WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) set the record for saves for a Division I season at Holy Cross as the Holy Cross men's hockey team defeated Sacred Heart, 4-2, at the Hart Center on Monday night in Atlantic Hockey action. With the victory, the Crusaders advanced to 17-12-3 overall (13-9-3 AHA), while the Pioneers fell to 2-27-3 overall (2-20-3 AHA). Holy Cross won the regular season series 2-1-0, as the Crusaders defeated the Pioneers this season by a 6-3 score on Nov. 11 and lost 7-3 on Feb. 19. The Crusaders are now third in the Atlantic Hockey standings with 29 points trailing second place Air Force by two points. The top four teams in the conference earn a first round playoff bye and home ice advantage in the quarterfinals.
Early in the first period, Ginn made his fifth save of the game and 841st of the season, on a shot from the face-off circle by Ben Lake to break the saves record. The Pioneers took an early lead in the first period with a goal by Kyle Verbeek 16:02 into the game. Despite a tough effort, the Pioneers outshot the Crusaders 15-13. The only penalty of the first period was on the Crusaders and the Pioneers struggled, going 0-1 on the power play.
At 3:49 into the second period the Pioneers increased their lead to 2-0 with a power play goal by Chad Filteau. About five minutes later freshman Jake Bolton (Ellington, Conn.) fired a slap shot from the blue line that junior Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) tipped in from the top of the crease. As the period drew closer to an end, senior assistant captain Rob Linsmayer (Winnetka, Ill.) rocketed a pass to the stick of senior Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) from behind the net. Fletcher forced a rebound from Pioneers' goalie Andre Bodnarchuk which freshman Castan Sommer (Shrewsbury, Mass.) chipped under the pads of Bodnarchuk to tie the game at two. The Crusaders came out strong in the second period outshooting the Pioneers, 23-5. The Crusaders went 0-1 on the power play, while the Pioneers successfully converted on one of their two power plays.
Halfway through the third period junior Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) broke the tie with his team-best fourth game-winning goal, by poking the puck free and into the back of the net. The first shot of the play came on a pass to Stockton by freshman Joe McNamara (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) before the goal by Schmidt. Stockton's assist marks his eighth point in the last three games, with three goals and five assists. With 3:32 remaining in the game, senior Brandon Nunn (Fairport, N.Y.) netted a power play goal to solidify the Crusader victory assisted by freshman Karl Beckman (Okemos, Mich.) and Linsmayer. On the final goal, Linsmayer logged his 98th career point and Nunn scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season. Despite a final effort pulling the goalie with 1:10 left on the clock, the Pioneers trailed the Crusaders 11-6 in third period shots. The Crusaders made use of their two power play opportunities scoring on one, while the Pioneers could not capitalize on their only power play of the period.
With 860 saves this season, Ginn now holds the record for saves for a Division I season at the school. The record was 840 set by Tony Quesada in 2005-2006. He now trails the program's overall record of 872 saves by Paul Pijanowski in 1984-1985 by 12. Bodnarchuk recorded 43 saves on the night while the Crusaders outshot the Pioneers, 47-26, during the game. Both teams scored one power play goal during the night, the Crusaders finished 1-3 on the power play and the Pioneers went 1-4.
The Crusaders return to action when they play Army in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday, Mar. 1-2. Friday's game will be held at Tate Rink in West Point, N.Y. at 7:00 p.m. while Saturday's contest will be at the Hart Center at 7:00 p.m. for Senior Night.
The Crusaders have scored 21 power play goals at home this season. Every home power play goal scored by the Crusaders raises money for Pink Revolution. For more information and to donate go here: http://www.powerplaypointsforpink.com/.