Peter Van Buskirk enters his 19th season as the head coach of the Holy Cross women's ice hockey team in 2018-2019. He has posted a 294-147-30 (.656) record over 18 seasons with six postseason titles behind the Crusader bench.
Van Buskirk is at the helm for the historic 2018-2019 campaign as the Crusaders compete in their first season as a full member of Division I's Hockey East. Highlights from the year include the program's first win over a top-five ranked team, a 5-3 come-from-behind victory on Nov. 30 over then-No. 5 Northeastern.
In the 2017-2018 season, Van Buskirk led the team to a 16-9-3 record and its 14th-straight postseason appearance. The Crusaders fell in the semifinals of the NEWHA Tournament, 3-1, to Sacred Heart. Senior Kara Violette was named the NEWHA Player of the Year, junior Tori Messina earned the Defender of the Year, freshmen Antonia Matzka and Julia Pelletier earned spots on the All-Rookie Team, and Kelsey Goostrey was named to the All-Sportswomanship Team.
Van Buskirk and the Crusaders earned a 22-5 overall record in 2016-2017, including a 14-3 NEHC mark and an 11-1 record on home ice, and notching their 10th-consecutive season with a winning percentage of .648 or higher. From Feb. 25, 2015-Feb. 4, 2017, the Crusaders had a 23-game winning streak at the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex, which stands as the longest home winning streak in the program’s history. Holy Cross made its ninth-straight appearance in a postseason title game, but fell in overtime to St. Anselm. Five Crusaders earned conference accolades, as Kara Violette was named NEHC Player of the Year and first team All-NEHC. Joining Violette were Sam Girard and Isabela Bagi, who each were named second team All-NEHC. Elizabeth Scala earned third team All-NEHC honors and Hannah Gillis was selected to the NEHC All-Rookie team. Violette and Scala were both named to the NEHC Open All-Tournament team.
In 2015-2016, Van Buskirk led the Crusaders to a perfect 12-0-0 record at home and earned his sixth postseason title, winning the NEHC Open Tournament with a 4-3 OT victory over St. Anselm. Violette was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, and both Scala and Tessie Salatas were named to the NEHC Open All-Tournament team. The Crusaders finished the season with a 24-3 overall record. Bagi was named to the All-New England team, as well as first team all-conference. Mackenzie Boardman was named second team all-conference and Julie Matthias was named to the all-rookie team.
Van Buskirk led Holy Cross to an ECAC Open Tournament title in 2014-2015 with a 4-1 victory over Franklin Pierce, marking its fifth championship victory. Senior goaltender Alexandra Stevenson was named Most Outstanding Player at the ECAC Open Tournament with a .958 save percentage and a 1.00 GAA, marking the fourth-consecutive season a Crusader had garnered the award, while senior forward Mary Klimasewski and Bagi were named to the all-tournament team. The Crusaders finished the season with a record of 18-7-3.
In 2010-2011, the Crusaders won the ECAC Open in a shootout over St. Anselm. Senior Jocelyn Kratchmer was named tournament MVP. Kratchmer and Hochkins were named to the all-tournament team, and the duo was joined by senior Emily Henry on the All-ECAC East team. Hochkins also earned RBK All-America honors and New England All-Star honors for the second-consecutive season.
In 2009-2010, Van Buskirk coached the Crusaders to the ECAC Open title and a second-place finish in the ECAC East. At the 2010 American Hockey Coaches Association convention, Van Buskirk was honored with the John “Snooks” Kelley Founders Award. Named after the famed Boston College coach, the award honors those people in the coaching profession who have contributed to the overall growth and development of the sport of ice hockey in the United States.
During the 2008-2009 season, Van Buskirk led the Crusaders to an ECAC East regular season title, an ECAC Open Championship, a school-record 24 wins (24-2-1) and was named the ECAC East Coach of the Year. Holy Cross’ 117 goals set a then-program record, its 37 goals allowed were the fewest all-time, and its seven shutouts were second all-time. Van Buskirk coached Hochkins to the ECAC East Rookie of the Year honor, had three student-athletes make the ECAC East All-Conference team and had five student-athletes named to the ECAC East All-Academic team.
During the 2002-2003 season, just his third season at the helm, Van Buskirk helped the Crusaders compile a 17-7-1 overall record and win the ECAC Championship title in only their fourth season as a varsity team.
Van Buskirk has been affiliated with Holy Cross ice hockey for 34 years. He served as head coach of the men's program for 10 seasons, first from 1979-1988 and again for the 1996-1997 season. He returned to bench as an assistant from 1991-1996. Van Buskirk is Holy Cross’ second most successful men’s coach, with a record of 167-146-8 throughout his 10 seasons leading the program.
During his tenure as head coach of the men’s team, Van Buskirk guided the Crusaders to eight ECAC East playoff appearances and also earned College Coach of the Year honors in 1983. He guided the 1996-1997 squad to a 14-13-0 mark, earning the program's fourth-consecutive trip to the ECAC East Tournament.
Prior to coming to Holy Cross, Van Buskirk served as the head coach at Hudson High School from 1973-1979. During his tenure, he guided the Hawks to five Central Massachusetts titles, three district crowns and a Division I State Championship in 1978. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at St. John’s High School in 1972.
Van Buskirk is a member of both the Hudson High School and University of New Hampshire Athletics Halls of Fame. In addition to coaching, Van Buskirk has served as the director of several hockey schools, including serving as the director of the Los Angeles Hockey School and the Squaw Valley Hockey School from 1976-1979.
A 1965 graduate and two-sport athlete at the University of New Hampshire, Van Buskirk served as a lieutenant in the Army Infantry from 1966-1968. He also holds his master’s degree in education from Boston State College.