Tommy Cross becomes P-Bruins all-time leader in games played
In the midst of a tight playoff race, the Providence Bruins picked up a huge 4-2 victory over their rival the Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday to maintain their hold on fourth place in the Atlantic Division. But that wasn’t the only noteworthy news that came out of the Dunkin Donuts Center that night, as defenseman and second-year captain Tommy Cross skated in his 279th contest for the P-Bruins, passing Jay Henderson for most games played in P-Bruins history.
Now in his sixth season in pro hockey, Cross has registered 23 goals and 74 assists for 97 points along with a plus-35 rating thus far in his American Hockey League career.
For Cross, he has enjoyed every minute of his time in the organization and the city.
“It’s a privilege to be a part of the Boston Bruins organization and play for Providence,” Cross said. “It’s a great city here, it’s a great organization and they run things really well. I’m lucky to have been here now my fifth season and now I just want to help bring wins, being part of good teams, making runs to the playoffs and to do that you need to get in and that’s what were focused on.”
After a stellar prep school and junior career, Cross played four seasons at Boston College, registering 17-43-60 totals in 134 games from 2008-2012. While at The Heights, Cross would lead the Eagles to two NCAA Championships in his final three seasons – BC’s second and third National titles in five seasons – in 2010 and 2012.
Fresh off his collegiate career, Boston’s 2007 second round draft pick would play two games for Providence during the tail-end of the 2011-12 season. The following year, Cross would split time with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL and Providence, playing in 66 games, scoring seven goals and 23 assists between the two clubs.
Since then, Cross has been a fixture of the Baby B’s blueline, showing off his leadership skills both on and off the ice that has drawn the admiration of teammates, coaches and fans alike. For this, Cross was awarded the role of captain prior to the start of last season.
Just when things seemed like it could not get any better for Cross, news came that his lifelong dream had finally come true. On October 14, 2015, Cross received his first call-up to Boston, making his NHL debut the following night against the Colorado Avalanche. Two nights later, Cross would earn his first point, assisting on Brad Marchand’s third-period goal in Boston’s 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Cross would play one more game for Boston before being optioned back to Providence.
Cross has reached the Calder Cup playoffs in each of his four previous seasons with Providence, sporting two goals and five assists in 23 postseason games. This year, Cross looks to add to those numbers as Providence is in yet another tight race as they head into the final few weeks of the regular season.
“There’s five teams fighting for a spot and all those teams are playing good hockey,” Cross said about the playoff race. “We won two games in a row, [this past] Friday and Saturday and you look at the standings and you don’t gain much ground. We can’t afford too many setbacks like tonight [a 5-2 loss to the Utica Comets this past Sunday]. We just have to keep winning and one good hockey teams not going to make [the playoffs] so we don’t want to be us so we certainly need to win more than we lose down the stretch.”
Right now, Tommy Cross is in the best season of his pro career, with career-highs in goals (12), assists (22) and points (34). Though he did not receive a call-up at any point this season, Cross has put himself in position to receive future nods from the big club for next season and beyond.
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