WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior Rob Linsmayer (Winnetka, Ill.) netted the game-winner breaking a 1-1 tie in the second period as the Holy Cross men's hockey team defeated Army, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon at the Hart Center in Atlantic Hockey action. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 8-7-0 overall (6-4-0 Atlantic Hockey), while the Black Knights fall to 1-8-6 overall (1-6-4 Atlantic Hockey). Senior Mike Daly (South Burlington, Vt.) led the Crusaders with two points as he posted two assists. Holy Cross has won three straight games and four of its last five.
At today's game, the Holy Cross men's hockey program raised money for the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund (MSLF). The fund provides educational assistance grants to the children of Massachusetts service members who were killed while deployed on Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. The team wore a special edition camouflage jersey to show its support. The jerseys were auctioned off throughout the game and raised $6,400 with all proceeds going to the fund.
Before the game there was a ceremonial puck drop that honored the family of fallen soldier Marine Captain Kyle Van De Giesen who died while on a mission in Afghanistan. Van De Giesen was from North Attleborough, Mass. Also taking part in the ceremony was Submarine Warfare Officer Lieutenant Austin Rasbach, who is a member of the Holy Cross Naval Science Department, along with the founder of the fund, Peter Trovato.
The first period went scoreless as Holy Cross outshot Army, 16-7. The Crusaders went 0-2 on the power play and the Black Knights went 0-1.
The Crusaders took a 1-0 lead at 13:27 of the second period when senior Gianni Baldassari (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was sent on a breakaway off a pass by Daly and then fired the puck to the upper right corner of the net for a short-handed goal. The goal was his second of the season. Senior Matt Clune (Toronto, Ontario) also tallied an assist. The Black Knights then tied the game at 1-1 with a short-handed goal of their own at 16:10. Mac Lalor scored on a rebound off a shot by Zak Zaremba. With just 52 seconds left in the period, Linsmayer netted his fourth goal of the season and his second game-winner as he buried the puck in the left side of the net after receiving a crossing pass from freshman Jake Youso (International Falls, Minn.). Senior Kyle Atkins (Brockville, Ontario) also posted an assist on the power play goal. The Crusaders went 1-4 on the man-advantage, while the Black Knights went 0-2. Each team tallied 10 shots.
Senior Brandon Nunn (Fairport, N.Y.) gave the Crusaders a 3-1 lead at 14:44 when he scored on the power play for his fifth goal of the season. He knocked the puck to the lower left side of the net after junior Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario) sent him a crossing pass. Daly posted his second assist of the game and his team-best 11th of the season. Neither team was able to find the back of the net again for the 3-1 final score.
Freshman goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) made 24 saves and is now 6-5-0 on the season, while Ryan Leets posted 31 saves and falls to 1-6-3. The Crusaders went 2-7 on the power play and the Black Knights went 0-4. Holy Cross outshot Army, 34-25.
The Crusaders return to action when they compete at the Ledyard National Bank Classic at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 30-31. Holy Cross will play the Big Green at Thompson Arena on Friday at 7:00 p.m., while on Saturday the Crusaders will then take on either Merrimack or St. Lawrence at 4:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m.