Atlantic Hockey Update for February 22, 2004

February 23, 2004

Atlantic Hockey Standings

Holy Cross (15-2-2) - 32 points

Mercyhurst (13-6-1) - 27 points

Sacred Heart (11-7-2) - 24 points

Quinnipiac (9-6-5) - 23 points

Canisius (7-9-4) - 18 points

Connecticut (7-9-4) - 18 points

Bentley (5-11-4) - 14 points

Army (5-12-3) - 13 points

American International (3-13-3) - 9 points.

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Player of the Week

Tim Olsen, Connecticut (Jr., F, Vadnais Heights, MN) –

Olsen continued his hot streak over the weekend, scoring two goals and recording one assist in two games. He scored the tying and game-winning goals for UConn in their 3-2 win over Army at home to extend the Huskies' winning streak to five games. In UConn's 2-2 tie at Quinnipiac the following night, Olsen recorded an assist, marking the seventh straight game in which he has scored a point for UConn.

Others Nominated: Garrett Larson, Sacred Heart.

Goaltender of the Week

Kevin LaPointe, Sacred Heart (Jr., G, Quebec, QC) –

LaPointe made 19 saves in a 3-2 overtime win against second place Atlantic Hockey rival Mercyhurst and followed that with a 30 save performance the following night at Canisius in a 3-2 overtime loss. LaPointe is now 10-6-2 against Atlantic Hockey opponents this season with a 2.48 goals against average and a .908 save percentage.

Others Nominated: Bryan Worosz, Canisius; Tony Quesada, Holy Cross.

Freshman of the Week

Billy Irish-Baker, Canisius (Fr., F, Clarence, NY) –

Irish-Baker was the offensive catalyst for the Griffs this weekend, scoring three goals and adding an assist for four points as the Blue and Gold swept visiting Bentley and Sacred Heart last weekend. Irish-Baker scored two goals, including the game-winner at the 1:24 mark of overtime, as the Griffs defeated Sacred Heart 3-2 Saturday night. His first goal knotted the game at 1-1 midway through the second period. In Canisius’ 4-1 win over Bentley Friday night, Irish-Baker scored the Griffs’ third goal of the game at the 16:23 mark of the second period and added an assist on the fourth goal of the game just over two minutes later.

Others Nominated: James Sixsmith, Holy Cross; Pierre-Luc O’Brien Sacred Heart.

Team Notes

American International: AIC played just once last week, dropping a 6-1 decision to Quinnipiac. CJ McConnell (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) notched the lone goal for the Yellow Jackets, the second straight game in which he has scored a goal. Guillaume Caron (St. Nicolas, Quebec) and Andy Walbert (Ford City, Pa.) assisted. Frank Novello (Sault. Ste Marie, Ontario) made 30 saves in goal for AIC. This week the Yellow Jackets are in action three times, hosting league-leading Holy Cross on Tuesday before heading west for a two-game set with Canisius on Friday and Saturday.

Army: Army dropped both its contests over the weekend ... the Black Knights fell at Connecticut, 3-2, and then lost at home to Holy Cross, 5-2 ... UConn scored late in the third period to break a 2-2 tie on Friday night ... Jon Boyle scored a goal and picked up an assist on Sunday ... Boyle also registered two assists on Friday ... freshman Ryan Cruthers scored two goals over the weekend ... he put Army up 1-0 on Friday and cut Holy Cross' lead to 2-1 early in the second period on Sunday ... Chris Casey scored Army's only other goal of the weekend ... the Black Knights will travel back to Connecticut this Friday as they face-off against the Huskies three times in a 15-day span ... Friday's game at UConn will be Army's final road contest of the year ... the final weekend of the year, the Black Knights play Bentley, who they have not played since Nov. 1 and finish up at home against UConn again.

Bentley: The Falcons lost their only game of the week, 4-1 against Canisius on the road. The loss snapped a two-game win streak for Bentley who fell to 7-16- 4 overall and 5-11-4 in Atlantic Hockey games. Cansius won the season series 2-0-1 and moved ahead of Bentley in the league standings. Junior forward Troy Wiebler (Jr, F, Faribault, Minn.) recorded the Falcons lone goal on Friday, a breakaway late in the second period. The goal was the second in as many games for Wiebler. Sophomore goalie Geordan Murphy (So, G, Matawan, N.J.) made 18 saves in 40 minutes of play, before giving way to senior Bill Bridge (Sr, G, Billerica, Mass.). Bridge made three saves in third period in his first game action since the 2001-02 season. Sophomore Brendan McCartin (So, F, Camp Hill, Pa.) leads the Falcons with 20 pts. (9-11-20), followed by classmate Paul Markarian (So, F, Quincy, Mass.) and freshman Carmen Posteraro (Fr, F, Pittsburgh, Pa.) who each have 18. Bentley plays Quinnipiac on Friday night in Hamden, Conn. and host Mercyhurst on Saturday.

Canisius: Canisius jumped back into the middle of the Atlantic Hockey standings by earning four points over the weekend in a sweep of Bentley and Sacred Heart. The Griffs defeated Bentley 4-1 Friday night as junior Todd Bowler (Branford, ONT) and freshmen Billy Irish-Baker (Clarence, NY) and Joey Coccimiglio (Sault Ste. Marie, ONT) each posted a goal and added an assist, while junior Bryan Worosz posted 20 saves. Irish-Baker scored two goals, included the game-winner at the 1:24 mark of overtime as the Griffs knocked off Sacred Heart 3-2 Saturday night. Freshman Michael Cohen (Williamsville, NY) added the other Canisius goal, his team-high 10th of the season. Worosz needed only to make 17 saves in the win for the Blue and Gold. With the wins, Canisius took the season series from Bentley and Sacred Heart by identical 2-0-1 margins. Canisius junior captain Mark Persick (Yorkton, SASK) has been named a finalist for the 2003-04 Hockey Humanitarian Award and was honored prior to the Griffs’ Feb. 21 contest against Sacred Heart at 7:00 p.m. Persick is the president of the Canisius Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and was selected to attend the 2003 NCAA Leadership Foundation Conference this past summer in Orlando, Fla. The Griffs return to action this weekend with a pair of games at home against American International College. Friday and Saturday night’s game both begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.

Connecticut: UConn extended its winning streak to five with a 3-2 victory over Army on Friday, before snapping the streak with a 2-2 tie at Quinnipiac on Saturday. In the Army win, junior Tim Olsen continued on his hot streak with two goals in the contest. The Black Knights dominated early, scoring two goals in the first period, while UConn failed to get on the board. The Huskies rebounded quickly in the second period, and came within one when freshman Alan Stevenson received a well-placed pass from teammate Marcus Baxter and scored with 3:01 elapsed in the period. Olsen scored the tying goal with 4:43 remaining in the second period when he put in a rebound off a shot by Matt Scherer. Olsen recorded the game-winner with just 3:42 remaining in the final period when the Huskies were up a man in a delayed penalty situation. In Saturday's game, UConn and Quinnipiac tied for the second time this season. The game marked third and final game of the "Heroes Hat" series, an award created to honor and remember those who lost their lives in the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Quinnipiac finished the series with a 1-0-2 advantage over UConn to hold onto the trophy. UConn failed to score in the first period and went into the break down 1-0, but tied the game just 1:38 into the second period when freshman Matt Scherer notched his 10th goal of the season off assists from Trevor Stewart and Olsen. The point for Olsen marked the seventh straight game in which he has recorded either a goal or an assist for UConn. The Huskies took the lead with 8:31 elapsed in the second period when freshman Scott McDougall scored with help from Brian Burns and J.R. Corkery. The 2-1 lead stood for the remainder of that period and half of the final period, when Quinnipiac tied the game at the 10:00 mark of the third. Quinnipiac recorded just two shots on goal in overtime while UConn registered only one, and neither team was able to convert. Freshman goaltender Scott Tomes had a strong night with 37 saves for the Huskies, including 16 in the first period when the Bobcats out-shot UConn 17-8.

Holy Cross: HC vs. Army: Holy Cross defeated Army, 5-2. Tyler McGregor (Ajax, ONT) slapped the puck past Brad Roberts at 8:12 in the first period to collect his 10th goal of the season. Pierre Napert-Frenette (Bathurst, NB) and Andrew McKay (Bellefeuille, QUE) picked up the assists on the goal. Andrew Weber (Hanson, MA) gave the Crusaders a two goal advantage when he shot a Jonas Tomiuck (Wainfleet, ONT) pass into the corner of the net. Army came out strong to start the second and put the Black Knights within one. Ryan Cruthers netted Army's first goal of the night at 1:28 in the second period. Four minutes later, James Sixsmith (Alexandria, VA) struck back for the Crusaders. Jeff Dams (Manotick, ONT) and Greg Kealey (Nepean, ONT) passed to find Sixsmith who fired the puck behind Roberts for the goal. Sixsmith netted a power play goal at 8:59 in the second period to put Holy Cross up 4-1. R.J. Irving (Marlboro, MA) and Frank O'Grady (Kimberly, BC) assisted on the goal. The Black Knights replaced Roberts with Bill Moss after Sixsmith's second goal. Matt Conway (Clifton Park, NY) scored his first goal of the season with a little over eight minutes remaining in the second period to give Holy Cross the four goal advantage. Army scored a power play goal of its own when Jon Boyle batted the puck out of the air and past Tony Quesada (South Freeport, ME) at 1:20 in the third period to net the final goal of the game. The Crusaders walked away with the 5-2 win

Mercyhurst: Sacred Heart completed a three-game regular season sweep of Mercyhurst with a 3-2 win in overtime Friday, February 20, in Erie. It was the first regular season sweep of the Lakers since joining the MAAC/AH in 1999. The Pioneers won two prior games at home by identical 5-2 scores. Special teams played a major role in the three games. The Pioneers converted 5 of 17 power play chances in the three games (1 of 5 Friday) and scored a shorthanded goal Friday in OT for the game-winner. Mercyhurst was held to just one PPG in 21 chances, including 0 for 8 Friday. The Lakers also tallied shorthanded in a losing effort at Sacred Heart on February 7. Junior David Wrigley scored his 13th goal of the season and sophomore defenseman Preston Briggs his first in Friday's loss. Wrigley is tied for the team lead in goals with sophomore Dave Borrelli. Mercyhurst will play three of its final four regular season games on the road starting next weekend at Holy Cross and Bentley. The Crusaders defeated Mercyhurst twice in Erie last November by scores of 5-2 and 6-5 in overtime. Mercyhurst defeated the Falcons twice in Erie in January by scores of 2-1 and 3-2. The Lakers are now 0-5 this season against the #1 and #3 teams in the conference and a combined 13-1-1 against teams 4 through 9. Mercyhurst still leads Sacred Heart 7-6-1 in the all-time series. The Lakers have a 10-3-1 advantage on Holy Cross and a 13-3-1 lead over Bentley.

Quinnipiac: The Bobcats went 1-0-1 over the weekend, defeating AIC on Friday (6-1) before tying UConn on Saturday night (2-2). With the tie against the Huskies, the Bobcats retained the 'Heroes Hat' for the third consecutive year. Quinnipiac won the season series by a 1-0-2 margin. Junior forwards Jack Devaney and Matt Craig led the charge against AIC as the Bobcats scored a season-high six goals. Devaney had his finest game as a collegian, scoring a career-best three points (one goal, two assists) in the contest. Craig chipped in a pair of goals for his third multiple-goal game of the year. On Saturday night, Quinnipiac needed a late rally to maintain possession of the Heroes Hat. Senior captain Mark Hallam scored on a redirection with an even 10 minutes to play in regulation to force the draw. Hallam has now scored a goal in each of the last two games. The five ties this season match a program-high for draws in a season, set by the 2001-2002 team. The eight overtime games (2-1-5 mark) also match the mark set by that same squad. The Bobcats are back in action on Friday night for a home game against Bentley.

Sacred Heart: The Sacred Heart Pioneers won their seventh straight contest after defeating Mercyhurst 3-2 in overtime on Friday night. Garrett Larson put in a two-goal performance while Pierre-Luc O’Brien netted the game winner as the Pioneers swept the season series against the Lakers. Kevin LaPointe made 19 saves in recording his 10th win of the season. Sacred Heart’s streak came to an end the following night, however, as they were defeated at Canisius 3-2 in overtime. Peter Ferraro scored his eighth goal of the season to give the Pioneers the lead early in the second period. The Griffs answered and took the lead on goals from Billy Irish-Baker and Michael Cohen. Marc-Andre Fournier tied the game in the closing minute of regulation after SHU pulled LaPointe for the extra attacker, sending the game into overtime for the second time in as many days and for the third time against Canisius. Irish-Baker netted his second goal of the game in that extra frame, giving the Griffs their second straight win. Sacred Heart looks to get back in the win column on Tuesday night, February 24th, when they host Connecticut for the third and final game of the regular season between the two teams. The Pioneers will then close out the season series against Army when they travel to West Point, NY on Saturday, February 28th. SHU has gone 4-0-0 against this weeks opponents thus far.

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