BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Senior Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) scored two goals as the Holy Cross men's hockey team tied Sacred Heart, 3-3, on Sunday at the Webster Bank Arena in Atlantic Hockey action. With the tie, the Crusaders are now 14-14-4 overall (13-8-4 Atlantic Hockey). The tie snaps the Crusaders' seven-game winning streak but it extends their unbeaten streak to nine games as they are now 7-0-2 in their last nine games, while the Pioneers are now 4-22-6 overall (4-15-6 Atlantic Hockey).
During the last nine games the Crusaders have outscored their opponents by a 41-17 margin. The Crusaders' nine-game unbeaten streak is tied for the second longest in school history. The longest is when Holy Cross went 10-0-0 between Dec. 8, 1979-Jan. 16, 1980. This streak is also currently tied for the longest in the nation as Union is 9-0-0 over its last nine contests.
With the tie the Crusaders are tied for third place overall in the Atlantic Hockey standings with two regular season games to play. The Crusaders have already clinched a first round bye in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament and will play a best two-out-of-three quarterfinal series on March 11-13. Holy Cross earned the bye as it will finish as the top team in the east-scheduling zone. The top four teams in the Atlantic Hockey regular season standings that remain in the tournament will play the quarterfinal series at home.
At 12:57 of the first period, the Pioneers took a 1-0 lead with a goal by Evan Mladenoff. The Pioneers then increased their lead to 2-0 when Matt Gingera sent the puck to the left side of the net at 16:49. Each team took seven shots for the period, while the Crusaders went 0-1 on the power play and the Pioneers went 0-2.
At 9:00 of the second period, the Crusaders made it a 2-1 game when senior Mark Znutas (Emerson, N.J.) scored his fifth goal of the season. Sophomores Rob Linsmayer (Winnetka, Ill.) and Brandon Nunn (Fairport, N.Y.) assisted on the goal. Znutas and Linsmayer went on a two-on-one as Znutas was then able to find the back of the net. The Pioneers then went up by two goals once again at 14:10, when Gingera netted his second goal of the contest when he scored off a rebound. While on a two-man-advantage power play, Sheen scored his 12th goal of the season to cut the Pioneers' lead to 3-2 with 1:26 left in the period. After receiving a pass from freshman Jeffrey Reppucci (Newburyport, Mass.), freshman Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) sent the puck from the left faceoff circle to a waiting Sheen at the right post as he then knocked the puck to the lower right side of the net. Holy Cross outshot the Pioneers by a 13-10 margin, while the Crusaders went 1-2 on the man-advantage and the Pioneers went 0-1.
At 45 seconds of the third period, Stockton knocked the puck to Sheen who then netted his second goal of the game and team-leading 13th of the season to tie the contest at 3-3. The remaining 19:15 of the third period went scoreless as the game went to overtime as neither team were able to find the back of the net for the 3-3 final score.
Senior goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) made 28 saves and is now 8-6-2 on the season, while Steven Legatto 37 saves and is 3-17-5. The Crusaders went 1-5 on the power play and the Pioneers went 0-4. Holy Cross outshot the Pioneers, 40-31.
The Crusaders return to action on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, when they play a home-and-home series with Atlantic Hockey opponent Bentley to conclude the regular season. Friday's game will be Senior Night at the Hart Center at 7:00 p.m., while Saturday's game will be played at the John A. Ryan Skating Arena at 7:00 p.m. The Falcons defeated the Crusaders by a 5-2 score this season on Nov. 20.