WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) contributed on all three goals as he scored the game-winner and had two assists as the Holy Cross men's hockey team edged Army, 3-2, in the first game of a best two-out-of-three Atlantic Hockey Tournament first round series on Friday night at the Hart Center. With the win, the No. 5 seeded Crusaders improve to 18-13-4 overall, while the No. 12 seeded Black Knights slip to 4-22-7 overall. The Crusaders are now 8-0-1 in their last nine games as they have outscored their opponents by a 40-15 margin. Their nine-game unbeaten streak is tied for the third longest in school history and is the second longest current streak in the nation. The Crusaders' 18 overall wins are their most since winning 27 in 2005-2006. The second game of the series is on Saturday, March 3, at the Hart Center at 7:00 p.m. If a third game is necessary it will be on Sunday, March 4 in Worcester at 7:00 p.m. With a Crusader series win, Holy Cross will play at No. 4 seed Mercyhurst in a best two-out-of-three quarterfinal series on March 9-11. With an Army series victory, the Black Knights will play at No. 1 seed Air Force. The Crusaders are 4-0-0 versus the Black Knights this season including a sweep of the three-game regular season series.
Holy Cross opened the scoring at 5:48 into the contest on junior Brandon Nunn's (Fairport, N.Y.) 15th goal of the season. Stockton and senior Matthew Davis (Lancaster, N.Y.) assisted on the scoring chance. Just under five minutes later the Black Knights found an opening to tie the game at 1-1. Andy Starczewski knocked home a feed from Mac Lalor and Mike Hull. With 2:05 showing on the scoreboard the Crusaders pulled ahead once again as junior Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario) fired in a shot from the top of the slot after a feed from senior captain Mike Daly (South Burlington, Vt.). Stockton would get credit for his second assist of the evening on Vos' 12th marker of the year. Holy Cross had the only power play of the period while the Crusaders held a slim 11-8 edge in the shot column.
Midway through the second period, Stockton posted his sixth goal of the year as his shot caromed off the right post into the net at 9:55 for a power play goal. The goal was his second game-winner of the season and his fourth of his career. Seniors Kyle Atkins (Brockville, Ontario) and Jay Silvia (Burlington, Mass.) picked up assists for the Crusaders. At 18:31, Bill Day stole the puck and sent the pass to Bryant Skarda. Skarda then fired a laser at the Holy Cross netminder who halted the momentum as the puck trickled past the goal line to bring the Black Knights within one. The Crusaders took advantage of one extra-man chance in three opportunities and Army went 0-for-1. For the period, Holy Cross doubled up the Black Knights on shots, 14-7.
Freshman goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) and Army netminder Ryan Leets did not allow a goal in the final 20 minutes of action. Each team had a pair of power play opportunities as the Crusaders outshot the Black Knights, 14-6.
Ginn improves to 15-6-2 on the season as he turned away 19 shots while Holy Cross took aim 39 times and went 1-for-5 on the power play. Leets (4-15-4) finished with a game-high 36 saves as his teammates took 21 shots and finished 0-for-3 with the extra-man advantage.