Men's Hockey Outduels First-Place Air Force, 6-4

Matt Clune

Video: Coach Pearl Postgame

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Crusaders scored a season-best six goals, including sophomore Luke Miller (Andover, Mass.), who scored the game-winner as the Holy Cross men's hockey team defeated first-place Air Force, 6-4, in Atlantic Hockey action at the Cadet Ice Arena on Friday evening. Six different Holy Cross players scored goals. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 6-13-5 overall (5-9-4 Atlantic Hockey), while the Falcons fall to 11-9-5 (11-5-5 Atlantic Hockey). This is first Holy Cross win over Air Force since the Crusaders defeated the Falcons, 5-2, in Worcester on Oct. 30, 2004. This is also the first Holy Cross victory since Air Force joined Atlantic Hockey as the Falcons were 7-0-4 versus the Crusaders in the previous 11 conference games. The season series is now tied at 1-1-1. These two teams will conclude their four-game season series on Saturday at 9:00 p.m. (ET) as Holy Cross will look to win its first season series over Air Force since the 2004-2005 season and the first since the Falcons entered Atlantic Hockey.    

This was a match up that featured two of the top defenses in the conference, but both offenses responded by far and away exceeding their season-averages. The Crusaders, who were averaging 1.9 goals per game, set their season best with six, while the Falcons, who were averaging 2.7 goals per game, were strong with four goals.

The Falcons took a 1-0 lead at 12:30 of the first period when Matt Fairchild found the back of the net. The Crusaders tied the game at 1-1 at 15:10 when sophomore defenseman Matt Clune (Toronto, Ontario) blasted a slap shot from the blue line and past Air Force goalie Andrew Volkening for his first goal of the season. Junior Matt Celin (Gibsonia, Pa.) and sophomore Andrew Cox (Lombardy, Ontario) assisted on the goal. But just seven seconds later, Jacques Lamoureux scored an unassisted goal to give Air Force back its one goal lead at 2-1. Lamoureux stole the puck in the Holy Cross zone and then sent a wrist shot past Holy Cross freshman goalie Thomas Tysowsky (Amherst, N.Y.) to the upper left corner of the net. For the period, the Crusaders outshot the Falcons, 13-10, while Air Force went 0-1 on the only power play of the period.  

At just 1:38 of the second period, Holy Cross tied the game at 2-2 when sophomore defenseman Mike Daly (South Burlington, Vt.) netted a power play goal on a slap shot. The goal was Daly's second of the season. Junior Jordan Cyr (Winnipeg, Manitoba) recorded an assist. The Crusaders then went back on a power play and capitalized again at 5:06 to take a 3-2 advantage when freshman Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario) scored his fourth goal of the season. Vos deflected a shot by sophomore Matt Gordon (Perth, Ontario) past Volkening. Clune earned his second point of the game with an assist. Holy Cross increased its lead to 4-2 at 10:26 when senior Rob Forshner (Sundre, Alberta) scored on a rebound off a shot by freshman Rob Linsmayer (Winnetka, Ill.). The goal was his third of the season. Sophomore Kyle Atkins (Brockville, Ontario) also had an assist. The Falcons responded with a power play goal by Derrick Burnett at 13:07 to cut the Holy Cross lead to 4-3. Holy Cross outshot Air Force, 15-10, while the Crusaders went 2-2 on the man-advantage and the Falcons went 1-2.

At 2:08 of the third period, Holy Cross extended its lead to 5-3 when Miller posted his fourth goal of the season. Linsmayer tallied his second assist of the contest and Forshner had his second point with an assist. At 5:52, Air Force went on a two-man-advantage power play and took advantage of it at 6:10 when Lamoureux sent the puck to the upper right corner of the net for his second goal of the contest to  make the score 5-4. With 14 seconds left in the third period, Cyr scored an empty-netter for his second point of the game and the 6-4 final score.     

Tysowsky made 32 saves to improve to 6-11-5, while Volkening stopped 30 shots and is now 11-9-5. Holy Cross went a perfect 2-2 on the power play and Air Force went 2-5. The Falcons entered the game with the No. 1 ranked penalty kill in the nation with a 90.3 penalty kill percentage. Each team took 36 shots.