So. | F | Nepean, Ontario
Key Statistics: Cross finished off his official freshman season by appearing in all 38 of the Friars’ games with 16 points on four goals and 12 assists. He recorded one power-play goal and added another six assists on the power play.
What He Does: Cross begins his third season at Providence, earning a medical redshirt in 2010-11 after suffering a season-ending injury after just five games. He has shown an ability to provide an offensive spark, as evidenced by his nine points in the first nine games last season, but his play tailed off as the season progressed. With a rapidly improving Providence squad, Cross will need to apply the lessons learned last season with increased consistency to become a key performer for the Friars.
The Bigger Picture: Providence had a good first season under head coach Nate Leaman, exceeding the expectations those outside of the program had for the club by first qualifying for the Hockey East playoffs, then advancing to the league semifinals after defeating UMass-Lowell in the quarterfinals. Leaman’s got his team heading in the right direction, but knows there’s still things to work on. “We have to continue to get better every day, every week, every month. One of the big things is that we’re young, but we’re also deeper – when Tim Schaller got hurt last year, we weren’t very deep, and that hurt us. Half of our team, including all of our defensemen, had their best career point year last year, and we need to keep taking steps forward.”
Providence head coach Nate Leaman on Cross: “He’s got a very good skill level, and he’s a great kid off the ice and has really bought into the culture we’re trying to create here. He’s got potential, but he’s still progressing. He’s a guy who’s very much learning to compete at this level.”