Men's Hockey 2016-2017 Season In Review
By Emily Iannaconi
Special to GoHolyCross.com
The 2016-2017 men’s hockey team had many accomplishments this past season. Check out their successes below.
STRONG PERFORMANCES AGAINST NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS
The Holy Cross men’s hockey team finished an impressive 3-1-1 against NCAA Tournament teams during the 2016-2017 season. The Crusaders exhibited their high level of play and competitiveness when they defeated No. 11 Providence (2-1 OT), No. 20 Union (6-4) and Air Force (3-2), and tied Air Force (2-2) and lost to No. 12 Notre Dame (5-3).
Head Coach David Berard: “I think going 3-1-1 versus NCAA Tournament teams says that we can compete with the best teams in the country. We wanted to be better in non-league games and we wanted to be better against top teams. It speaks to the quality of players that we have and where our program is moving that we were able to go 3-1-1 against NCAA Tournament teams.”
DEFEATING NATIONALLY RANKED OPPONENTS
The Crusaders earned two particularly exciting victories against Providence, who won the 2015 National Championship, and Union, who won the 2014 National Championship.
The first win against Providence occurred on Oct. 15 at the DCU Center. Sophomore defenseman Johnny Coughlin scored a thrilling game winning goal in overtime to give the Crusaders a 2-1 victory.
Then, the victory over Union was on Nov. 1 at the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex. Junior captain Brett Mulcahy scored back-to-back third period goals to secure the 6-4 win for the Crusaders.
With the exciting win over Union, the Crusaders defeated two nationally ranked teams in one season for only the second time in program history. The last time the Crusaders delivered such an impressive performance versus ranked teams was during the 2012-2013 season, when they defeated No. 15 Yale (5-4) on Dec. 30, 2012, and No. 15 Niagara (5-3) on Jan. 18, 2013.
Together, the victories over Providence and Union gave the Crusaders seven wins against nationally ranked opponents in their Division I era. The Crusaders also have wins versus No. 3 Minnesota (4-3 OT) in the NCAA Tournament on March 24, 2006, No. 7 Boston University (5-4) on Oct. 22, 2011, No. 15 Yale (5-4) on Dec. 30, 2012, No. 15 Niagara (5-3) on Jan. 18, 2013, and No. 7 Boston College (5-4) on Nov. 29, 2013.
Head Coach David Berard: “Playing at the DCU Center against Providence provided a different atmosphere and environment. We had to battle and compete and we did a lot of really good things, but what I was most proud of with the team in that game was our ability to come back. It was a great example of our resiliency to stick with it and we proved that we can play at a high level against a really good opponent. Against Union, I was really happy with how we played because it was a very even hockey game. They were a team that at the time had only lost one game. Those two games, more than any other two games this year, signaled to me that we can play at the highest level.”
ATLANTIC HOCKEY SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD
One of the reasons the Crusaders were able to play at such a high level against nationally ranked opponents was because they did not have many penalty minutes. The team was awarded the Atlantic Hockey Team Sportsmanship Award for having the fewest amount of penalty minutes among the teams in its conference. This year marks the first time the Crusaders have won the award in nine years.
By recording the fewest penalty minutes per game with only 9.5, the Crusaders not only led the league, but also finished fourth in the nation in this category. The Crusaders have now won the Sportsmanship Award four times, including the 2005, 2006 and 2008 seasons.
Head Coach David Berard: “Discipline is a big part of our culture and also a big part of our game plan. We want to play hard and physical, but we want to do it in a disciplined way and between whistles. If we can limit the opponent’s power plays, that gives us a better chance to win. It’s an important statistic for us that recognizes our work ethic and competitiveness but also the discipline with which we play. It was an area of growth overall.”
HOLDING ON TO THE LEAD
The Crusaders were outstanding in protecting their lead when scoring early in the game during this past season. They were 10-0-3 this season and 35-2-6 under Berard when leading after the second period. Holy Cross was also 8-1-3 this season and 24-4-4 under Berard when leading after the first period. Additionally, the Crusaders were 9-1-2 when scoring the first goal of the game this past season.
Head Coach David Berard: “I think when you score first, you are more settled into the game plan and are more confident. It’s always a positive mental thing when you get ahead in the game. Moving into the future, we have to try to push harder to get a lead in the beginning of the game. The statistic shows that we should have the mindset to get after the game and be more assertive.”
OUTSTANDING CAREER FOR MIKE BARRETT
Senior assistant captain Mike Barrett wrapped up his incredible career as a member of the Holy Cross men’s hockey team with an equally incredible final season. He had 11 goals and 16 assists for a career best 27 points.
For his career, Barrett played in 147 games which are sixth all-time in the history of the program. He finished his time as a Crusader with an impressive 44 goals and 55 assists for 99 points.
Barrett’s contributions on the ice are notable, but the impact he has had on his teammates throughout his four years is even more important.
LOPEZ AND TRAPP EARN ALL-ATLANTIC HOCKEY HONORS
Throughout the season, the Crusaders were led on offense and defense by junior forward Danny Lopez and sophomore defenseman Spencer Trapp, respectively. Both Lopez and Trapp were named to the Atlantic Hockey third team, marking the first time in their careers that each earned All-Atlantic Hockey accolades. The strong performances by Lopez and Trapp led to the Crusaders having had more than one selection to the All-Conference teams for the first time in nine years since when Matt Burke and Brodie Sheahan were each selected to the third team in 2008.
Earning All-Atlantic honors was just one of many accomplishments that Lopez achieved during the 2016-2017 season. His 17 goals and 33 points led the team, while his 16 assists were tied for second. Lopez’s 17 goals are tied for sixth in the Division I history of the program. Additionally, his 12 power play goals are second in the school’s Division I history.
In addition, Lopez posted a 14-game point streak which is the longest in the Division I history of the program. For all of these reasons, Lopez was named one of the 23 semifinalists for the 65th Walter Brown award as announced by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, which is presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. For his career, Lopez now has 30 goals and 25 assists for 55 points.
Trapp is equally deserving of the All-Atlantic Hockey accolades as he finished the first on the team with 17 assists and was fifth with 20 points. His 17 assists are tied for ninth by a defenseman in the program’s Division I history and his 20 points are tied for eighth. He tallied three goals and played in all 36 games during the 2016-2017 season. For his career, Trapp now has six goals and 27 assists for 33 points. As only a sophomore, Trapp will certainly continue to be a an impactful player for the Crusaders.
BERRAFATO ON ALL-TIME LISTS
Junior goalie Paul Berrafato now has 33 career wins, which are third all-time in the program’s Division I history. His 2.51 goals against average is fifth all-time, while his .906 save percentage is sixth. Berrafato’s 1,814 career saves are ranked fourth and his six shutouts are second.
CRUSADERS POST SCHOOL RECORD FOUR HAT TRICKS
The four hat tricks were the most by the Crusaders ever in a single season.
OCT. 7, 2016: T.J. MOORE STARTS OFF SEASON WITH HAT TRICK
The Crusaders kicked off the year with an 8-2 win led by T.J. Moore's second career hat trick.
OCT. 8, 2016: MOORE RECORDS BACK-TO-BACK HAT TRICKS
The next day, Moore incredibly recorded yet another hat trick, becoming the first player in the school’s Division I history to to record two straight hat tricks. He is only the first player to post three career hat tricks and the third Crusader to have a hat trick in a period. Tyler McGregor posted a hat trick in the first period in the 10-3 win versus Mercyhurst on Nov. 11, 2005, while Adam Schmidt had a hat trick in the second period in the 6-4 victory versus Bentley on Feb. 25, 2012.
FEB. 3, 2017: LOPEZ RECORDS HAT TRICK
Lopez helped propel the Crusaders to an 8-2 victory over AIC with the first hat trick of his career.
FEB. 24, 2017: BARRETT LEADS CRUSADERS TO WIN WITH HAT TRICK
In a crucial game against Bentley with an important first round bye on the line, Barrett had a monster performance with his first career hat trick.
Sophomore defenseman Johnny Coughlin stepped up in high-pressure situations with three of his four goals this season being game-winners. Coughlin now has seven career goals, five of which are game-winners.
For his career, Coughlin has seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points.
CRUSADERS HOST JUMBOS FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT YEAR
On Jan. 23, 2017, the Crusaders stepped back from the intensity of a regular practice and were reminded of their love for the sport of hockey when they played the East Coast Jumbos hockey team for the sixth straight year.
The Jumbos are a group of coed athletes who range in age from 7-45 years old with various disabilities and challenges. The Crusaders teamed up with members of the Jumbos to play in a fun game of hockey.
PREPARING FOR THE 2017-2018 SEASON
The Crusaders will be led by nine seniors next year and the team returns 25 of its 27 letter winners. The team will bring its depth and big-game experience as it embarks on its quest for their third ever Atlantic Hockey championship.
Head Coach David Berard: “We return most of our roster next year and we are bringing in a talented freshman class. My expectation is that we will be competing for the top four spots in the league and be in contention to win a championship. Our senior class next year is a deep class that all contributes heavily to the success of our team. Our guys work really hard to be the best team we can be, and together we will work toward our ultimate goal of winning a championship.”