Dec. 30, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Junior James Sixsmith (Alexandria, Va.) scored two goals as the Holy Cross men's hockey team defeated Rensselaer, 4-2, in non-conference action in the third place game of the Ohio Hockey Classic this afternoon at Nationwide Arena. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 10-4-1 overall (7-2-1 AHA), while the Engineers fall to 8-8-3 overall (2-1-3 ECACHL). Sixsmith's performance earned him a spot on the all-tournament team. The Crusaders are now 2-4-0 all-time against the Engineers, including a 3-2 victory earlier this season on Nov. 25, at the RPI Holiday Tournament. No. 2 Miami (Ohio) will take on tournament host No. 19 Ohio State in the championship game this evening.
The Crusaders got on the board just one minute into the first period when sophomore Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) sent a long pass to Sixsmith who carried the puck to the top of the left faceoff circle, and then blasted a shot pass RPI goaltender Mathias Lange. At the 14:33 mark Holy Cross extended its lead to 2-0 when sophomore Cal St. Denis (Freelton, Ontario) scored a power-play goal for his second of the season. Senior Marc Bianchi (Ithaca, N.Y.) fired a shot wide of the net hitting the boards and reflecting out to St. Denis at the left side of the goalie box, where he then put it into the net.
The Engineers cut the lead in half at the 17:03 mark when Holy Cross senior goaltender Ben Conway (South Hadley, Mass.) stopped a shot from Jake Luthie but could not control the rebound as Kevin Broad knocked it in. Holy Cross outshot RPI, 13-11, in the period. The Crusaders went 1-3 on the power play, while the Engineers went 1-2.
Senior co-captain Tyler McGregor (Ajax, Ontario) made the score 3-1 when he scored a power-play goal for his 12th of the season at the 14:43 mark of the second period. Senior Blair Bartlett (Dryden, Ontario) sent a quick crossing pass from the low right side of the goal to McGregor in front of net who then lifted it into the goal. RPI answered back just under a minute later when Kurt Colling netted the last goal of the period to make it a 3-2 game. The Engineers registered 18 shots and went 0-2 on the power play, while the Crusaders had five shots and went 1-1 with a man advantage.
With under two minutes to play in the third period the Engineers went on a power play and went with an empty net, but Sixsmith put the game out of reach when he scored a shorthanded empty net goal for his second of the game and fourth of the season. Conway made 39 saves to earn the win and improve to 4-1-0 on the season, while Lange stopped 20 shots and is 7-6-3. Holy Cross went 2-5 on the power play and RPI went 1-5.
Sixsmith has now scored five goals in three games against RPI in his career, including two last season in the 8-4 lost at RPI (2/5/05) and one this season in the 3-2 win.
The Crusaders will return to action next weekend, January 6-7, when they face Atlantic Hockey opponent Sacred Heart in a home-and-home series. On Friday, the Crusaders will travel to Fairfield, Conn., to take on the Pioneers at the Milford Ice Pavillion, while on Saturday they will host Sacred Heart at the Hart Center. Both game are set to start at 7:00 p.m. Holy Cross is currently in second place in Atlantic Hockey with 15 points, while the Pioneers are third with a 6-5-1 record (13 pts.). Sacred Heart plays at Bentley in conference action on January 3.