Dec. 30, 2008
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (5-11-1, 5-8-1 Atlantic Hockey) vs. No. 5 Denver (13-5-1, 9-4-1 WCHA)
Holy Cross vs. No. 3 Boston University (11-4-1, 6-4-1 Hockey East) or Rensselaer (3-13-1, 2-5-0 ECACHL)
Dates: Jan. 2-3, 2009
Times: Jan. 2: 9:30 p.m. (EST); Jan. 3: 6:00 p.m. (EST) or 9:00 p.m. (EST)
Place: Magness Arena (6,026), Denver, Colo.
Television: Friday-FSN Rocky Mountain (DirecTV channel 683 and Dish Network channel 414); Dan Kelly & Charlie Host; Alanna Rizzo, reporter; Saturday-FSN Rocky Mountain (Championship game)
Live Audio: Friday-www.denverpioneers.com
Series Records (Varsity games since 1966):
With Denver: First Meeting
Last Meeting: First Meeting
With Boston University: BU leads 1-0-0
Last Meeting: BU 3, HC 2 (11/25/08; Boston, Mass.)
With Rensselaer: RPI leads 4-2-0
Last Meeting: HC 4, RPI 2 (12/30/05; Columbus, Ohio)
WELLS FARGO DENVER CUP: The Holy Cross men's hockey team (5-11-1 overall, 5-8-1 Atlantic Hockey) will return to action for the first time since playing at Hockey East member New Hampshire on Dec. 11, when it competes at the Wells Fargo Denver Cup on Jan. 2-3 at the Magness Arena in Denver, Colo. On Friday, the Crusaders will meet tournament host No. 5 Denver (13-5-1 overall, 9-4-1 WCHA) at 9:30 p.m. (EST) in the first-ever match up between the two programs. The game can be seen live on FSN Rocky Mountain which can be found on DirecTV channel 683 and Dish Network channel 414. The Crusaders are tied for fifth in the Atlantic Hockey standings with 11 points, while the Pioneers are currently in first place in the WCHA with 19 points and have the second-best offense in the nation as they are averaging 3.89 goals per game. Holy Cross will then play either No. 3 Boston University (11-4-1 overall, 6-4-1 Hockey East) or Rensselaer (3-13-1 overall, 2-5-0 ECACHL) on Saturday at either 6:00 p.m. (EST) or 9:00 p.m. (EST). Earlier this season, the Crusaders fell at Boston University, 3-2, on Nov. 25 in the only varsity game ever played between the two teams. Holy Cross has won two straight games over RPI with two victories in the 2005-2006 season as the Engineers hold a 4-2 all-time series advantage.
HC IN REGULAR SEASON TOURNAMENTS: The Crusaders have a 55-51-2 all-time record in 58 regular season tournaments since becoming a varsity program in the 1966-67 season and have won 10 championships with the last being the 1992 Crusader Classic. Last year, HC tied Vermont and Western Michigan but dropped both shootouts at the Catamount Cup.
NINTH IN FEWEST PENALTY MINUTES: The Crusaders are ninth in the country and third in Atlantic Hockey in fewest penalty minutes per game with 13.3. 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 MAKES SUCCESSFUL MOVE TO FORWARD: Sophomore Matt Celin (Gibsonia, Pa.), who played his first 40 collegiate games as a defender, has recorded three goals and one assist in three straight games as a forward, including scoring three of the four Holy Cross goals in the two games against Bentley. 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 also had one assist at New Hampshire on Dec. 11. For the year, Celin has three goals and two assists for five points, including one assist as a defender, while he has four goals and three assists for seven points in 43 career games.
ON THE ROAD: The Crusaders are 1-6-0 on the road this season. Last year, Holy Cross went 5-9-4 in away games.
ON NEUTRAL ICE: The second game of the Denver Cup will be the first neutral ice game for the Crusaders this season as they are 2-2-1 in their last five games on neutral ice. Holy Cross tied Western Michigan, 1-1, at the 2007 Catamount Cup, fell to Northeastern, 7-2, at the 2006 UConn Hockey Classic, defeated Minnesota, 4-3 (OT), at the 2006 NCAA Tournament, defeated Rensselaer, 4-2, at the 2005 Ohio Hockey Classic, and fell to Nebraska-Omaha, 6-1, at the 2005 RPI Tournament.
DAMS REACHES 100 CAREER GAMES PLAYED: Senior Marty Dams (Manotick, Ontario) has played in 104 career games which are the most by any current Crusader. He has three goals and 16 assists for 19 points in his career. Senior Dewey Thomson (Northbridge, Mass.), who was just named one of 20 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, is also nearing 100 career games played as he has recorded 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points in 99 games.
CYR & FORSHNER HAVING STRONG YEARS: Sophomore forward Jordan Cyr (Winnipeg, Manitoba) leads the team in goals with eight, while his 13 points are second and his five 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 seventh in the league and is tied for 22nd in the country in goals per game with 0.50. In Holy Cross' three games against Hockey East teams this year, he has three goals and three assists for six points, with one assist against Providence, one goal and one assist at Boston University and two goals and one assist at New Hampshire. 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 third. In 82 career games, he has 13 goals and 32 assists for 45 points.
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: Junior Brodie Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alberta) has five goals and nine assists for 14 points this season. He currently leads the team in assists and points, while he is second in goals. Sheahan recorded five assists in the two games against Mercyhurst earlier in the season. He has 23 goals and 37 assists for 60 points in 82 career games played. His 14 career power play goals are ranked ninth on the Holy Cross Division I all-time list.
MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Sophomore goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) has 1,151 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 380 saves and has a 4-10-1 record.
FRESHMEN CONTRIBUTE RIGHT AWAY: The Crusaders have received major contributions from their freshman class this year. During the two games against Bentley on Dec. 5-6, eight of the 12 Holy Cross points and seven of the eight assists were recorded by freshmen. 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. For the year, Silvia is tied for third on the team in goals with four and is sixth in points with seven. 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.
VERSUS WCHA: The Crusaders have a 1-3-0 all-time record against teams from the WCHA as they have only played three members of the conference (0-1-0 against Alaska Anchorage, 1-0-0 vs. Minnesota and 0-2-0 against North Dakota). Holy Cross has not played a member of this conference since falling at North Dakota, 5-2, in the 2006 NCAA West Regional Finals and defeating Minnesota, 4-3 (OT), in the 2006 NCAA West Regional Semifinals.
VERSUS HOCKEY EAST: The Crusaders are 3-4-2 in their last nine games against teams from Hockey East, including this season with a 9-4 loss at New Hampshire on Dec. 11, 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 22-78-2 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, 0-2-0 against New Hampshire, 0-3-0 vs. Northeastern, 1-3-0 against Providence and 0-2-1 vs. Vermont.).
VERSUS ECACHL: Holy Cross is 3-4-0 in its last seven games against ECACHL opponents. Last year, the Crusaders fell to Quinnipiac, while two years ago they fell at Yale, at Dartmouth and at Quinnipiac. In the 2005-2006 season, Holy Cross went a perfect 3-0-0 with two wins over Rensselaer and a victory over Dartmouth. The Crusaders have an all-time record of 18-44-4 against teams currently in the ECACHL (2-3-0 against Brown, 0-5-0 vs. Colgate, 2-3-0 against Dartmouth, 0-4-0 vs. Princeton, 5-17-3 against Quinnipiac, 2-4-0 vs. Rensselaer, 0-1-0 against St. Lawrence, 7-5-1 vs. Union and 0-2-0 against Yale).
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 206-198-44 (.509) 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).