ROCHESTER, N.Y. – With the game tied at 2-2, Jacques Lamoureux scored the game-winner with 4:16 left in the third period as the Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to Air Force, 3-2, on Friday night at the Blue Cross Arena in the Atlantic Hockey semifinals. With the loss, the third-seeded Crusaders conclude the season 17-16-5 overall, while the second-seeded Falcons improve to 19-11-6. Air Force will now play top seeded RIT in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament championship game on March 19. The Tigers defeated sixth-seeded UConn by a 4-2 score in the first semifinal. The winner of the championship game will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Crusaders' 17 overall wins are the most in a season since it won a school record 27 games in 2005-2006. The Crusaders' 14 Atlantic Hockey wins were their most in a season since they won a program-best 19 games with a 19-7-2 record in 2005-2006. Also this season, the Crusaders set a new school record when they went undefeated in 12 straight games between Jan. 22-March 11. Holy Cross went 9-0-3 in 12 straight contests. This season sophomore Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) led the team with 38 points.
Air Force took a 1-0 lead at 15:39 of the first period when Scott Mathis fired a shot that ricocheted off the boards and then off senior goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) as the puck then went past the line for the goal. The Crusaders outshot the Falcons, 8-4, while each team went 0-2 on the power play.
The Crusaders tied the game at 1-1 at 14:50 of the second period when freshman Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) netted his ninth goal of the season. After receiving a pass from senior Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Ontario), Stockton lifted the puck over the left shoulder of Air Force goalie Jason Torf for the goal. Holy Cross outshot Air Force by a 10-6 margin, while the Crusaders went 0-1 on the man-advantage and the Falcons went 0-2.
Holy Cross took a 2-1 lead at 2:51 of the third period when sophomore Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario) scored his eighth goal of the season. Junior Matt Gordon (Perth, Ontario) slid a loose puck from in front of the net to Vos who sent the puck to an open right side of the net. Junior Andrew Cox (Lombardy, Ontario) also recorded an assist. But at 9:26, Lamoureux netted his first goal of the game to tie the contest at 2-2. And then at 15:44 he tallied the game-winning goal. The Crusaders went with an empty-net with 38 seconds left in the period but were unable to find the back of the net for the 3-2 final score.
Roy made 18 saves and went 11-8-3 this season, while Torf made 28 saves and improves 15-8-4. The Crusaders went 0-3 on the power play, while the Falcons went 0-4. Holy Cross outshot Air Force, 30-21.