With the win, the Crusaders improve to 15-13-6 overall and 12-7-5 in Atlantic Hockey, while Bentley falls to 7-19-6 overall and 6-13-5 in the league. Holy Cross is seeded fourth in the conference and will host the No. 5 seed Sacred Heart in first-round of playoffs on Saturday, April 12 at 7 p.m.
Bentley struck first when senior Bryan Goodwin tipped in a rebounded shot from sophomore Kyle Larman, who fired a shot from the blue line at 10:30.
The Crusaders evened the score less than a minute later while on the extra man advantage when junior Tyler McGregor (Ajax, Ont.) tucked the puck past Bentley's Simon St. Pierre's from in front of the crease at 11:24 in the period.
Senior captain Andrew McKay (Bellefeuille, Que.) gave Holy Cross a 2-1 lead at 4:32 in the second when McGregor took the puck from the corner to McKay, who posted his ninth goal of the season. Junior assistant captain Pierre Napert-Frenette (Bathurst, N.B.) also assisted on the play.
The Crusaders deepened its lead with two more goals in the second to put the score at 4-1. McKay fired a shot from the circle that was deflected to McGregor, who was coming down the slot to poke the puck past St. Pierre's glove side at 7:30 in the period. Holy Cross netted another goal when senior Chris Sullivan (South Windsor, Conn.) slapped in a shot from the slot after sophomore Tanner Fogarty (McMurray, Pa.) took the puck out from the boards to junior Andrew Weber (Hanson, Mass.), who made a pass to Sullivan from the left corner.
Sophomore James Sixsmith (Alexandria, Va.) faked to his backhand and came back around to slipped the puck past St. Pierre's stick side to give Holy Cross a 5-1 lead when he netted a penalty shot at 17:56 in the second.
Bentley put the score at 5-2 when Goodwin took the puck from the right circle and crossed to junior Ryan Mayhew, who slid the puck past junior netminder Ben Conway (South Hadley, Mass.) at 15:02 in the third.
Holy Cross answered with two goals less than a minute apart to for a final score of 7-2. Sophomore Jon Landry (Lexington, Mass.) took the puck from the point to sophomore Sean Nappo (Northville, Mich.) behind the net, who found freshman Dale Reinhardt just in front of the crease at 16:51 in the period. Junior Blair Barlett (Dryden, Ont.) posted the Crusaders final goal of the game at 17:38, with help from freshmen Cal St. Denis (Freelton, Ont.) and Matt Werry (Regina, Sask.).
Junior Ben Conway (South Hadley, Mass.) made 22 saves for the win, as St. Pierre and Geordan Murphy halted 29 shots on goal. The Crusaders were 1-for-10 on the power play and killed off all five of Bentley's man-up advantages.
The Crusaders host Sacred Heart on April 12 in the Quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey Championship at 7 p.m. at the Hart Center on the campus of Holy Cross.