BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Senior Andrew Cox (Lombardy, Ontario) broke a 2-2 tie at 14:56 of the third period with the game-winning goal as the Holy Cross men's hockey team defeated Sacred Heart, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon at the Webster Bank Arena in Atlantic Hockey action. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 16-13-3 overall (14-8-3 Atlantic Hockey), while the Pioneers fall to 3-26-3 overall (2-20-3 Atlantic Hockey). The Crusaders have now won six straight games as they have outscored their opponents by a 29-7 margin over the last six contests. The Crusaders' 16 wins are their most after 32 games since they were 21-9-2 in the 2005-2006 season, while their 14 AHA victories are their most after 25 games since they were 17-6-2 also in 2005-2006. The Crusaders win the season series, 3-0-0, as Holy Cross defeated the Pioneers by a 6-4 score on Nov. 12 and 6-1 on Feb. 18 with both games in Worcester, Mass.
At 2:10 of the first period, the Pioneers took an early 1-0 lead when Ben Ketchum scored on a one-timer off a pass from Torin Snydeman. The Crusaders outshot the Pioneers, 16-6 for the period.
At just 49 seconds of the second period, sophomore Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) tied the game at 1-1 with his fifth goal of the season as he fired the puck to lower left side of the net. Junior Brandon Nunn (Fairport, N.Y.) posted an assist. The Pioneers answered with a goal by Drew George at 16:21 to take a 2-1 lead. Just 35 seconds later, junior Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) netted his fifth goal of the season to tie the contest at 2-2. Cox and senior Matt Clune (Toronto, Ontario) posted assists. The Crusaders outshot the Pioneers by a 17-11 margin.
At 14:56 of the third period, Fletcher sent the puck from behind the net to Cox who buried a shot in the back of the net for his fourth game-winner of the season. Sophomore Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) also tallied an assist. With 52 seconds left and on the power play, the Pioneers went with an empty-net but were unable to score for the 3-2 final.
Freshman goalkeeper Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) posted 25 saves and improves to 13-6-1 on the season, while Andrew Bodnarchuk tallied 41 saves and is 0-7-2. The Crusaders went 0-7 on the power play and posted 44 shots, while the Pioneers went 0-4 and took 27 shots.
The Crusaders return to action on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24-25, when they conclude the regular season with a home-and-home series versus Atlantic Hockey opponent Bentley at 7:00 p.m. The game on Friday will be at the John A. Ryan Skating Arena in Watertown, Mass., while Saturday's game will be the Crusaders' Senior Day at the Hart Center. These two teams tied, 6-6, earlier in the season on Jan. 24 in Watertown. The top four teams in the Atlantic Hockey standings earn byes to the quarterfinals of the AHA Tournament on March 9-11. The Atlantic Hockey first round is on March 2-4.