ATLANTIC HOCKEY NEWS

Atlantic Hockey Update Through March 14

March 19, 2004

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2004 Atlantic Hockey Championship Tournament

Top seed and Atlantic Hockey Regular Season Champion Holy Cross will face #4 Sacred Heart University in the Atlantic Hockey Championship Tournament Saturday, March 20 at 7 p.m. at Tate Rink.

Holy Cross (21-9-4) defeated American International (5-25-4) 5-0 in the quarterfinals and Canisius College, 4-1, (10-16-8) in the semifinals en route to the championship game.

Sacred Heart (14-16-5) blanked University of Connecticut, 3-0 in their quartefinal match up and defeated #2 Mercyhurst College (20-14-2) 3-2 in the semifinals.

The head-to-head between these two teams in the regular season has the edge going to the Crusaders who went 2-1 againts Sacred Heart. However, the Pioneers won the last meeting between the two on November 25 2-1.

Atlantic Hockey Play-In Game Friday, March 12 at Army:

# 9 American International 4 #8 Army 3

Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinal Saturday, March 13 at Army:

# 4 Sacred Heart 3 #5 Connecticut 0

# 6 Canisius 1 #3 Quinnipiac 0 OT

# 1 Holy Cross 5 #9 American International 0

# 2 Mercyhurst 5 #7 Bentley 4

Atlantic Hockey Semifinal Sunday, March 14 at Army:

Teams were re-seeded after quarterfinals

# 1 Holy Cross 4 #4 Canisius 1

# 3 Sacred Heart 3 #2 Mercyhurst 2


Player of the Week

Greg Kealey, Holy Cross (Sr., F, Nepean, ONT.) – The senior captain for Holy Cross lead his team to two wins on the weekend defeating American International 5-0 in the quarterfinals and Canisius 4-1 in the semifinals of the Atlantic Hockey Championship Tournament. Kealey scored four goals and tallied two assists for a six point weekend for the Crusaders. With the win over the Griffins, Holy Cross advanced to the Atlantic Hockey Championship Game versus Sacred Heart on Saturday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Tate Rink.

Others Nominated: Brendan McCartin, Bentley.

Co-Goaltenders of the Week

Tony Quesada, Holy Cross (So., G, South Freeport, ME) – Quesada recorded a 5-0 shutout versus American International turning away 24 shots on goal in the Crusaders quarterfinal match up of the Atlantic Hockey Championship Tournament. In the Crusaders semifinal match up with Canisius, Quesada made 28 saves on the night as Holy Cross advanced to the Championship Game with a 4-1 win over Canisius. The lone goal the Griffins scored is the only goal Quesada has allowed in the tournament. For the weekend he had a .50 GAA and a save percentage of .981.

Kevin LaPointe, Sacred Heart (Jr., G, Quebec, QC) - Made 26 saves in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament and recorded his second shutout of the season as the Pioneers defeated Connecticut 3-0. In the semifinals the following night LaPointe made 22 saves as Sacred Heart defeated Mercyhurst for the fourth time this season, 3-2, and advanced to the Atlantic Hockey Championship Game. LaPointe has a 2.89 goals against average and a .905 save percentage on the season. In the two tournament games thus far he has a 1.00 goals against average and a .958 save percentage.

Freshman of the Week

Pierre-Luc O’Brien, Sacred Heart (Fr., F, Nicolet, QC) - Scored two goals, including the game-winner while shorthanded, as the Pioneers defeated Mercyhurst 3-2 in the semifinals of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament. It was the second straight game against the Lakers that O’Brien scored the game-winning goal while SHU was shorthanded. The Atlantic Hockey Rookie-of-the-Year ranks third on the team in scoring with 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points.


Team Notes

American International: AIC opened the 2004 Atlantic Hockey tournament with a 4-3 first round victory over Army on Friday night before closing out the campaign with a 5-0 loss to top-seeded Holy Cross. Four seniors netted the four Yellow Jacket goals in Friday's contest, Guillaume Caron (St. Nicolas, Quebec), John Levesque (Nashua, N.H.), Troy Johnston (Maidstone, Saskatchewan) and Jay Fennessy (Ogdensburg, N.Y.). The win marks AIC's first postseason victory since making the jump to Division I and the first since capturing the ECAC East title in 1990. The Yellow Jackets went 1-1-1 over their final three games of the season.

Army: None reported.

Bentley: Sophomore Brendan McCartin (So, F, Camp Hill, Pa.) had a career day, scoring three goals and added an assist in Bentley's near upset of Mercyhurst in the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals. McCartin paced the Bentley attack in the second period, scoring twice (at 10:24 and 17:35) and assisting on teammate Paul Markarian's goal. He finished off the hat trick with Bentley's fourth and final goal at 7:33 of the third. McCartin finished the season as Bentley's leading scorer with 26 points on 14 goals and 12 assists. The Bentley College hockey team gave second-seeded Mercyhurst all it could in handle in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament Saturday in West Point. The Falcons had the defending champs on the ropes, carrying a 4-2 with just over seven minutes to play, before the Lakers rallied for the 5-4 victory. Trailing after the first period 1-0, The Falcons ripped off two unanswered goals to take a 2-1 lead. The Lakers tied it midway through the second period. Bentley answered with a goal just before the end of the second frame for a 3-2 lead heading into the final frame. Bentley has been bumped from the playoffs by Mercyhurst the last two seasons and the Lakers were one of two Atlantic Hockey teams the Falcons were unable to defeat or tie this season (Canisius the other). Bentley finished the season 9-19-4 overall. Sophomore Brendan McCartin (So, F, Camp Hill, Pa.) had a career day, scoring three goals and added an assist in Bentley's near upset of Mercyhurst in the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals. McCartin paced the Bentley attack in the second period, scoring twice (at 10:24 and 17:35) and assisting on teammate Paul Markarian's goal. He finished off the hat trick with Bentley's fourth and final goal at 7:33 of the third. McCartin finished the season as Bentley's leading scorer with 26 points on 14 goals and 12 assists. Sophomore Paul Markarian (So, F, Quincy, Mass.) broke out of a goal-scoring slump to record his eighth of the season and he also posted a pair of assists. His goal was Bentley's first on the night, a slap shot that tied the game at one early in the second period. Markarian assisted on two of McCartin's three goals. Playing in his final game for Bentley, senior Joe Lovell (Sr, F, Norwood, Mass.) pitched in with two assists, bringing his season point total to 14. Lovell finished his career with 78 points on 23 goals and 55 assists. Junior goaltender Simon St. Pierre (Jr, G, Montreal, Que.) had a good day in net for Bentley, collecting 26 saves, including 11 in the first and 10 in the third, and kept the Lakers offense at bay for most of the game.

Canisius: None reported.

Connecticut: The fifth-seeded Huskies suffered a disappointing season-ending loss to fourth-seeded Sacred Heart in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament, as the Pioneers shutout the University of Connecticut men’s hockey team 3-0 on Saturday. The loss put UConn’s final season record at 12-16-7 on the year. The first period started at a fast pace as both teams tested the goaltenders early, but the only score in the period came on a power play for the Pioneers. The defensive battle continued in the second period, as Sacred Heart recorded nine shots on goal and UConn tallied eight, but none for either team resulted in a goal. At the 11:15 mark of the third period, Sacred Heart scored to put themselves up 2-0. The Huskies never let up on their offensive pressure, but they were without the services of leading scorer and AHA Player of the Year Tim Olsen who had suffered a game-ending injury to his wrist at the end of the second period. UConn had its second shot of the game hit the post in the third period, but couldn’t get anything over the goal line. The Huskies pulled Tomes with 1:10 remaining, but to no avail as the Pioneers added a third goal when Garrett Larson scored on the empty net. Following the contest, Olsen was honored with the Player of the Year trophy as well as the regular season scoring award and first team honors, and senior Eric Nelson was also announced as a member of the AHA All-Star First Team. Freshmen Scott Tomes and Matt Scherer were both honored as members of the AHA All-Rookie Team.

Holy Cross: Holy Cross defeated AIC and Canisius over the weekend to advance to the Atlantic Hockey finals. Holy Cross defeated AIC in the quarterfinals, 5-0 to advance and play Canisius in the semi-finals. The Crusaders held off Canisius, 4-1, to advance to the championship game against Sacred Heart. Greg Kealey led the Crusaders with four goals and two assists over the weekend, posting two goals and an assist in each of Holy Cross’ games. Jeff Dams added a goal and an assist in each of the games to help the Crusaders reach the championship game. Tony Quesada collected a total of 52 saves and allowed only one goal in two games for Holy Cross.

Mercyhurst: Mercyhurst finished the season with its fifth straight campaign of 20-or-more wins and its fifth straight appearance in D-I postseason play. The Lakers loss in the AH semifinals marked the first time since 2000 that they had not appeared in the conference championship game. Mercyhurst has now won five straight conference quarterfinal games since moving to D-I in 1999-2000: Holy Cross (10-3), Fairfield (10-5), Army (2-1), Iona (5-4), and Bentley (5-4). The Lakers swept the season series with Bentley 4-0 and now lead the all-time series 15-3-1. The third-period comeback against the Falcons marked only the second time all season the Lakers had rallied after falling behind through forty minutes. The other time came against UConn, a 6-5 overtime win in Erie on November 8. The Lakers were nearly invincible when leading after two periods: 16-1-0. Sacred Heart swept Mercyhurst 4-0 during the season and held the Lakers to only two goals in each game. The semifinal loss was only the second since moving to D-I. UConn beat Mercyhurst 2-0 at UConn in 2000. Mercyhurst and Sacred Heart are now deadlocked all-time at 7-7-1. Sophomore forward Erik Johnson was the only Laker to score a goal in each playoff game. His even strength goal started the third period comeback against Bentley and his team-leading third shorthanded goal tied the game with the Pioneers at 2-2 in the second. The Lakers have finished no worse than second in conference play for five straight regular seasons and have been a conference final four team each year.

Quinnipiac: Quinnipiac failed to reach the semifinals of the conference tournament for the first time in six Division I seasons with a 1-0 loss to Canisius in the quarterfinals on Saturday...The Bobcats concluded the year at 15-14-6, their sixth straight winning season at the Division I level and eighth in a row overall. The only four Division I schools who (including this season) have such a streak are Michigan, Michigan State, Maine and New Hampshire...The overtime game was a record 10th of the year for the Bobcats, who finished 2-2-6 in the extra frame.

Sacred Heart: The Sacred Heart Pioneers advanced to the championship round of the conference tournament for the first time in school history after two impressive wins in the first two rounds of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament. The Pioneers met fifth seeded Connecticut in the quarterfinal round of the tournament and shutout the Huskies 3-0 on a 26 save performance by junior goaltender Kevin LaPointe. Peter Giatrelis scored the game-winning goal while Andrew Billinghurst (1G, 1A) and Bernie Chmiel (2A) each had a two-point performance. In the semifinals against Mercyhurst the Sacred Heart held on for a 3-2 win. Atlantic Hockey Rookie-of-the-Year Pierre-Luc O’Brien netted two goals in the game, including the game-winning goal while shorthanded at 16:48 of the second period. The Pioneers held off a late charge by the Lakers as they advanced to the conference title game against Holy Cross. LaPointe made 22 saves in recording the win in goal for SHU.

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