Crusaders Set For UConn Hockey Classic

Dec. 20, 2006

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The Teams: Holy Cross (7-8-2, 6-6-2 AHA) vs. UConn (5-12-0, 5-7-0 AHA)

Holy Cross vs. Colgate (7-10-2, 3-4-1 ECAC) or Northeastern (4-9-2, 2-8-2)

Date: December 29-30

Place: Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum (2,000), Storrs, Conn.

Holy Cross Radio: Friday-WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester, Mass.

Series Records (Varsity games since 1966):

With UConn: HC leads 41-37-1.

Last Meeting: HC 7, UConn 3 (11/21/06; Worcester, Mass.).

With Colgate: Colgate leads 5-0-0.

Last Meeting: Colgate 5, HC 2 (12/7/02; Hamilton, N.Y.)

With Northeastern: Northeastern leads 2-0-0.

Last Meeting: Northeastern 5, HC 2 (1/10/04; Boston, Mass.)

TOYOTA UCONN HOCKEY CLASSIC: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (7-8-2 overall, 6-6-2 Atlantic Hockey) will continue its nine game road trip and return to action for the first time since tying Army (December 6), when it competes at the Toyota UConn Hockey Classic at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs, Conn. On Friday, December 29, the Crusaders will take on tournament host Connecticut (5-12-0 overall, 5-7-0 AHA) at 7:15 p.m. in an Atlantic Hockey contest, while on Saturday, December 30, they will face either Colgate (7-10-2 overall, 3-4-1 ECACHL) or Northeastern (4-9-2 overall, 2-8-2 Hockey East). Earlier this season, the Crusaders defeated UConn 7-3, at the Hart Center on Nov. 21. The Crusaders have played 14 Atlantic Hockey games and are in fifth place with 14 points, while the Huskies have played in 12 conference games and are tied for seventh place with 10 points.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Holy Cross is in the midst of a nine-game road trip. After the UConn Hockey Classic, the Crusaders will wrap up the road trip with two games at Bentley on January 5-6.

STRONG ON THE POWER PLAY: Holy Cross' 22.4 power play percentage is tied for sixth in the nation and is second in Atlantic Hockey. In the last seven games the Crusaders have scored 14 power play goals, including going four-for-five on the man-advantage against UConn on November 21.

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.

SOLID OFFENSE: The Crusaders are averaging 3.41 goals a game which are ranked 16th nationally and are third in Atlantic Hockey. Holy Cross has scored 58 goals in the first 17 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 95. 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 21 assists for 27 points in 17 games this season, as he now has 37 goals and 132 points in 124 career games. His 95 assists are sixth all-time in the program's history since 1966. Sixsmith's 132 points are tied for fifth 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 1.24, while he is seventh in points per game with 1.59. Last season, Sixsmith 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 1.12 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) and assists (11), while he is tied for second in points (19). Seven of Landry's eight goals are on the power play as his seven power play goals are tied for fourth in the nation. He has played in 123 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 10 goals, nine assists and 19 points, as he leads the team in goals and is tied for second in points. He is also tied for third in assists. His three game-winning goals are tied for ninth nationally and his two shorthanded goals are tied for fifth in the nation. For his career, Reinhardt has 32 goals and 45 assists for 77 points in 85 games. His 32 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, tied for third in assists and is fourth in points. Driscoll has played in all 17 games and his .82 points per game by a rookie are third in Atlantic Hockey and are 26th in the country.

LOCKWOOD MAKES DEBUT IN NET: Sophomore goaltender Charlie Lockwood (Breckenridge, Colo.) made his collegiate debut in the 2-2 tie at Army on December 6. He stopped 27 of 29 shots.

HC IN REGULAR SEASON TOURNAMENTS: The Crusaders have a 55-49 all-time record in regular season tournaments. Holy Cross has participated in 56 regular season tournaments since becoming a varsity program in the 1966-67 season.

HOLY CROSS VERSUS ECACHL: The Crusaders have an all-time record of 18-40-0 against teams currently in the ECACHL. Holy Cross is 3-1-0 in the last four games against an ECACHL opponent. The Crusaders went a perfect 3-0-0 last season with two wins over Rensselaer and a victory over Dartmouth, while this season Holy Cross fell at Yale by a 2-1 score on October 27.

CRUSADERS AGAINST HOCKEY EAST: Holy Cross has won two straight games against teams from Hockey East. This season, the Crusaders defeated Merrimack, 2-1, on October 24, while they earned a 3-2 win at UMass-Amherst on October 21, 2005. Holy Cross has an all-time record of 21-74-0 against teams currently in Hockey East.

THE UCONN HUSKIES: Connecticut is led by senior Matt Scherer and sophomore Chris Myhro who each have 11 goals and seven assists for 18 points. Senior Cole Koidahl has also had a solid season with five goals and 12 assists for 17 points. Senior goalie Scott Tomes has a 4.00 goals against average in 599:31, while sophomore Jon Anderson has a 4.21 goals against average in 356:18.

THE RAIDERS: Junior Tyler Burton leads Colgate offensively with six goals and 14 assists for 20 points, while senior Marc Fulton has 12 goals and six assists for 18 points. Junior goalie Mark Dekanich has a 2.65 goals against average in 996:51 with a 7-8-2 record. Colgate is tied for seventh place in the ECACHL.

THE NORTHEASTERN HUSKIES: Northeastern is led by senior Mike Morris and freshman Chad Costello who each have six goals and seven assists for 13 points. Freshman goaltender Brad Thiessen has a 3.05 goals against average in 788:01. The Huskies are tied for eighth place in Hockey East.

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 188-156-33 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 eight assists in 34 games. Currently three 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 is playing for the Memphis RiverKings of the CHL. Also defenseman Marc Bianchi is playing with the Lubbock Cotton Kings of the CHL.