WORCESTER, Mass. – Canisius' Keegan Asmundson posted 31 saves and shut out the Holy Cross men's hockey team as Canisius defeated Holy Cross, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon at the Hart Center in Atlantic Hockey action. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 4-13-2 overall (3-7-2 AHA) while the Golden Griffins advance to 7-10-1 overall (6-4-1 AHA). Canisius swept the two-game series as it won 4-2 on Friday night.
During the first period Holy Cross commanded the offense outshooting Canisius 13-1. On the Crusaders' first power play opportunity of the game, 0:55 into the first period, sophomore Nathaniel Domagala (Oakville, Ontario) and sophomore Joe McNamara (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) sent three shots from inside the blue line that Asmundson stopped. A minute and 34 seconds into the opportunity, the Crusaders were called for a penalty making the game 4-on-4. Canisius came out with the first goal of the game 16:52 into the first period when Patrick Sullivan chipped the puck into the air in front of the net. Cody Freeman knocked the puck down to the bottom of the far side of the net beating junior goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) on his stick side. Both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play during the first period.
During the second period the Crusaders were given the chance to tie the game up as freshman Nick Finn (Canton, Mass.) took the puck up the ice into the Canisius defensive zone. Finn fired a shot that Asmundson stopped and Finn caught his own rebound to try to jam the puck into the net. Asmundson made the second stop and enabled Canisius to keep the 1-0 lead. Canisius received a five-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct, ejecting the player from the game at 8:50 into the second period. The Crusaders went on a five minute power play opportunity, but despite a close shot by freshman Brett McKinnon (Kelowna, British Columbia), could not convert. The Golden Griffins took two shorthanded shots of their own during the five minute power play, but Ginn made the stops. Canisius started to catch up in shots as they outshot the Crusaders 13-10 in the period.
The third period sealed the victory for the Golden Griffins, bringing them two insurance goals. Sullivan came skating down the ice dodging defenders to put himself in position to take a shot. He sent the puck in from the faceoff circle on Ginn's glove side that beat him for a 2-0 lead. McKinnon took a shot that was blocked by the Canisius defense and followed in to take another shot. The teams lost sight of the puck, but Asmundson came out with it at the end of the play. With 3:09 left in the game the Crusaders pulled Ginn for a last chance effort, but Canisius' Stephen Miller responded with a shot on the empty net. Despite the extra attacker for Holy Cross, Canisius' Miller netted the third and final goal of the game.
The game marked Asmundson's first collegiate shutout as he posted 31 total saves. Ginn posted 23 saves on the 25 shots he faced. The Crusaders outshot the Golden Griffins 31-26 during the match. Neither team could score a goal with a man advantage, Canisius went 0-for-5 and the Crusaders went 0-for-3. The Crusader defense blocked 14 shots during the contest, led by sophomore Ben Kaplan (Burlington, Vt.) with four blocked shots and sophomore Jake Bolton (Ellington, Conn.) with three along with seven other players who each blocked a single shot. The Crusaders led the game in faceoffs winning 43-28 against the Golden Griffins. Freshman Mike Barrett (Orland Park, Ill.) and sophomore Brett Lubanski (Farmington Hills, Mich.) led the faceoff charge going 10-4 and 14-7 respectively. All four centers, Barrett, Lubanski, senior assistant captain Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) and junior Jake Youso (International Falls, Minn.) each went over .500 on their attempts. Tonight marked Ginn's 41st consecutive appearance as a goaltender, the 22nd longest streak in NCAA Division I history.
For the third straight season, every time the Holy Cross men's hockey team scores a power play goal in the Hart Center, money pledged will benefit PINK Revolution. The Crusaders have scored four power play goals at home. They will be hosting their fifth annual Pink the Rink game on Feb. 15 when they host Connecticut for a 7:00 p.m. game. This game will also be the Crusaders' winter homecoming contest. For more information and to donate go here:http://www.powerplaypointsforpink.com/.
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The men's hockey team returns to action Friday and Saturday night, Jan. 10-11 when they play AHA opponent Mercyhurst for a two-game home series at the Hart Center at 7:00 p.m.