Men's Hockey Downs Army, 5-2, To Sweep AHA First Round Series
WORCESTER, Mass. – Five different skaters found the back of the net as eight different Crusaders registered at least one point as the Holy Cross men's hockey team downed Army, 5-2, to sweep a best two-out-of-three Atlantic Hockey Tournament first round series on Saturday evening at the Hart Center. The Crusaders won the first game of the series by a 3-2 score on Friday. With the win, the No. 5 seeded Crusaders improve to 19-13-4 overall, while the No. 12 seeded Black Knights conclude their season 4-23-7 overall. The Crusaders went 5-0-0 versus the Black Knights this season including a sweep of the three-game regular season series. The Crusaders are now 9-0-1 in their last 10 games as they have outscored their opponents by a 45-17 margin. Their 10-game unbeaten streak is tied for the second longest in school history and is the second longest current streak in the nation. The Crusaders' 19 overall wins are their most since winning 27 in 2005-2006. Holy Cross will play at No. 4 seed Mercyhurst in a best two-out-of-three quarterfinal series on March 9-11.
The Crusaders struck twice in a span of 1:15 beginning at 8:15 in the first period. Freshman Nilan Nagy (Canonsburg, Pa.) and senior Andrew Cox (Lombardy, Ontario) each helped sophomore Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) score his 16th goal of the season. Schmidt is now tied for eighth on the Division I Holy Cross single-season goals scored list. At 9:20, sophomore Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) netted is seventh goal of the year and fourth point of the weekend off a feed from junior Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario). Each squad went 0-1 on the power play while Holy Cross outshot the Black Knights, 14-3.
Senior Matt Clune (Toronto, Ontario) fired home a shot from just inside the zone for the third Crusader goal of the game and his third of the season at 8:56 in the second period. The power play goal is the first game-winner of the defenseman's career as the Crusaders went 1-1 on extra-man opportunities in the period. Army held a slim 11-10 advantage on shots and had one power play chance in the stanza.
Each team posted a pair of goals in the final period of the evening. Marcel Alvarez broke up the shutout with a power play marker at 6:04 in the third for the Black Knights. He would receive help from Maurice Alvarez and Andy Starczewski. The Crusaders capitalized on a five-on-three opportunity at 12:50 as Cox found the back of the net for the 14th time this year with assistance from Schmidt and senior captain Mike Daly (South Burlington, Vt.). Army pulled within two goals as Mike Hull deflected in a shot taken by Starczewski. Danny Colvin would also get credit for an assist on the scoring play. The Black Knights pulled goalie Ryan Leets with 66 ticks left on the scoreboard but a quick empty net goal by junior Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) at 19:02 pushed the Crusader lead back to three. Nagy picked up his second assist of the evening to help Fletcher score his seventh goal of the season. The Black Knights were a perfect 1-1 on the power play as Holy Cross scored once in four chances as the Crusaders once again held a commanding lead in the shot category with a 17-8 advantage in the frame.
Freshman goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) ups his record to 16-6-2 as he stopped 20 shots for the Crusaders. His win total currently places the rookie in a tie for third on the program's Division I single-season victory leader board. Holy Cross finished the game with 41 shots and went 2-6 on the power play. Leets concludes the 2011-2012 campaign with a 4-16-4 ledger as he collected 36 saves. The Black Knights took 22 shots and went 1-3 on the power play.