and six assists for nine points. Last season, Army went 12-18-7 overall and 10-12-6 for a fifth place finish in Atlantic Hockey.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Crusaders are 3-2 at the Hart Center so far this season as they will play their next three games at home with this two-game series with Army and a game with UConn on November 21. Holy Cross will then play its next nine games on the road before returning home on January 12-13 for two games with Air Force. Last season, the Crusaders went 12-4-1 on their home ice and have a 278-162-22 (.626) all-time record at the Hart Center.
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 69 wins, two Atlantic Hockey titles, two NCAA Tournaments and one NCAA Tournament victory. The most wins by a class in a four-year period is 82 by last year's graduating seniors.
SIXSMITH LEADS NATION IN POINTS & ASSISTS: Senior captain James Sixsmith (Alexandria, Va.) currently leads the nation in points per game (2.00) and assists per game (1.56). He had a goal and two assists in the two games with Sacred Heart. He has four goals and 14 assists for 18 points in nine games this season, while Sixsmith has at least one point in eight of Holy Cross' nine games. Sixsmith now has 123 career points with 35 goals and 88 assists in 116 games, moving him into a tie for 25th all-time at Holy Cross in points. His 88 career assists ties him for 10th all-time at Holy Cross, while he is second all-time on Holy Cross' Division I assists list. Current San Jose Shark Patrick Rissmiller (1998-2002) owns the Division I record with 90 assists. Sixsmith's 123 points are tied for sixth all-time in Division I as the record is 143 also held by Rissmiller. He is also tied for eighth in goals with 35 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.
LANDRY LEADS DEFENSEMEN IN SCORING: Senior defenseman Jon Landry (Lexington, Mass.) is having a big season so far as his 1.56 points per game by a defenseman are ranked first in the nation. He is tied for second on the team in goals with five, while he is second in assists with nine and points with 14. Landry dished out four assists in the two games with Sacred Heart, including three on Saturday. He has recorded at least one point in six straight games. Four of Landry's five goals are on the power play as his 4 power play goals are tied for 10th in the nation. He has played in 115 career games with 20 goals and 53 assists, 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.
REINHARDT & NAPPO ON A ROLL: Junior center Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) and senior Sean Nappo (Northville, Mich.) have been major contributors offensively this season. Reinhardt has six goals and six assists for 12 points in the first nine games as he leads the team in goals and is third in assists and points. His two game-winning goals are tied for third nationally and his two shorthanded goals are tied for second in the nation. For his career, Reinhardt has 28 goals and 42 assists for 70 points in 77 games. His 28 goals are tied for 10th on the Holy Cross all-time Division I chart. Nappo is tied for second on the team in goals with five, while his four assists and nine points are fourth on the team. His two game-winning goals are tied with Reinhardt for best on the team and third nationally.
ROOKIE DRISCOLL OFF TO FAST START: Freshman center Ryan Driscoll (Dorchester, Mass.) has scored four goals and three assists for seven points on the season. On last Friday night, he assisted on Holy Cross' first goal at Sacred Heart, while on Saturday he netted the Crusaders' third goal. He has recorded one point in five straight games with two goals and three assists.
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 185-153-31 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 and five assists in 19 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.