WORCESTER, Mass. – Army goalie Parker Gahagen posted 45 saves as the Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to Army, 5-2, at the Hart Center on Friday evening in Atlantic Hockey action. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 11-19-3 overall (10-13-3 AHA), while the Black Knights advance to 5-25-0 overall (5-21-0 AHA). The two teams will meet on Saturday night, March 1, at Tate Rink in West Point, N.Y. to conclude the regular season. Despite the loss, the Crusaders locked in the eighth seed for the AHA Tournament, insuring them a home ice first round series on March 7-9 based on tonight's Atlantic Hockey results.
The Black Knights came out attacking right away and on their second shot of the game they scored. Just 15 seconds into the game Brian Schultz scored off a rebound from Josh Roberts' original shot. Army tried to take a two-goal lead at 6:39 when Willie Faust skated down with a 4-on-2 chance. Faust caught the puck and took a shot, but senior goalie Derek Kump (Falmouth, Maine) came up with a big stop. At 9:40 senior assistant captain Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) took the puck from behind the net and brought it around the blue line. Schmidt sent the puck to freshman Logan Smith (Littleton, Colo.) waiting in the circle. Smith sent the puck to freshman Nick Finn (Canton, Mass.) who sent a shot in stick side, but Gahagen made the save. At 11:56, senior assistant captain Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) tried to tie the game up, as he skated up the stick side and from the circle rifled a shot that hit the post and flew out wide. Army attempted to take a two-goal lead again, but junior Nilan Nagy (Canonsburg, Pa.) caught up with the skater and forced him out. The Crusaders got on the board to tie the game when senior captain Ryan McGrath (Pittsburgh, Pa.) caught the puck from sophomore Brett Lubanski (Farmington Hills, Mich.) and sent it behind the net to sophomore Castan Sommer (Shrewsbury, Mass.). Sommer took the puck from behind the net around front and sent a backhanded shot into the top of the net at 13:57. At 16:53, the Black Knights got on the board again as Joe Kozlak fell to one knee and rifled a wrist shot as he was getting up to bring Army ahead 2-1. Army outshot Holy cross 11-9 during the period.
At 7:01, Schmidt tried to set up the game-tier as he sent the puck up the ice from the glove side across to Stockton. Stockton sent a shot in to the chest of Gahagen, and the score remained 2-1. Nagy took away another Army angle at 9:16, when he forced a Black Knight out during a 3-on-2 situation. The Crusaders tried to tie the game up again at 10:50 when Smith intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and sent it up ice to Schmidt. Schmidt shot the puck on the glove side, sending a rebound out to Finn with an open half of the net. Finn threw the puck in, but Gahagen sprawled out across the net to shut the door. Army scored its third of the game with just over a minute remaining in the second. Shane Hearn took a shot from the middle of the slot that deflected in to beat Kump. Both the Crusaders and the Black Knights were afforded their only power play chance of the game during the second, but no one could score.
The third period brought Army more success when at 4:12, C.J. Reuschlein broke loose from the Crusader defense and shot the puck on Kump's glove side. The pad rebound flew out to the far side circle to the stick of Zak Zaremba who buried the puck into the empty side of the net. Stockton tried to bring the Crusaders back when at 7:09 he caught a pass from sophomore Matt Vidal (Manorville, N.Y.). Stockton took the puck stick side and fired a shot that rang the top cross bar, just missing the net. Army tried to tack on another goal to their 4-1 lead when Garret Peterson shot the puck in from the top of the circle at 9:33, but sophomore Ben Kaplan (Burlington, Vt.) laid himself out to block the shot from reaching the net. Army got their fifth goal just 12 seconds later at 9:45. Kozlak netted his second of the game when after catching his own rebound sent the puck in between the pipe and Kump's skate. At 16:50, Reuschlein tried to score a goal of his own and create a breakaway chance, but sophomore Karl Beckman (Okemos, Mich.) cut off his angle and forced a bad shot. Kump deflected Reuschlein's shot out with his blocker. The Crusaders added another goal at 17:36 when Smith caught the puck from the glove side circle of Gahagen and sent it high and in over his shoulder. The Crusaders fought back with 38 shots in the final two periods compared to the Black Knights' 18, but could not battle back.
Gahagen earned the first star of the game as he posted 45 saves on the 47 shots he faced. Kump posted 24 saves during the appearance. The Crusaders outshot the Black Knights 47-29 during the game, and neither team converted on a power play chance. Smith's goal was the fourth of the season for the freshman defenseman, moving him into tying for the 10th among defensemen for a single season in Division I at the college. The Crusaders won in the faceoff circle 33-31 led by freshman Mike Barrett (Orland Park, Ill.) who went 14-6 from the dot. Schmidt played in his 145th career game which ties for the fourth most by a Crusader.
Before the game the team's six seniors were honored for their hard work and dedication to the team on and off the ice. The senior class has been a part of 68 wins, the most by a class entering their last weekend of the regular season since the 2007 senior class. The senior class was a part of the first ever consecutive 20-win seasons at the college.
Jeffrey Reppucci played in 61 games, tallying 24 points with four goals and 20 assists. He was named to the Atlantic Hockey All-Rookie team and was named Atlantic Hockey's Rookie of the Week twice during the 2010-2011 season. Reppucci has been a three-year member of the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic team and during the 2012-2013 season he was one of 11 student-athletes in Atlantic Hockey to post a 4.0 GPA. He also was one of 62 college juniors nationally to earn a 2013 Truman Scholarship which funds graduate research. This season, Reppucci was named one of five finalists for the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award for the second time and is one of five finalists for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup.
Derek Kump has played in 20 games and holds a 6-7-4 record. He has one shutout in his career. Kump is a three-year member of the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team.
Mark Williamson (Centennial, Colo.) has played in 38 games with two goals and three assists for five points. Williamson is a three-year member of the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team and was a two-year member of the Holy Cross Leadership Academy.
Adam Schmidt has played in 145 games with 51 goals and 56 assists for 107 points, which are the ninth most points scored by a Division I Crusader in the tied for fourth most games played. On February 1 at RIT, Schmidt became the 41st player in Holy Cross history to reach the 100-point milestone. Schmidt is only the 10th player in Division I history at Holy Cross to have tallied at least 20 points during every year of his career. Schmidt's 51 goals are seventh in Division I history at the college, while his four short-handed goals are tied for the second most in a career. Schmidt has two career hat tricks, tied for the most at the college, and his nine game-winners are tied for fifth at the school. In 2011-2012 Schmidt was named to the second team All-Atlantic Hockey, as well as National and AHA Player of the Month and the team's MVP.
Shayne Stockton has played in 125 games with 34 goals and 54 assists for 88 points. Stockton has received Atlantic Hockey weekly honors twice and monthly honors once in his career. As a freshman, Stockton posted 25 points the sixth most by a freshman in Division I history at the college and his 16 assists that season are tied for the fifth most. Last season, Stockton's 28 points led the team.
Ryan McGrath has played in 64 games with three goals and nine assists for 12 points. McGrath has earned Atlantic Hockey All-Academic team honors all three years of his career. He is also a three-year member of the Holy Cross Leadership Academy.