Holy Cross and Rivalry: A Historic Matchup Revisited

Holy Cross Crusaders

As the saying goes, hockey is more than just a game, it’s a way of life. This couldn’t be more true for fans of the Holy Cross Crusaders, a college ice hockey team located in Worcester, Massachusetts. The team, which is a part of the NCAA’s Division I, has a rich and storied history that dates back to the early 1900s. Over the years, the Holy Cross Crusaders have developed several fierce rivalries with other college hockey teams, making for some of the most intense and exciting matchups in the sport. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most important and memorable matchups in the history of the Holy Cross hockey program.

The Holy Cross Crusaders started their journey in 1902, making them one of the oldest collegiate hockey teams in the United States. In their early years, the team faced off against local teams and clubs, but it wasn’t until the late 1920s that they began playing against other college teams. This is when the first of their long-standing rivalries was born – against Boston College.

The rivalry between Holy Cross and Boston College is known as the Battle of the Heights, named after the two schools’ locations on hills in their respective cities. This rivalry has stood the test of time, with both schools competing fiercely against each other since the 1920s. One of the most exciting matchups between these two teams took place in 1948, during the Beanpot Tournament – an annual hockey tournament between four of the biggest college teams in Boston. In this game, Holy Cross upset Boston College, winning 2-0 and advancing to the finals, where they eventually defeated Boston University to win the Beanpot trophy for the first time in their history.

Another significant rivalry for the Holy Cross Crusaders is against their in-state rival, Boston University. This rivalry, also known as the Battle of Comm. Ave, dates back to the 1920s and has only intensified over the years. These two teams have gone head-to-head in several important games, including the aforementioned Beanpot games. However, one game that stands out in the minds of Holy Cross fans occurred in 1950, where the Crusaders defeated Boston University in the annual Christmas Night game, in front of a record crowd of 18,000 people. This game is considered a turning point in the rivalry, with Holy Cross establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in college hockey.

In the 1970s, the Holy Cross Crusaders solidified their place among the top college ice hockey teams in the country, winning several conference championships and making their mark in the NCAA tournament. During this time, they also developed a fierce rivalry with Providence College. This rivalry, known as the Battle of the Spikes, is rooted in the two schools’ history of athletic competition dating back to the early 1900s. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that their rivalry on the ice truly began. In 1978, the Crusaders and Friars faced off in the ECAC tournament, where Holy Cross upset Providence in two thrilling games, making their way to the finals and ultimately winning the tournament.

One of the most defining moments in the Holy Cross hockey program’s history came in the 2006-2007 season, when the Crusaders made it to the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time. They faced off against one of their biggest rivals, Boston University, in the semifinals. This game was highly anticipated, with both teams fighting for a spot in the national championship game. In a thrilling game that went into double overtime, Holy Cross emerged victorious, defeating Boston University 5-4 and making their way to the national championship for the first time in the program’s history.

Throughout their history, the Holy Cross Crusaders have also faced off against several other notable teams, including Brown University, University of Notre Dame, and Connecticut College, to name a few. While each of these matchups holds importance and significance for the Holy Cross hockey program, it is their longstanding rivalries with Boston College, Boston University, and Providence College that truly stand out and have provided fans with some of the most memorable and intense games in college hockey history.

The Holy Cross Crusaders have a rich and storied history that is rooted in fierce competition and intense rivalries. From their early years of facing off against local teams to their more recent accomplishments in the NCAA tournament, this team has continuously made their mark in the world of college hockey. Their matchups against Boston College, Boston University, and Providence College have provided fans with some of the most exciting and important games in the sport. As Holy Cross continues to write their story, one thing is for sure – their rivalries will always hold a special place in the hearts of fans and will continue to be an integral part of their hockey legacy.


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