ERIE, Pa. – Mercyhurst's Kyle Cook scored two goals including the game-winner in overtime as the No. 8 seeded Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to the No. 1 seeded Mercyhurst, 5-4, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center on Friday night after 4:40 of overtime during game one of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament quarterfinal series. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 14-21-3 overall, while the Lakers advance to 20-12-7 overall. The two teams will play a second game tomorrow, March 15, while Holy Cross looks to force a third and deciding game Sunday, March 16.
While on the first power play of the game, freshman Mike Barrett (Orland Park, Ill.) took the Crusaders' closest shot in the first eight minutes of the game. Sophomore Joe McNamara (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) tipped the puck up the boards to senior assistant captain Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) who passed it back to Barrett at the goal line. Barrett flipped a shot up that rang the top cross bar and ricocheted out. At 8:54, still on the power play, Barrett and Stockton set up the first goal of the game. Stockton caught the puck from sophomore Karl Beckman (Okemos, Mich.). From the circle on the stick side of Jimmy Sarjeant, Stockton sent the puck to Barrett on the goal line again. With his backhand, Barrett threw the puck to the slot for freshman Brett McKinnon (Kelowna, British Columbia). McKinnon rifled in a one-timer that beat Sarjeant top shelf on the glove side. With 39 seconds remaining in the period, Matt Zay ripped a shot on junior goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) that he gloved to stop play. With six seconds remaining in the period, Stephen Hrehoriak came down and tried to even the score, but with a glove in the air, Ginn stretched falling into a split and coming out with the puck in glove.
Just 30 seconds into the second period, McKinnon struck again. Beckman took a shot from the glove side, but Sarjeant let up a rebound out to the stick of McNamara at the point. McNamara sent the puck in hard. With Sarjeant's eyes on McNamara, McKinnon redirected the puck into the back of the net to bring the Crusaders up 2-0. Junior Jake Youso (International Falls, Minn.) poked the puck back behind the net to keep the puck alive just under five minutes into the period. A Laker sent the puck back into the Crusader defensive zone, but sophomore Jake Bolton (Ellington, Conn.) kept the puck alive banking it off the boards and Youso tipped it back to the far corner. Sophomore Castan Sommer (Shrewsbury, Mass.) caught the puck and avoided a Laker defenseman to send the puck across the crease. With the puck at the feet of Sarjeant, senior captain Ryan McGrath (Pittsburgh, Pa.) capitalized on the space between the post and Sarjeant's skate to give the Crusaders a 3-0 lead at 5:11. Barrett tried for a goal of his own at 13:16 when from right in front of the net he took a wrist shot, but Sarjeant made a full body save to deny Barrett. Mercyhurst responded just six seconds later with a shot by Kyle Just that Ginn gloved from the air to stop the clock. Just under a minute later, at 14:26, the Lakers caught Ginn up behind the net. Sliding back into the crease Ginn made a save, but the rebound came out to the stick of Cook. Cook sent the puck into the open net and the puck went bar down for the Lakers' first goal of the night. The Lakers came back again scoring their second when Daniel O'Donoghue sent the puck to the front of the net for Nick Jones who sent the puck in high to bring the Lakers within one with 39 seconds remaining. The Crusaders replied 16 seconds later with a goal by Sommer. Beckman intercepted a pass at center ice and gave the puck off to sophomore Brett Lubanski (Farmington Hills, Mich.). From the blue line Lubanski passed it out to Sommer who fired it in from the faceoff circle on the glove side for the final goal of the period and brought the Crusaders up 4-2.
At 5:15 in the third, the Lakers tried to take advantage of the seconds where Ginn's stick sat behind the net out of reach. Grant Gettinger rifled a shot from directly in front of Ginn, but Ginn made the save sending the puck out enabling him to retrieve his stick. With 24 seconds remaining on a power play Anthony Mastrodicasa sent the puck across the Crusader defensive zone to Tyler Shiplo who immediately fired the shot that beat Ginn high glove side at 7:03 to bring the score to 4-3. Mercyhurst pulled their goalie in favor of an extra attacker with 50 seconds remaining. With 26 seconds left in regulation, the Lakers tied it up with a goal by O'Donoghue from the glove side of Ginn.
The Lakers were able to take the final lead when Ryan Misiak shot the puck from Ginn's glove side sending the puck out for an open shot off the rebound. Cook scored his second of the night and ended the game 4:40 into the overtime period.
With his first save of the game on a shot by Kyle Dutra, Ginn officially became the first Crusader goalie to record 1,000 saves in a single season. Ginn posted 45 saves during the contest compared to the 34 made by Sarjeant. The Lakers outshot the Crusaders 50-38 during the contest. Both the Crusaders and the Lakers converted one of their two power play chances during the evening. The Crusader defense blocked 22 shots during the evening led by junior Nilan Nagy (Canonsburg, Pa.), sophomore Nathaniel Domagala (Oakville, Ontario) and McNamara with three blocks a piece. Taking the ice tonight for his 150th career game, Schmidt tied the all-time Holy Cross record for career games played. For the fourth time this season Ginn posted 45 or more saves, as he has now been in net for five of the top 10 save performances in Division I school history.