WORCESTER, Mass. – With the Crusaders trailing 2-1 in the second period, sophomore forward Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) scored a magnificent power play goal to tie the game and eventually send it to overtime, but Daniel O'Donoghue scored the game-winner for the Lakers as the Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to first-place Mercyhurst, 3-2, on Friday night at the Hart Center in Atlantic Hockey action. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 10-11-1 overall (8-6-1 Atlantic Hockey), while the Lakers improve to 14-9-2 overall (11-3-2 Atlantic Hockey). These two teams will conclude their two-game regular season series on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Hart Center at 7:00 p.m.
The Crusaders came out in the first period strong and fast, throwing a flurry of shots on Mercyhurst's senior goaltender Max Strang. However, the quick start was put to a halt at 7:32 when Mercyhurst's sophomore forward Kyle Just buried the first goal of the game coming from a rebound by junior forward Paul Chiasson and a pass from behind the net by O'Donoghue. Holy Cross' penalty kill came up big as the Crusaders were plagued with three back-to-back penalties. Mercyhurst was unable to capitalize against the determined Holy Cross defenders. At 16:17, Crusader junior forward Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) notched his second goal of the season coming from an impressive poke check turned into an assist by senior forward Andrew Cox (Lombardy, Ontario).
Mercyhurst opened up the second period by scoring a quick goal at 1:44. The goal scorer was O'Donoghue, assisted by freshman forward Chris Bodo and senior defenseman Kevin Noble. The Crusaders third ranked power play in the AHA scored a clutch power play goal at 10:23. The goal came from a hard slap shot from the top of the left circle that snuck in the five-hole between Strang's legs. The goal was scored by Stockton and assisted by senior forward Jay Silvia (Burlington, Mass.) and junior forward Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario).
Both teams were held scoreless in the third period despite a fast paced Holy Cross power play opportunity. Mercyhurst came out flying and scored just 19 seconds into the overtime period. The Mercyhurst goal was scored by O'Donoghue, assisted by Chiasson and Just. O'Donoghue sniped the puck to the lower left side to score the overtime goal and give Mercyhurst the victory.
Sophomore goaltender Derek Kump (Falmouth, Maine) made 27 saves and is now 1-1-0 on the season, while Strang posted 35 saves and is 12-9-2. The Crusaders went 1-3 on the power play and the Lakers went 0-4. Holy Cross outshot Mercyhurst, 37-30.