MILFORD, Conn. – Ben Ketchum tallied two goals and one assist for three points for the Pioneers as the Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to Sacred Heart, 7-3, at the Milford Ice Pavilion on Tuesday evening in Atlantic Hockey action. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 15-12-2 overall (11-9-2 AHA), while the Pioneers earn their first win of the season and improve to 1-26-2 overall (1-19-2 AHA). The season series is tied at 1-1-0, as the Crusaders defeated the Pioneers this season by a 6-3 score on Nov. 11. The teams will conclude its three-game regular season series on Monday, Feb. 25, in Worcester, Mass., at 7:00 p.m.
The Pioneers took an early 1-0 lead just 56 seconds after the opening face-off with a goal by Ben Ketchum. The Crusaders tied the game at 1-1 at 6:08 while on the power play when senior Brandon Nunn (Fairport, N.Y.) scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season off a rebound from a shot by freshman Karl Beckman (Okemos, Mich.). Holy Cross took a 2-1 lead at 9:18, when freshman Tim Driscoll (Hingham, Mass.) netted his fourth goal of the season. Freshmen Matt Vidal (Manorville, N.Y.) and Brett Lubanski (Farmington Hills, Mich.) each posted an assist. At 12:03, Kyle Verbeek stole the puck from behind the net and scored on a wrap around to tie the game at 2-2 while on the power play. Just 1:59 later, Chad Barthelmess gave the Pioneers a 3-2 lead when he found back of the net. Holy Cross outshot Sacred Heart, 15-11, while the Crusaders went 1-2 on the power play and the Pioneers went 1-1.
The Crusaders tied the contest at 3-3 when senior captain Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario) netted his sixth goal of the season at 3:24 of the second period. The goal was assisted by senior Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario). Chad Filteau gave the Pioneers a 4-3 lead when he scored on a backhander at 13:58. Holy Cross outshot Sacred Heart by a 12-10 margin.
At 9:19 of the third period, Ketchum scored a power play goal to extend the lead to 5-3. Filteau then scored on a breakaway at 12:16 to make it a 6-3 contest. Ben Lake scored off a rebound to make the score 7-3 at 16:44. That would be the last goal of the contest for the 7-3 final.
Sophomore goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) made 24 saves and is now 14-11-2 on the season, while Andrew Bodnarchuk posted 33 saves. Ginn now has 795 saves which are ranked third for a Division I season at the school. Holy Cross outshot Sacred Heart, 36-31, while the Crusaders went 1-4 on the power play and the Pioneers went 2-4.
The Crusaders return to action on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23, when they play a home-and-home series with American International. Friday's game is at the Olympia Ice Center at 7:00 p.m. in West Springfield, Mass., while Saturday's game is at the Hart Center in Worcester at 5:00 p.m.