WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior Rob Linsmayer (Winnetka, Ill.) had the game winning goal as the Holy Cross men's hockey team beat Sacred Heart, 6-1, on Friday night at the Hart Center in Atlantic Hockey action during the Crusaders' third annual "Pink the Rink" night. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 15-13-3 overall (13-8-3 Atlantic Hockey), while the Pioneers fall to 3-25-3 overall (2-19-3 Atlantic Hockey). The Crusaders have now won five straight games as they have outscored their opponents by a 26-5 margin over the last five contests. These two teams will conclude their three-game regular season series on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn., at 4:00 p.m. The Crusaders lead the season series 2-0-0 as Holy Cross defeated the Pioneers by a 6-4 score on Nov. 12 in Worcester.
At the game, the Crusaders raised over $1,300 for breast cancer awareness by selling "Pink the Rink" T-shirts, holding a chuck-a-puck competition during an intermission and running a 50/50 raffle. Proceeds will go to Pink Revolution, which is an alliance of dedicated individuals with a unified commitment to those touched by breast cancer at UMass Memorial and UMass Medical School here in Worcester.
Before the game, Linda Reppucci took part in the ceremonial puck drop. Linda is a breast cancer survivor and is the mother of sophomore defenseman Jeffrey Reppucci (Newburyport, Mass.). Also before the game, junior Brandon Nunn (Fairport, N.Y.) presented a check to Pink Revolution co-founder Audrey Kurlan-Marcy. Nunn started Power Play Points for PINK, which is a program that raises money by pledges and donations for every power play goal the Crusaders score at home this season. To date, Power Play Points for PINK has raised over $2,500.
Tonight's game was also part of Holy Cross' winter homecoming. In honor of the event, an MVP trophy was awarded at the end of tonight's game and went to Linsmayer. The award is presented by the Holy Cross Club of Greater Worcester.
To start the game Nunn took advantage of the power play as he tipped in a shot by senior Jay Silvia (Burlington, Mass.) at the 17:41 mark for the only goal of the first period.
In the second period at the 7:42 mark Reid MacLeod took advantage of the power play and tied up the game with a Sacred Heart goal. The Crusaders then scored five unanswered goals. At the 11:43 mark the Crusaders again capitalized on the power play when Linsmayer took a quick shot from the edge of the circle to flip the puck into the back of the net off an assist by senior Matt Clune (Toronto, Ontario). At the 13:38 mark the Crusaders found the back of the net again as sophomore Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) received the puck from sophomore Ryan McGrath (Pittsburgh, Pa.) for the goal. At the 14:47 mark junior Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario) picked up a loose puck to fire a shot in the back of the net to widen the Crusader lead to 4-1. To end the second period junior Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) netted his fourth goal of the season. Sacred Heart then switched goalkeepers.
The only goal of the third period came from Silvia at the 16:44 mark to clinch the 6-1 victory. Six different Crusaders found the back of the net tonight while they improved to 9-3-2 at home.
Freshman goalkeeper Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) had 11 saves for the Crusaders and improved to 12-6-1 on the season. Sacred Heart saw minutes from Steven Legatto who made 13 saves and Andre Bodnarchuk who made 11 saves. Holy Cross went 2-5 on the power play and Sacred Heart went 1-5. The Crusaders outshot the Pioneers 30-12.