Men's Hockey Drops 4-1 Contest To #15 Niagara

Shayne Stockton

WORCESTER, Mass. – Dan Weiss posted one goal and one assist for the Purple Eagles as the Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to No. 15 Niagara, 4-1, at the Hart Center on Saturday evening in Atlantic Hockey action. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 12-8-2 overall (8-5-2 AHA), while the Purple Eagles improve to 14-4-4 overall (13-1-1 AHA). These teams tied its two-game regular season series as the Crusaders defeated the Purple Eagles, 5-3, on Jan. 18.

The Purple Eagles took a 1-0 lead at 13:22 of the first period when Patrick Divjak tipped in a shot that was taken by C.J. Chartrain. The Purple Eagles outshot the Crusaders, 16-7, while Niagara went 0-1 on the power play.

Niagara made it a 2-0 contest at 7:12 of the second period when Rocky Gruttadauria netted a short-handed goal. Gruttadauria stole the puck in the Crusader zone off a clear attempt and then found the back of the net. At 11:55, senior Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) scored his ninth goal of the season to make it a 2-1 game. At 12:40, the Purple Eagles went on a five-minute major power play, but just nine seconds later Niagara was called for a two-minute penalty. After the two minutes, the Crusaders were able to keep the Purple Eagles off the scoreboard for the remaining 2:51 of the power play. The Purples Eagles outshot the Crusaders, 15-10, while each team went 0-1 on the man-advantage.

Just 15 seconds after the opening face-off of the third period, Marc Zanette increased the lead to 3-1 when he scored on a back-hander. The Purple Eagles added an empty-net goal by Weiss with 1:17 remaining for the 4-1 final score.  

Sophomore goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) made 36 saves and is now 11-7-2 on the season, while Carsen Chubak posted 24 saves to improve to 14-3-4. The Purple Eagles outshot the Crusaders, 40-25, while each team went 0-2 on the power play. Junior Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) led the team as he went 18-7 for a .720 winning percentage and freshman Brett Lubanski (Farmington Hills, Mich.) who went 11-5 for a .688 winning percentage.

The Crusaders return to action on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25-26, when they take on Bentley in a home-and-home series at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders will host Friday's game at the Hart Center, while Saturday's contest is at the John A. Ryan Skating Arena in Watertown, Mass. Holy Cross defeated Bentley, 4-3, in this season's previous meeting in Worcester on Nov. 9.

The Crusaders have 15 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: The Crusaders' annual Pink the Rink game will be on February 16 versus UConn at 7:00 p.m.