WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Crusaders scored four straight goals after trailing 4-0 as the Holy Cross men's hockey team tied American International, 4-4, at the Olympia Ice Center on Friday night in Atlantic Hockey action. With the tie, the Crusaders are now 15-12-3 overall (11-9-3 AHA), while the Yellow Jackets are 9-14-6 overall (6-11-6 AHA). Holy Cross leads the season series 1-0-1, as the Crusaders defeated the Yellow Jackets this season by a 6-2 score on Oct. 16. The teams will conclude its three-game regular season series on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass., at 5:00 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets took a 1-0 lead at 2:43 of the first period when Steve Mele sent the puck to the lower left side of the net. Just 59 seconds later and with AIC on the power play, Adam Pleskach fired a wrist shot to the upper left corner of the goal to increase the lead to 2-0. At 6:04, Pleskach netted his second straight power play goal to extend the lead to 3-0. With just three seconds remaining in the period, Brandon Fagerheim found the back of the net for the Yellow Jackets' third consecutive power play goal. AIC outshot Holy Cross, 15-9, while the Crusaders went 0-1 on the power play and the Yellow Jackets went 3-3.
At 4:46 of the second period, the Crusaders went on a two-man-advantage power play and scored when freshman Karl Beckman (Okemos, Mich.) blasted a slap shot past Ben Meisner for his second goal of the season. Freshman Joe McNamara (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) and junior Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) posted assists. Holy Cross outshot AIC, 14-6, while the Crusaders went 1-3 on the man-advantage and the Yellow Jackets went 0-1.
The Crusaders made it a 4-2 contest when freshman Sean Gustin (Stoneham, Mass.) knocked in a loose puck from in front of the net at 5:47 for his first collegiate goal. Senior captain Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario) and freshman Tim Driscoll (Hingham, Mass.) tallied assists on the goal. At 10:34, Driscoll fired a shot from right in front of the net past Meisner for his fifth goal of the season to make the score 4-3. Freshman Matt Vidal (Manorville, N.Y.) posted an assist. At 17:37, senior assistant captain Rob Linsmayer (Winnetka, Ill.) tipped in a shot by senior Evan Zych (Kilbride, Ontario) to tie the game at 4-4 and force overtime. Stockton tallied an assist on the goal.
Junior goalie Derek Kump (Falmouth, Maine) started for the Crusaders making seven saves and allowing three goals, while sophomore goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) posted 12 saves and allowed one goal. Ginn now has 807 saves which are ranked third for a Division I season at the school. The record is 840 set by Tony Quesada in 2005-2006. Meisner tallied 33 saves for the Yellow Jackets. Holy Cross outshot AIC, 37-23, while the Crusaders went 2-7 on the power play and the Yellow Jackets went 3-6.