Dec. 5, 2006
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (7-8-1, 6-6-1 AHA) vs. Army (6-6-2, 6-3-2 AHA)
Date: December 6
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Tate Rink (2,648), West Point, N.Y.
Series Record: Army leads 24-17-3 (Varsity games since 1966)
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 5, Army 2 (11/18/06; Worcester, Mass.)
2006-07 Season Series: Holy Cross leads 2-0-0
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (7-8-1 overall, 6-6-1 Atlantic Hockey) will continue its nine game road trip when it faces Army (6-6-2 overall, 6-3-2 Atlantic Hockey), at Tate Rink on Wednesday, December 6, in West Point, N.Y. The game is set to start at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders swept a two-game series with the Black Knights at the Hart Center on November 17-18. Holy Cross is coming off a 0-2-0 week with two losses at RIT, while the Black Knights were off last week as they fell at Union by a score of 4-1 in their last game on November 24. The Crusaders have played 13 Atlantic Hockey games and are tied for third place with 13 points, while Army has played in 11 conference games and are in second place with 14 points.
THE SERIES WITH ARMY: Wednesday night's game will mark the 45th meeting between the Crusaders and the Black Knights since Holy Cross became a varsity program in the 1966-67 season, with Army leading the series, 24-17-3.
THE BLACK KNIGHTS: The Black Knights are currently in second place in Atlantic Hockey with a 6-3-2 conference record and 14 points. Army is led by sophomore Tim Manthey's three goals and 12 assists for 15 points. His 1.07 points per game by a defenseman are ranked fourth in the nation and second in the league. Junior Luke Flicek is also having a solid season with seven goals and seven assists for 14 points. Sophomore goaltender Josh Kassel is 6-5-1 with a 2.65 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in 702:46.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Holy Cross is in the midst of a nine-game road trip. After the game at Army, the Crusaders will compete at the Toyota UConn Hockey Classic on December 29-30.
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 72 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.
STRONG ON THE POWER PLAY: Holy Cross' 22.1 power play percentage is ranked 10th in the nation and second in Atlantic Hockey. In the last six games the Crusaders have scored 13 power play goals, including going four-for-five on the man-advantage against Connecticut on November 21.
SOLID OFFENSE: The Crusaders are averaging 3.50 goals a game which are tied for 14th nationally and are third in Atlantic Hockey. Holy Cross has scored 56 goals in the first 16 games of the season.
SIXSMITH SETS SCHOOL RECORD: Senior captain James Sixsmith (Alexandria, Va.) now holds the Holy Cross all-time Division I record for career assists with 93. The record was held by current San Jose Shark Patrick Rissmiller (1998-2002) who had 90 assists during his career. Sixsmith has six goals and 19 assists for 25 points in 16 games this season, as he now has 37 goals and 130 points in 123 career games. His 93 assists are sixth all-time in the program's history. Sixsmith's 130 points are sixth all-time in Division I as the record is 143 held by Rissmiller. He is also eighth in goals with 37 on the HC all-time Division I list. Sixsmith is currently second in the nation in assists per game with 1.19, while he is 10th in points per game with 1.56. 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.
LANDRY LEADS DEFENSEMEN IN SCORING: Senior defenseman Jon Landry (Lexington, Mass.) is having a big season so far as his 1.19 points per game by a defenseman are ranked first in Atlantic Hockey and second in the nation. He is second on the team in goals (eight), assists (11) and points (19). Seven of Landry's eight goals are on the power play as his seven power play goals are tied for second in the nation. He has played in 122 career games with 23 goals and 55 assists for 78 points, as his 55 assists are 10th all-time on the Holy Cross Division I list. Last season, Landry had 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 ON A ROLL: Junior center Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) has nine goals, eight assists and 17 points, as he leads the team in goals and is fourth in assists and third in points. His three game-winning goals are tied for sixth nationally and his two shorthanded goals are tied for fifth in the nation. For his career, Reinhardt has 31 goals and 44 assists for 75 points in 84 games. His 31 goals are 10th on the Holy Cross all-time Division I chart.
ROOKIE DRISCOLL OFF TO FAST START: Freshman center Ryan Driscoll (Dorchester, Mass.) has five goals and nine assists for 14 points on the season. He is tied for fifth on the team in goals, third in assists and fourth in points. Driscoll has played in all 16 games and his .88 points per game by a rookie are second in Atlantic Hockey and are tied for 20th in the country.
HC PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross was 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 188-156-32 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 two goals and six assists in 28 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.