Colin Healy ’25
The halfway point of the ’22-’23 Holy Cross hockey season has arrived. HC men’s hockey has reached their mid season break, while HC women’s hockey has one more contest before their time off. Both teams will have an opportunity to rest before two unique and exciting stretches in the second half of the season.
The men’s team has struggled thus far to maintain a winning record, but arrive at the break on a three game winning streak. Overall, the men are 5-12-1, and within Atlantic Hockey they are 4-7-1. As of December 7, the Crusaders’ 15 points put them in 5th place. HC has played a tough non-conference schedule, including perennial powerhouse North Dakota to start the season and nationally-ranked Merrimack.
In their most recent non-conference contest, the Crusaders defeated New Hampshire 3-2 in overtime thanks to a goal from senior captain Nick Hale off a rebound. The win over UNH snapped a 5-game losing streak for Holy Cross and started their current 3-game winning streak. This past weekend, HC took two contests from Air Force in Colorado to get a much needed Atlantic Hockey sweep.
The hot streak has put the team in a good spot to set up the rest of their schedule. The team returns to action on December 30 against Qunnipiac at the Hart Center, currently a top 5 team in the nation. Following that, the team will play Clarkson on January 7, also at the Hart Center. Then, it’s 14 straight games against Atlantic Hockey teams to finish the schedule.
HC needs to avoid getting swept in any of those league games if they are to lock up a playoff spot in the top half of the standings. RIT and Sacred Heart, the top two teams in Atlantic Hockey, are jockeying for first place. HC will face both teams in back to back weekends. Coming away with a win or a sweep against these two teams will be crucial for the Crusaders’ playoff seed. Teams are always moving up and down in Atlantic Hockey, so staying competitive is the key to HC’s success in the second half.
The women’s team still has one more contest before arriving at their break, a December 9 game at Boston University. The team has struggled this season, coming into this game with a 1-13-0 record in Hockey East. Recently, the team lost a tough game in overtime against Boston College on December 2.
With a break, HC could use the time to rest and reload for the second half. Time off can let the team analyze what needs to be done to come out firing after the break. The remaining games on the schedule are all Hockey East matchups, so there is ample opportunity for the Crusaders to pull out some victories in time for the playoffs.
Still to come is the team’s outdoor game at Fenway Park, scheduled for January 6 at 6:30. It will be HC’s first game back in action following their time off. Excitement and anticipation is undoubtedly brewing for the game, which will be a great way for the team to showcase their skills at such a historic venue in front of a great crowd and on T.V. The game will be broadcast on NESN, so much of New England will be tuning in to see the Crusaders. They will be going up against Boston University again.
Ample time remains for the two teams to secure more points and improve their standings. Many games at the Hart Center are still to come, so make sure to pack Hart to see our Crusaders work their magic on the ice. Oh, and as always, go Cross!
Photo by Holy Cross Athletics