November 3, 2005

Women's Ice Hockey Picked To Finish Fifth In ECAC East

Nov. 3, 2005

Worcester, Mass. - The Holy Cross women's ice hockey team will get their 2005-2006 season underway this weekend in Vermont with two road games. First, the Crusaders will take on Castleton St. on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday, Nov. 5 at 3:00 p.m. the women will travel to Colchester, Vt. to play St. Michael's. Both games are ECAC East Division III games and therefore are key matchups early in the season.

The home schedule at the Hart Center will begin next weekend on Saturday, Nov. 12 against New England College at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 13 against St. Anselm at 3:00 p.m. Both games are against ECAC East teams. On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the Crusaders will finish a stretch of three home games in four days as they battle non-conference opponent Sacred Heart.

The 2004-05 Campaign

The 2004-05 season was the fifth in the history of the Holy Cross women's varsity ice hockey team. The Crusaders compiled an overall record of 12-14-1, going 9-9-1 in the ECAC East Division. In their first two contests Holy Cross came out of the gates quickly with back-to-back road wins over St. Michaels's. Between November 30 and January 7 the women's team put together a season-high win streak of five games that including wins over Connecticut College, Southern Maine (2), Castleton St. and UMass-Boston. They outscored their opponents 25-12 during the span. In the ECAC Open Tournament, held in Manchester, N.H., Van Buskirk's team defeated Sacred Heart in the opening round before falling to St. Anselm to end their run.

The 2005-06 Season Outlook

Manhattanville has been picked to finish first again in the ECAC East after winning the league last year with an overall 22-4-2 record. In order the next four teams picked by the coaches in the preseason are: Rensselaer, St. Anselm, New England College and Holy Cross. Rounding out the rest of the teams are UMass-Boston, Southern Maine, St. Michael's, Salve Regina, Castleton St. and MIT.

The Crusader women return 16 players from last year's team and Coach Peter Van Buskirk looks forward to building on past success.

Van Buskirk on the new season: "We do not have many players, but we do have good balance on our forward lines, our defensive corps and our goaltending. We cannot afford losing anyone, but I am optimistic about our ability to play a fast, aggressive and smart game consistently. There is great senior leadership and experience along with enthusiastic team chemistry which are invaluable team assets."

"For us to do better this year we will need to: A. Play solid team defense, B. Get good production from our senior line, C. Have the sophomores build on their playing experience last year."

Three Captains = Loads of Experience

Going into the 2005-06 season, Van Buskirk will be able to rely on his three senior captains. Captain Kate Remsberg (Arlington, Mass.) and assistant captains Kolt Bloxson (Fitchburg, Mass.) and Sarah Wetherbee (Canton, Mass.) come into their final season with a combined 221 games of collegiate ice hockey experience.

Kate Remsberg enters the season having played 75 career games in three years. She also served as an assistant captain as a junior. Remsberg ranks fourth all-time in career goals and fifth in career points. Last year, the senior was seventh on the team in points, dishing out nine assists to go along with four goals. So far in her career she has totaled 36 goals and 37 assists.

Van Buskirk on Remsberg: "A player with loads of experience in all positions and situations over the last three years who will continue to perform consistently on offense and defense this year. Kate is a very consistent and dependable hockey player and team leader."

Sarah Wetherbee comes into her senior year tied for the Holy Cross career points lead with 106. She also is first in almost every other offensive category including career goals and assists. Wetherbee is one of only two women to ever to total over 100 points for a career. The other is recent graduate Meghan Mahoney. Last season, Wetherbee lead the team with 15 goals and also added 10 assists. In terms of goals, she netted seven on the power play and two shorthanded while scoring two game winners.

Coach Van Buskirk on Wetherbee: "Sarah has been a major force since she arrived at Holy Cross. Her drive and determination are second to none; Sarah will be counted on again to provide the leadership of play to guide us this year."

Kolt Bloxson will bring her speed and offensive skill back for one more year to the Hart Center Rink. She currently stands third in career points and assists and second in career goals at Holy Cross. During her junior campaign, Bloxson netted nine goals and added 14 assists which put her second on the team with 23 points overall. She scored two power plays goals and one game winner on the season.

Van Buskirk on Bloxson: "Kolt is a dynamic player who is threat to score anytime. Kolt's speed and experience will be a major asset to our success this year."

Solid and Tested Between the Pipes

Returning junior Casey McCullion (Philadelphia, Pa.) is coming off a very good sophomore season and already had the second most game experience of any women's goaltender ever at Holy Cross. She was in goal for over 1500 of the 1625 minutes that her team played last season. With a 10-14-1 record in 25 starts as the Crusader netminder last season, McCullion had a .900 save percentage and 2.84 goals-against-average. In her career she has a .897 save percentage while making 1189 saves, which is second all-time at Holy Cross.

Junior Dianna Muth (Lee, N.H.) served as a reliable backup goalie in 2004-05 posting a 2-0-0 record with a 2.40 goals-against-average in 100 minutes of play. Muth only allowed four goals in her minutes and even posted one shutout.

A Young Mix of Talent

Of the eight returning members of the last years 12-14-1 team who totaled double figures in points, four were freshman and one was a sophomore. Van Buskirk sees his team's strength center on the experience on top coupled with help from a game-tested group of sophomore and juniors.

Fourth and fifth, respectively, on last year's squad in points were now sophomores Sam Rush (Wakefield, Mass.) (18 points) and Sam Murphy (Canton, Mass.) (16 points). Other names that added major production were sophomore Parny Ormiston (Duxbury, Mass.), junior Christine O'Hara (Burnsville, Minn.), and sophomore Casey Harvell (Lexington, Mass.). All three totaled 10 points in 2004-05.

Van Buskirk: "We do have a lot of veterans coming back who will need to apply there experience for us to compete for a top spot in our league this year. What we lack in numbers we have in playing time which is invaluable in executing and making right decisions on the ice."

A New Class of Contributors

Newly added to the Crusader women's team will be three players that Van Buskirk feels can contribute right away. Freshmen Jennifer Van Dongen (Calgary, Alberta) and Amy McGhee (Newtown, Pa.) will join sophomore transfer Allie DeAngelis (Framingham, Mass.) to add some much needed depth to the women's team.

Van Buskirk on the newcomers: "Jen Van Dongen, Amy McGhee and Allie DeAngelis will provide us with immediate help. Jen brings a lot of quality experience as a goaltender from the Calgary, Alberta programs; Amy McGhee brings experience from the Philadelphia Flyers Club Team as a forward; and Allie DeAngelis will give immediate help on defense after playing at St. Marks School."

Click here for a complete 2005-06 women's ice hockey schedule.