Dec. 9, 2008
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
Teams: Holy Cross (5-10-1, 5-8-1 Atlantic Hockey) vs. #15 New Hampshire (7-6-3, 5-4-2 Hockey East)
Date: Dec. 11, 2008
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Whittemore Center (6,501), Durham, N.H.
Holy Cross Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester, Mass.; Ryan Holt & Kevin Doyle, Listen to game
Live Video Streaming: http://unhwildcats.tv/
Series Record: UNH leads 1-0 (Varsity games since 1966-1967).
Last Meeting: UNH 4, HC 1 (12/31/86; Hanover, N.H.)
THURSDAY NIGHT: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (5-10-1 overall, 5-8-1 Atlantic Hockey) will play No. 15 New Hampshire (7-6-3 overall, 5-4-2 Hockey East) in both teams' last game before winter break on Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H., at 7:00 p.m. This will only be the second meeting between these two teams in varsity action as UNH defeated the Crusaders, 4-1, in the championship game of Dartmouth's Auld Lang Syne Classic in Hanover, N.H., on Dec. 31, 1986, in the only previous contest. Holy Cross is 3-3-2 in their last eight games against teams from Hockey East. On Dec. 5-6, the Crusaders split a home-and-home series with Atlantic Hockey opponent Bentley, while New Hampshire swept UMass Lowell in a home-and-home series in Hockey East action. Holy Cross is in a five-way tie for second place in the Atlantic Hockey standings with 11 points and New Hampshire is tied for third in Hockey East with Boston College with 12 points.
HC VERSUS HOCKEY EAST: The Crusaders are 3-3-2 in their last eight games against teams from Hockey East, including this season with a 3-2 loss at Boston University on Nov. 25 and a 6-4 loss at home versus Providence on Oct. 25. Last year, Holy Cross had a 1-1 tie at Vermont on Dec. 29, 2007, a 2-2 tie at home with Merrimack on Dec. 4, 2007 and a 6-4 win at Providence on Oct. 20, 2007. Two years ago, the Crusaders fell to Northeastern, 7-2, on Dec. 30, 2006 and won at Merrimack, 2-1, on Oct. 24, 2006. In 2005 the Crusaders earned a 3-2 win at UMass Amherst on Oct. 21. Holy Cross has an all-time record of 22-77-2 against teams currently in Hockey East (0-8-0 against Boston College, 0-1-0 vs. Boston University, 2-4-0 against Maine, 5-11-0 vs. UMass Amherst, 6-20-0 against UMass Lowell, 8-24-1 vs. Merrimack, 0-1-0 against New Hampshire, 0-3-0 vs. Northeastern, 1-3-0 against Providence and 0-2-1 vs. Vermont.).
NINTH IN FEWEST PENALTY MINUTES: The Crusaders are ninth in the country and fourth in Atlantic Hockey in fewest penalty minutes per game with 13.5. Last year, the Crusaders won the Atlantic Hockey Sportsmanship Award as they led the league and were fourth in the nation in fewest penalty minutes per game with 11.1.
CELIN SCORES THREE GOALS IN TWO GAMES: Sophomore Matt Celin (Gibsonia, Pa.), who played his first 40 collegiate games as a defender, scored three of the four Holy Cross goals in the two games against Bentley as a forward. After scoring one goal in his debut as a forward on Dec. 5, Celin scored two goals in the 3-2 win on Dec. 6, including the game-winner. He has three goals and one assist for four points on the year, while he has four goals and two assists for six points in 42 career games.
ON THE ROAD: The Crusaders are 1-5-0 on the road this season. Last year, Holy Cross went 5-9-4 in away games.
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.
DAMS REACHES 100 CAREER GAMES PLAYED: Marty Dams (Manotick, Ontario) has played in 103 career games which are the most by any current Crusader. He has three goals and 16 assists for 19 points in his career.
FRESHMEN HAVE BIG WEEK: Eight of the 12 Holy Cross points in the two games against Bentley on Dec. 5-6 were recorded by freshmen, including seven of the eight assists. Matthew Davis (Lancaster, N.Y.) and Gianni Baldassari (Fort Wayne, Ind.) each had their first collegiate points with assists on Holy Cross' lone goal on Dec. 5, while in the 3-2 win on Dec. 6, Jay Silvia (Burlington, Mass.) scored one goal, Kyle Atkins (Brockville, Ontario) had two assists, and Andrew Cox (Lombardy, Ontario), Mike Daly (South Burlington, Vt.) and Luke Miller (Andover, Mass.) each had one assist. Throughout this season, Holy Cross has seen major contributions from its freshman class. Silvia is tied for second on the team in goals with four and is sixth in points with five. The Crusaders have three freshmen with four points each. Daly and Matt Clune (Toronto, Ontario) each have two goals and two assists, while Atkins has four assists. Cox has recorded three assists and Miller has two assists.
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. Holy Cross is 2-2-0 in these games. 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.
SHEAHAN LEADS TEAM IN POINTS: Junior Brodie Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alberta) has four goals and nine assists for 13 points this season. He currently leads the team in assists and points, while he is tied for second in goals. Sheahan recorded five assists in the two games against Mercyhurst earlier in the season. His 0.81 points per game are tied for 17th in Atlantic Hockey. Also his 0.56 assists per game are tied for 15th in the league and are tied for 89th in the country. Sheahan has 22 goals and 37 assists for 59 points in 81 career games played.
MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Sophomore goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) has 1,126 career saves which are already second on Holy Cross' all-time Division I saves list. Also his 12 career victories are fifth all-time on the Division I list. Roy recorded his first collegiate shutout as he made 17 saves in the 3-0 victory over AIC on Nov. 22. 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 355 saves and has a 4-9-1 record.
CYR & FORSHNER TIED FOR SECOND IN POINTS: Sophomore forward Jordan Cyr (Winnipeg, Manitoba) leads the team in goals with six, while his 10 points are tied for second and his four assists are tied for third. He was named the Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week for his four-goal performance in the two-game series against Mercyhurst. Cyr is tied for 12th in the league and is tied for 86th in the country in goals per game with 0.40. Cyr, who transferred from RPI, is in his first season. Junior Rob Forshner (Sundre, Alberta) has been a major contributor so far on offense as he has three goals and seven assists for 10 points. His seven assists this year are second on the team and his 10 points are tied for second. In 81 career games, he has 13 goals and 32 assists for 45 points.
DAMS EARNS WIN VERSUS BENTLEY: Junior goalie Ian Dams (Manotick, Ontario) was impressive in net in the 3-2 win over Bentley on Dec. 6. In his second start of the season, Dams stopped 29 of 31 shots for a .935 save percentage to improve to 1-1-0 on the year. He made 12 saves in the first period, seven in the second and 10 in the third. His 776 career saves and 11 career victories are both ranked sixth on the Holy Cross all-time Division I lists, while his 3.11 goals against average is fifth.
SCOUTING UNH: New Hampshire is led by sophomore James van Riemsdyk who leads the team in goals with eight, assists with 13 and points with 21. His 13 assists are tied for the most in Hockey East, while his 21 points are ranked second. Junior Brian Foster, who was just named the Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week, has seen the majority of time in net. In 13 games, he is 7-4-2 with a 2.21 goals against average. Freshman Matt DiGirolamo has played in three games in goal. New Hampshire is 13-2-1 in its last 16 games at the Whittemore Center. New Hampshire is led by Dick Umile, who is in his 19th season as the head coach at his alma mater. He has been named the Hockey East Coach of the Year five times and has a career record of 431-213-69. His .653 winning percentage is the third best among active Division I coaches. Last season, UNH won its second straight Hockey East regular season championship.
DRISCOLL & SHEEN PROVIDE SPARK ON OFFENSE: Ryan Driscoll is having a solid season as his three goals are tied for fifth on the team, his four assists are tied for third and his seven points are fifth. Driscoll has played in all 85 games that the Crusaders have played in during his career and has 15 goals and 26 assists for 41 points. Sophomore Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) is fourth on the team in points with eight as his four goals are tied for second and his four assists are tied for third. In 52 career games played, Sheen already has 19 goals and 13 assists for 32 points. In his freshman season last year, he led the team in goals with 15 as he played in all 36 games.
HC PICKED SIXTH IN PRESEASON POLL: Holy Cross was 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 206-197-44 (.510) 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 appeared in two games and is currently with the Rangers' AHL affiliate in Hartford, Conn. He played in 180 NHL games with the San Jose Sharks from 2004-2008. He had 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points. After being recalled from the Cleveland Barons on March 15, 2006, Rissmiller went on 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).