MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – Senior Brandon Nunn (Fairport, N.Y.) posted two goals and one assist for three points as the Holy Cross men's hockey team defeated No. 15 Yale, 5-4, at the New England Sports Center on Sunday afternoon in non-conference action. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 10-4-2 overall and are 3-0-1 over their last four contests including three straight victories, while the Bulldogs fall to 7-4-2 overall. This is the first ever win for Holy Cross over Yale as the Crusaders were 0-4-0 versus the Bulldogs entering the game. This is the third win for Holy Cross over a ranked team in its Division I era as the Crusaders also defeated No. 3 Minnesota, 4-3, on March 24, 2006 in the NCAA Tournament, and No. 7 Boston University, 5-4, on Oct. 22, 2011. The Crusaders' record is their best after 16 games since the 2003-2004 season when they were 11-4-1.
The Crusaders took a 1-0 lead at 11:13 of the first period when junior Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) stole the puck in the Holy Cross zone and then sprinted down the ice on a breakaway sending a backhander to the upper left corner of the net for the short-handed goal. The goal was his team-best ninth of the season. At 17:50, Holy Cross increased its lead to 2-0, when senior Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) netted a power play goal. Senior assistant captain Rob Linsmayer (Winnetka, Ill.) sent a pass to Nunn at the lower left side of the post who then sent a crossing pass to Fletcher who knocked the puck to the right side of the net for his seventh goal of the season. Holy Cross outshot Yale, 15-11, while the Crusaders went 1-3 on the power play and the Bulldogs went 0-1.
The Crusaders extended their lead to 3-0 with a goal at 4:36 of the second period. Nunn scored his sixth goal of the season with assists by Fletcher and Linsmayer. The Bulldogs then made it a 3-2 contest by scoring two straight power play goals. The first goal was by Kenny Agostino at 6:13 and the second was by Nicholas Weberg at 17:12. Yale outshot Holy Cross by a 15-8 margin, while the Crusaders went 0-1 on the man-advantage and the Bulldogs went 2-4.
With the Crusaders on a five-minute major power play, Holy Cross took advantage with two early third-period power play goals to take a 5-2 lead. At 2:02, junior Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) netted a spectacular goal on a backhand. Schmidt and freshman Nathaniel Domagala (Oakville, Ontario) tallied assists. The assist was the first collegiate point for Domagala. Nunn then netted his second goal of the game and seventh of the season. The goal was also his second game-winner of the season and the fourth of his career. The goal was assisted by Fletcher and Linsmayer. Fletcher and Linsmayer each posted three points for the game as Fletcher tallied one goal and two assists, while Linsmayer posted three assists. But the Bulldogs responded with two straight goals to cut the Crusader lead to 5-4. At 11:59, Weberg netted his second goal of the contest and then at 18:05, Antoine Langaniere found the back of the net while on the power play. With 1:12 left in the period, the Crusaders went on a power play and with just 30 seconds remaining the Bulldogs went with an empty net but were unable to score the equalizer for the 5-4 final.
Sophomore goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) made 32 saves to earn the win and improve to 9-3-2 on the season. His 26 career wins are now second all-time in the program's Division I history. Jeff Malcolm posted 26 saves for the Bulldogs and is now 6-3-1 on the season. Yale outshot Holy Cross, 36-31, while the Crusaders went 3-8 on the power play and the Bulldogs went 3-6.
The Crusaders return to action on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 4-5, when they travel to Grand Forks, N.D., to take on No. 7 North Dakota at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Friday's game is at 8:30 p.m. (ET) and Saturday's contest is at 8:00 p.m. (ET).