WORCESTER, Mass. – Alexander MacMillan scored the only goal of the game and goaltender Hunter Leisner posted a shutout in Friday night's conference matchup as the Holy Cross men's hockey fell to American International, 1-0, at the Hart Center. With the loss, Holy Cross now stands at 2-7-0 overall and 2-2-0 in conference play, while the Yellow Jackets improved to 3-3-3 overall and 3-3-0 within the conference.
The first period remained scoreless until AIC scored with 5:47 remaining in the period. AIC's David Norris gained possession of the puck and passed it from the right side of the blue line to the center of the Crusaders' defensive zone. MacMillan received the puck cleanly and shot it past Holy Cross junior goaltender Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) to tally the first and only goal of the game. With three seconds left in the period, the Yellow Jackets went on power play with a one-man advantage. Ginn recorded 10 saves for the period while Leisner saved seven shots. AIC and outshot Holy Cross 11-7 in the first 20 minutes of play.
In the second period, Holy Cross showed superior defense by killing off a five-minute major penalty at the 3:25 mark while only allowing one shot on goal during the penalty kill. During the penalty kill Holy Cross contested the Yellow Jackets with a break away up the right side boards by sophomore Matt Vidal (Manorville, N.Y.) and one shot on net by sophomore Tim Driscoll (Hingham, Mass.). At the 11:08 mark the Crusaders had an opportunity to get on the board when AIC received a two-minute penalty. Shortly after AIC killed the penalty, Holy Cross was able to show its defensive dominance once again in the last five minutes of the period by killing a two-minute interference penalty. Within the last minute and a half of play, the Yellow Jackets accumulated two penalties, one of which carried over for 27 seconds into the third, and the other extended two minutes. Ginn saved all eight of the Yellow Jackets' shots in the period, and AIC's Leisner saved the Crusaders' six.
Both teams played equally strong defense throughout the entirety of the third period. The Crusaders however, were not able to capitalize on scoring opportunities, with all nine of their shots saved by Leisner. AIC was outshot by the Crusaders this period 9-4.
Holy Cross' defense was able to keep the Yellow Jackets, who lead the league with an average 4.0 goals per game, to only one goal. Ginn had 22 saves on the game. Leisner also had 22. AIC outshot Holy Cross 23-22. Each team went 0-3 on the power play. With tonight's win, AIC moves to first place within Atlantic Hockey with a 3-0 record.
The Crusaders return to action Saturday, Nov. 16 when they hit the road to play Bentley at 4:00 p.m.