WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) scored a hat-trick as the Holy Cross men's hockey team defeated the Rochester Institute of Technology, 7-3, at the Hart Center on Saturday afternoon in Atlantic Hockey action. With the victory, the Crusaders improve their record to 7-2-0 overall (6-2-0 AHA), while the Tigers fall to 2-7-1 overall (1-4-1 AHA). The 7-2-0 record is the best start the Crusaders have had since the 2002-2003 season when they were also 7-2-0 after their first nine games. These two teams will conclude their two-game regular season series on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Hart Center at 3:00 p.m.
The Crusaders would start off the scoring at 6:17, when Schmidt scored a power play goal. Freshman Karl Beckman (Okemos, Mich.) passed the puck to sophomore Joe McNamara (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) who then took a shot from right inside the blue line, which was then deflected by Schmidt for the goal. The assist from McNamara was his first collegiate point registered. Just a minute later at 7:36, RIT would even the score when Ben Lynch put the puck in the net for the Tigers. At 14:04, RIT would add a go-ahead goal from Dan Schuler. This would be the last lead that the Tigers would hold for the rest of the game, as Schmidt would add his second goal of the contest late in the first period at 17:34 after receiving a pass from junior Ryan McGrath (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Freshman Jake Bolton (Ellington, Conn.) also posted an assist on the play, which was the first point of his collegiate career. RIT outshot Holy Cross 14-10 in the first period, however Holy Cross was able to take advantage of the sole power play of the period.
With the game being tied 2-2 at the end of the first period, the Crusaders would add three goals in the second period and only let up one as they took a 5-3 lead. At 4:54, senior captain Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario) would score the first goal of the period to give the Crusaders a 3-2 lead. Vos fought for a puck dumped into the RIT zone by senior Evan Zych (Kilbride, Ontario), spun towards the net and fired a shot that deflected off of the goaltender's stick and into the net. Then at 6:57, Greg Noyes would score an equalizing goal for RIT, tying the game up at 3-3. This tie would be broken at 10:24, when freshman Castan Sommer (Shrewsbury, Mass.) netted the go-ahead goal, with the assists going to senior Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) and Vos. The goal was his first collegiate game-winner. The Crusaders would add a late goal from Schmidt again with 50 seconds left in the period, as he one-timed a pass sent to him right in front of the net from sophomore Mike McNamara (Chestnut Hill, Mass.). The goal was Schmidt's third of the day, completing the hat-trick. Schmidt was the last Holy Cross player to register a hat-trick, when he did so on February 25, 2012 against Bentley. The Crusader's outshot RIT 15-10 in the second period of play, and went 0-4 on power plays, with RIT going 1-3.
In the third period, the Crusaders would shut out RIT, and added two more goals to their tally. Mike McNamara and junior Mark Williamson (Centennial, Colo.) scored the only two goals of the period. At 7:12, Mike McNamara increased the Crusaders' lead to 6-3. At 13:17, Williamson scored off of a rebound that he received at the left side of the RIT net after a shot from sophomore Tommy Dwyer (Ridgefield, Conn.), and then slapped the puck past the goalie's glove on the right side of the net. RIT would not be able to score any goals in the third period, ending the game with a 7-3 victory for the Crusaders.
Sophomore goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) made 28 saves to improve his record to 7-1-0 on the season. Ken MacLean and Jordan Ruby were in front of the net for RIT, sharing playing time and making 20 and 13 saves respectively. MacLean made his collegiate debut for RIT, taking the loss. Holy Cross outshot RIT 40-31, while the Crusaders went 1-7 on the power play and the Tigers went 1-4.
This is the Crusaders first win over the Tigers since a 5-3 win on March 13, 2009. Entering tonight's game, RIT had been 8-0-2 against Holy Cross in their matchups over the last 10 games. This is the second win for the Crusaders against RIT since the Tigers joined Atlantic Hockey in 2006-2007.