WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore goaltender Steven Legatto (Kelowna, B.C.) made 37 saves in an attempt to keep the Pioneers within striking distance and classmate Eric Delong (Oakville, Man.) pulled Sacred Heart within one late, but it wasn't enough as Holy Cross took a 3-2 Atlantic Hockey win at the Hart Center, Friday night.
The Crusaders, who improved to 14-14-3 overall and 13-8-3 in the AHA, scored all three of their goals on the man advantage as they went 3-7 on power plays, while the Pioneers went 0-3. The loss marked the fourth straight for SHU which dropped to 4-22-5 and 4-15-5.
Senior captain Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) notched a quick score as he surprised senior Holy Cross goalie Adam Roy with a snap shot that snuck in to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead 1:14 into the contest.
At the 11:04 mark of the first, senior David Berube (Quebec, Que.) was penalized for a hit from behind and received a game misconduct. The Crusaders tied the game at one 1:47 into their five minute power play when sophomore Rob Linsmayer posted his 11th score of the season.
In the second period, senior Everett Sheen found the back of the net on a power play to put Holy Cross up 2-1. Sophomore defenseman Brendan Baker extended the lead to 3-1 with a power play score 8:26 into the third period.
Sacred Heart responded with a push midway through the final stanza. Sophomore Kyle Verbeek (Bloomfield, Minn.) got it started as he tracked down a puck behind the net and flipped it out in front for senior Evan Mladenoff (Leawood, Kan.). Mladenoff fired a shot on net that was saved by Roy, but Delong snuck in to grab the rebound and slipped the puck into the back of the net to pull the Pioneers within one.
For the game, Holy Cross dominated the number of shots on goal 40-15 over SHU. Roy totaled just 13 saves to earn the win.
The Pioneers and Crusaders take to the ice again on Sunday for a noon face-off at the Arena at Harbor Yard.