WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Freshman Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) broke a 2-2 tie early in the third period as the Holy Cross men's hockey team defeated American International, 3-2, on Friday evening at the Olympia Ice Center in the Crusaders' Atlantic Hockey season opener. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 1-2-0 overall (1-0-0 Atlantic Hockey), while the Yellow Jackets stumble to 0-3-0 overall (0-3-0 Atlantic Hockey). Holy Cross remains undefeated all-time in AHA openers with a 7-0-1 record.
Holy Cross sounded the horn first as junior Andrew Cox (Lombardy, Ontario) found the back of the net just 24 seconds into the contest for his first goal of the year. Just over 15 minutes later, the Yellow Jackets answered on a goal from freshman Jon Puskar to tie the game. The Crusaders held a 15-6 advantage on shots as both teams would go 0-1 on power plays.
Senior Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) setup junior Gianni Baldassari (Fort Wayne, Ind.) to put the Crusaders ahead on a short-handed goal at 6:55 in the second period for his first goal of the season. At 13:01, senior Steve McLeod and the Yellow Jackets capitalized on one of two power plays to even the score to 2-2. Holy Cross went 0-2 on its power play chances, and led 15-5 on shots.
A quick goal by Stockton capped the scoring at 58 seconds of the third on a power play opportunity for the Crusaders. Assisting on the goal was junior Mark Znutas (Emerson, N.J.) and Sheen. The goal was Stockton's second of the season and his first collegiate game-winner. Holy Cross went 1-3 in power play chances as the Yellow Jackets did not score on their three for the period. The Crusaders held a slight 13-11 lead on shots.
Holy Cross sophomore goalie Thomas Tysowsky (Amherst, N.Y.) made 20 saves in his first win of the season. Sophomore Ben Meisner stopped 40 shots for American International. Both teams finished 1-6 on power plays, while Holy Cross outshot the Yellow Jackets 43-22.
The Crusaders return to action on Sunday, Oct. 17, when they travel to West Point, N.Y., to play Army at Tate Rink at 2:00 p.m.