WORCESTER, Mass. – Senior captain Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario) scored the game-winning overtime goal as the Holy Cross men's hockey team defeated Penn State, 5-4, at the Hart Center on Friday night in non-conference action. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 8-4-2 overall, while the Nittany Lions fall to 6-6-0 overall. The Crusaders' current record is their best since 2005-2006 when they were 9-4-1 after the first 14 games. These two teams will conclude its two-game series on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Hart Center at 5:00 p.m. At the game, Toys for Tots will be collecting new unwrapped toys, while the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will also be accepting winter hats and gloves for children in local schools.
Just 3:58 into the first period junior Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) netted an unassisted goal after a Penn State defenseman turned the puck over in the Holy Cross offensive zone. Schmidt stole the puck and sent a shot by the goalie's right side and giving the Crusaders an early 1-0 lead that would hold throughout the rest of period. The goal was Schmidt's team-best seventh of the season. The Crusaders outshot the Nittany Lions 16-5 in the period while neither team wound up on the power play.
Holy Cross trailed Penn State 3-2 at the end of the second period. Penn State's Casey Bailey tied the game at 1-1 in the first 21 seconds of the period. Bailey redirected the puck to the back of the goal off a shot from the point by teammate Nate Jensen. The Nittany Lions scored another goal, taking their first lead of the night at 7:51 when David Glen finished Peter Sweetland's shot that rebounded off sophomore goalie Matt Ginn's (Lindsay, Ontario) right pad. Jonathan Milley also tallied an assist off the play. Penn State furthered the goal deficit to two at 12:39 when Milley posted another assist after dishing the puck to Connor Varley who out skated two defenders before shooting the puck into the upper righthand corner of the net. Joseph Lordo also assisted the play. Holy Cross got its first and only goal of the period on the power play at 15:41 when freshman Castan Sommer (Shrewsbury, Mass.) ripped a shot from the right point that sophomore Mike McNamara (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) batted into the back of the net, making the final score for the period 3-2 in favor of the Nittany Lions. The goal was McNamara's fourth of the season. Senior Evan Zych (Kilbride, Ontario) notched his ninth assist of the season on the play. Penn State outshot Holy Cross 13-6 while the Crusaders went 1-1 on the power play and the Nittany Lions did not see any power play action.
The third period ended in a tie at 4-4 after one Nittany Lions' goal and two late Crusader goals. Milley scored the first goal of the period at 3:47 after a scramble for the puck in front of the Crusader net. Milley's goal was assisted by Bailey and Varley. Freshman Matt Vidal (Manorville, N.Y.) scored his first collegiate goal, making the score 4-3 at 14:44 when he split through two Penn State defenders and took a low backhand shot into the Penn State net after receiving a tipped pass from sophomore Nilan Nagy (Canonsburg, Pa.). Zych also recorded an assist on the play for his second of the night and team-best 10th of the season. Just over two minutes later at 16:51 Holy Cross tied the game on a power play goal, forcing overtime action. The goal occurred when junior Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) picked up a pass from sophomore Jake Youso (International Falls, Minn) and sent a puck through the five-hole of the Nittany Lions' goalie. Freshman Joe McNamara (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) also recorded an assist for the play. Holy Cross outshot Penn State in the third period 13-7. The Crusaders went 1-1 on the power play while the Nittany Lions did not have any power play opportunities.
Holy Cross defeated Penn State 1:54 in overtime play when Vos netted the game-winner. After a fight for possession in front of the net, Vos stuffed the loose puck beneath the glove of the Nittany Lions' goalie and into the back of the net, giving the Crusaders the victory. Youso and freshman Karl Beckman (Okemos, Mich.) each posted assists on the goal. The last time Holy Cross won an overtime game was on Nov. 6, 2010 against Robert Morris, with a score of 3-2.
The Crusaders recorded a total of 37 shots while the Nittany Lions recorded 25. Holy Cross went 2-2 on the power play while Penn State received no power play action all night. Goalies Ginn had 21 total saves and Matthew Skoff had 32. With the win Ginn improves to 8-3-2 for the season.
The Crusaders have now netted nine power play goals at home this season. For every home power play goal scored the Crusaders raise money for Pink Revolution through Power Play Points for Pink. For more information and to donate go here: http://www.powerplaypointsforpink.com/. The Crusaders' annual Pink the Rink game will be on February 16 versus UConn at 7:00 p.m.