that Holy Cross sits atop Atlantic Hockey, the Crusaders
are going to learn that holding on to first place is not
up, the Crusaders must face Mercyhurst in a matchup of No.
1 versus No. 2. Next week, Holy Cross and third-place Sacred
Heart will play a home-and-home series.
think as the season progresses there is certainly a sense
excitement for any team no matter what place you are in
as the playoffs are looming because that is what you are
playing for,’’ said Holy Cross coach Paul Pearl.
on top is nice, Pearl says, but he added the team’s
focus should be only on the game ahead of it.
Pearl: “I think though a big mistake can be, and I
probably made it some when I first started coaching, is
to constantly remind the guys of the standings and big games.
You have to worry about yourself and what we are doing each
night in order to get where you want to be.’’
Mercyhurst visited Worcester in November, the teams split
Holy Cross won the opener, 10-3, and dropped the nightcap,
think the games will be similar to when we played them here
in November,’’ Pearl said. “The games
will be fast and will be up and down. Both
teams I think are kind of similar in their talent and skill
we go up there on the road and play those guys it has always
been great games and a great challenge for our program.
And with it being three weeks shy of the playoffs it is
perfect to be in a tough environment against a tough team.
I think it just makes you a better team.’’
was upset about his team not completing the sweep of Canisius
last weekend, but the loss should serve as a reminder about
how important each and every game is to the standings.
think (Canisius) played very well and I like their team,’’
Pearl said, “but the three goals we gave up I think
we just handed to them and you can’t do that at the
Division I college hockey level. And as we get closer to
the playoffs we have to do it even less because every point
is so important.’’
Cross finished four points ahead of Mercyhurst two years
ago but finished fourth last season, two points behind Mercyhurst
and Canisius. Five years ago the Crusaders missed the playoffs.
AND HEARD IN ATLANTIC HOCKEY
hometown honor: Holy Cross senior goalie Tony Quesada
was the lone Atlantic Hockey player nominated for the 54th
Walter Brown Award, which goes to the top American-born
player in New England. The other 14 candidates came from
Hockey East and ECAC Hockey League schools.
think it is great,’’ said Holy Cross coach Paul
Pearl, “because we are trying to get our name associated
with some of the top programs. We feel like we play a level
of hockey with those other schools in Hockey East and the
ECAC so to have Tony in there with kids from those two leagues
is the school’s career leader in wins (54) and save
(.914) and is tied for first in goals against average (2.51).
He is second in games played in goal (94), saves (2,376)
and minutes played (5,364 minutes, 26 seconds). This season
he is second in the league in goals against average (2.23)
and save percentage (.926) and tops in win percentage (.816,
is a very viable candidate,’’ Pearl said. “If
you look at his numbers and compare what he has done with
everyone else, he is a very good candidate for that award.’’
Taking it off … for charity:
All Sacred Heart players will shave their heads in a charity
event on March 9 in Bridgeport, Conn. It will be the culmination
of a three-week fund-raising effort with the team’s
goal of $10,000 for cancer research. The shaven heads is
a sign of solidarity with children who lose their hair after
receiving chemotherapy. The Pioneers are rallying around
three-year-old Brent McCreesh, who has been battling stage
four neuroblastoma since Sept. 2004. A “Team Brent”
link for the Pioneers can be found at www.stbaldricks.org.
Cross at Mercyhurst (Fri.-Sat.)
It’s No. 1 vs. No. 2...what else can you say?
With a half-dozen games to play, Holy Cross owns a
one-point lead over Mercyhurst. Will the top two offenses
share a shootout or play it close to the vest? Fans
in Worcester got a little of both in November: Holy
Cross won the opener, 10-3, and Mercyhurst took the
nightcap, 4-3. Mercyhurst has won four in a row, but
the last time the Lakers squared off in a crucial
series they dropped two to Sacred Heart. Holy Cross
won eight in a row before falling to Canisius last
Saturday. Holy Cross has set a new mark with 11 road
wins. Mercyhurst leads the series, 14-6-1.
The Connecticut Huskies can finally breathe after
dropping 12 consecutive games. The streak-ender came
in dominant fashion, Chris Uber’s four assists
setting up a 6-0 whitewashing of American International
You can’t fault Bentley
for trying but the Falcons managed just four goals
on 88 shots on net in two weekend losses to Mercyhurst.
The Falcons are winless in their last nine (0-6-3)
since Jan. 13.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
It ain’t perfect, but …:
Army was less than a minute from winning its fourth consecutive
meeting with its Canadian counterpart, the Royal Military
Academy when the Paladins notched the tying goal in Saturday’s
exhibition in Kingston, Ontario. The teams went scoreless
in overtime, leaving Army’s Class of 2006 –
and senior goalie Brad Roberts – with a 3-0-1 record.
Army owns a 39-29-7 lead in the longest-standing international
Shutout bookends: Connecticut’s shutout victory over
AIC was its first win of 2006. The last time the Huskies
visited the win column was in its own tournament, a 3-0
blanking of Army, which just happens to be this weekend’s
Forty-fying: There are 15 Division I players in the nation
to eclipse 40 points, and Mercyhurst has three of them:
Jamie Hunt (41), Dave Borrelli (40) and Scott Champagne
(40). Borrelli ranks third in points per game (1.60) and
tops in goals per game (0.88). Hunt leads in assists per
Stingy in net: Goalie Jason Smith of Sacred Heart has a
chance to establish two MAAC/Atlantic hockey single-season
records. His 2.14 goals against average (which ranks 11th
nationally) would better the mark of 2.21 set by Holy Cross
goalie Scott Simpson in 1998-98. Smith’s .932 save
percentage (ranked fifth nationally) is tied for best with
Jamie Holden of Quinnipiac set in 2003-04.
Blue-line dreaming: Jamie Hunt of Mercyhurst needs five
points to break the league defenseman scoring mark of 45
set last season by Reid Cashman of Quinnipiac. Hunt’s
22 points on the power play ranks second to record-holder
Cashman (26), also set last year.
Hunt in the hunt: Hunt is only the eighth league player
to eclipse 30 assists; his 31 helpers trails the league
mark of 36 set by Jed Holtzman of Quinnipiac in 1998-99.
Hunt needs 15 points to tie the league mark of 56 set by
Mansoff in 1999-2000.
Borrelli tracking three marks: Dave Borrelli of Mercyhurst
is only the seventh player in league history to score 22
goals. He needs seven more to tie Shawn Mansoff’s
mark of 29 scored for Quinnipiac in 1999-2000. With one
more short-handed point, Borrelli would tie Mansoff’s
league mark of six.
Borrelli needs two power play goals (his 11
is tied for tops in the nation) to tie the league mark of
13 set last season by Pierre-Luc O’Brien of Sacred
Earning points where you can: Army has managed to earn at
least one league point in every weekend series with the
exception of its first: Holy Cross swept the Black Knights
in Worcester on Oct. 28-29.
Almost the top Knight: Army senior Brad Roberts has made
2,824 stops in his stellar career. He could take over the
Academy lead with 35 stops this weekend against Connecticut,
surpassing record-holder Tom Garver (1973-77) and his mark
Gonna hear it when he gets home: Army sophomore Bryce Hollweg
has dual citizenship in the United States and Canada. He
grew up just outside of Los Angeles, but the family moved
to the Vancouver area after older brother, New York Ranger
Ryan Hollweg, decided to play junior hockey in British Columbia.
In back-to-back years, Bryce Hollweg has scored a goal against
Canada’s Royal Military College.
Playing like it’s 1999: Pierre-Luc O’Brien of
Sacred Heart has produced 99 points in 99 career games.
Centurions: The Mercyhurst tandem of Scott Champagne and
Scott Reynolds each surpassed 100 career points last weekend.
Champagne has 104 points and Reynolds has 101.
Hot hand: Tyler McGregor of Holy Cross has registered a
point in nine consecutive games, and has a total of 20 points
during that span.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report.