Holy Cross University, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, has a long and storied history when it comes to their hockey program. Since its inception in 1966, the Crusaders have experienced their fair share of both heartbreak and triumph on the ice. From improbable upsets to miraculous victories, Holy Cross has cemented itself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of hockey. In this article, we will explore some of the most memorable moments in Holy Cross history, highlighting the team’s resilience, determination, and passion for the sport.
The Early Years: A Humble Beginning
In the early years of the program, Holy Cross hockey was not widely recognized or respected. The team struggled to compete with more established and talented programs, often finishing near the bottom of their conference. Despite this, the players and coaches remained dedicated, determined to put the Crusaders on the map.
In the 1986-1987 season, Holy Cross experienced their first taste of success when they reached the ECAC Division II playoffs for the first time in program history. However, they were ultimately defeated in the semifinals by UMass Lowell. This was the first small step towards establishing themselves as a competitive and formidable team.
The Upset of a Lifetime: 2006 NCAA Tournament
Fast forward to the 2005-2006 season, where Holy Cross was considered a major underdog in the NCAA tournament. They were set to take on the #1 seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers, a team that had not lost in 10 games. The odds were stacked against the Crusaders, but they refused to back down.
In an unforgettable game, Holy Cross shocked the nation by not only defeating Minnesota but doing so in overtime. It was a moment that will forever be etched in Holy Cross hockey history and gave the team the confidence and momentum they needed to advance to the next round. While they ultimately fell in the regional final, the upset of Minnesota will always remain a defining moment for the program.
The Birth of a Rivalry: Beating Boston College
In 2010, Holy Cross faced off against the highly ranked and highly acclaimed Boston College Eagles. The two teams had not played each other since 1972, and tension was high as both teams entered the game with something to prove. Holy Cross, again considered the underdog, battled fiercely throughout the game and came out on top with a 5-4 victory. This win marked the beginning of a fierce rivalry between the two schools, with Holy Cross showing that they were a team to be taken seriously.
Conference Champions: Atlantic Hockey Success
Throughout the years, Holy Cross has had its fair share of ups and downs in the Atlantic Hockey conference. However, in the 2015-2016 season, the Crusaders found themselves in the championship game against Robert Morris. In an intense and hard-fought battle, Holy Cross emerged victorious with a 7-2 win, securing their first Atlantic Hockey championship title. This achievement further solidified the team’s place in the conference and showcased their ability to compete at the highest level.
Honoring Tradition: The Annual Rivalry on Ice
One of the most notable traditions within the Holy Cross hockey program is the annual Rivalry on Ice game against cross-town rival, the College of the Holy Cross. This highly anticipated game brings together students, alumni, and hockey fans from all over to support their respective teams. The fierce competition on the ice and the strong camaraderie between the two schools make this a beloved event for the Holy Cross community.
The Legacy Continues: Holy Cross Hockey Today
In recent years, Holy Cross has continued to build upon their legacy, earning multiple conference championship titles and making appearances in the NCAA tournament. The program has solidified itself as a respected and formidable team, with dedicated coaches and passionate players who continue to uphold the proud tradition of Holy Cross hockey.
As the team looks towards the future, one thing is certain – Holy Cross will continue to surprise, shock, and conquer, proving time and time again that anything is possible with hard work, determination, and a love for the game of hockey.