Men's Hockey Concludes Season With 4-1 Loss At Mercyhurst

Matt Ginn

ERIE, Pa. – Junior goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) tied and set school records in games and minutes played, but the No. 8 seeded Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to the No. 1 seeded Mercyhurst, 4-1, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center on Saturday night during game two of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament quarterfinal series. With the loss, the Crusaders conclude their season 14-22-3 overall, while the Lakers advance to 21-12-7 overall and advance to the AHA semifinal game in Rochester, N.Y. next weekend, March 21. The Lakers previously won game one of the series on Friday, March 14, 5-4 in overtime and finished their sweep with tonight's victory.

The Lakers struck first during the game when at 2:27 in the first period, after a scrum in front of the net, the puck popped out to Nick Jones. Jones took a shot from the glove side circle to bring the Lakers up 1-0. The Lakers had another chance while on the power play as the puck got stuck between sticks and skates in front of the crease. Mercyhurst's Kyle Dutra tried to get the puck into the net, but freshman Mike Barrett (Orland Park, Ill.) took the puck from Dutra's stick and sent it out of the zone. At 13:30 the Lakers tried to set up a play luring Ginn to one side of the net and then crossing the puck to the other side of the slot. Junior Nilan Nagy (Canonsburg, Pa.) held his position and pressured the Laker to whiff the shot, keeping it from reaching the goal. The Crusader defense was strong blocking 10 Laker shots.

The Lakers struck again 2:41 into the second period. Chris Bodo skated the puck up from behind his own blue line up into the Holy Cross defensive zone. Bodo passed the puck across the ice to Zac Frischmon who immediately crossed to Alec Shields in the slot. Shields rifled the puck into the empty section of net and brought the Lakers ahead 2-0. The Lakers caught Ginn behind the net trying to catch a puck. Ginn lost his balance coming to the front of the net and an open Matt Zay in the slot. Zay fired a shot into the top corner of the net on Ginn's glove side.

Exactly seven minutes into the third period Stephen Hrehoriak took a shot from the slot that could have given the Lakers a 4-0 lead, but Ginn snatched the puck out of the air and stopped the clock. At 14:24 senior assistant captain Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) brought the puck into the Laker zone and took a shot that bounced out to an open spot, but the Laker defense swatted it out. At 15:46, the Lakers added on another goal when Ryan Misiak sent a backhanded shot in high from the slot. The Crusaders fought back and scored their only goal of the game when sophomore Tim Driscoll (Hingham, Mass.) sent the puck out off the boards out to freshman Logan Smith (Littleton, Colo.). Smith passed it into the slot for a waiting Barrett. Barrett lit the lamp for the Crusaders' lone goal of the game.

Ginn posted 32 saves during the contest, while Jimmy Sarjeant posted 45 for Mercyhurst. The Crusaders outshot the Lakers 46-36 during the game. The Crusader defense blocked 22 shots led by Barrett, Smith, sophomore Karl Beckman (Okemos, Mich.) and sophomore Ben Kaplan (Burlington, Vt.) with three shots a piece. Schmidt tonight played in his 151st game setting a new record for the most career games played in all-time program history. Ginn made his 35th appearance of the season tonight, tying his own record for goalie appearances in a single season. Ginn also played in 2118:04 this season breaking his record 2100:55 from last season. Barrett scored his 12th goal of the season to become the fifth highest goal-scoring rookie since Everett Sheen in 2007-2008.