Worcester, MA– Three days after becoming the answer to a Long Island University trivia question, Holy Cross exacted a bit of revenge by handing the Sharks their first loss. Junior forward Anthony Vincent‘s two goals book-ended the game as classmate Erik Gordon turned back 17 of 19 shots to lead the Crusaders to a 5-2 win.
Vincent kicked things off in the first period with a power-play goal at 13:50. Camped in front of Sharks goalie Garett Metcalf, Vincent deposited Andrew Dumaresque‘s high-low pass past a sliding Metcalf.
Holy Cross built on their led in the second period when senior Jake Pappalardo‘s wrist-shot beat Metcalf at 13:12. The goal was Pappalardo’s second in two games and was assisted by Connor Jean and Logan Milliken.
Just :23 seconds into the third period junior Ryan Leibold made it 3-0 Crusaders. Left alone at the bottom of the left circle, Leibold took a pass from Logan Ferguson behind the net and snuck the puck by Metcalf.
Just over three minutes later Ferguson all but iced this one with a nifty end to end rush. Ferguson raced past defenseman Jordan Di Cicco and cut in on Metcalf to tuck the puck between the goalie’s skate and post.
The Sharks still had some bite left despite the goal difference. For the second straight game LIU forward Christian Rajic put the puck past a Holy Cross net-minder. At 7:01 Rajic blasted a slap-shot past Gordon, but play continued. Upon review the goal was awarded to Rajic. Defenseman Max Balinson was credited with the assist.
LIU cut the deficit to two just over a minute and a half later when Preston Brodziak slipped past the Crusader defense and slid the puck through Gordon’s five-hole. Assists went to Brett Humberstone and Gustav Müller.
LIU continued to throw all they could at Gordon and the Crusaders. Sharks pressure led to a late power-play chance after Pappalrdo was whistled for Interference at 17:47.
After using their Time-Out, LIU was swarming in front of Gordon’s crease. Humberstone had a bid but was tied up by HC’s Milliken and ended up hit the side of the net. That would be the Sharks last best chance.
At 19:34 Vincent’s second goal of the game, an empty netter where both Vincent and the puck ended up in goal, capped off the win.
Metcalf had 41 saves in net for the Sharks while the Crusaders had four players with 2 points each on the night.
“We were just trying to play physical, play fast, and have a good start,” said Vincent after the game. “We didn’t have a great first and second period the first game so we wanted to change that.”
“It’s obviously good,” said the junior of his two-goal night. “It’s better to get the win. It was a team effort. It’s just great to get into the win column for the first time this year. Hopefully we’ll build on it.”
Despite not being in attendance tonight due to COVID-19 contact tracing, Holy Cross Head Coach David Berard was credited with his 100th career win behind the Crusaders’ bench.
“The guys were really prepared,” said Associate Head Coach Peter Roundy, who filled in for Berard. “We talked before the game. I told them the ‘hay is in the barn,’ that’s something my old high school coach used to say all the time. We’d done the work, we’d prepared, coach Berard was here all week and put a great game plan together. the guys just had to go and execute it.”
“They were confident, they were ready to go,” added Roundy. “They were excited for the challenge of going after their first win of the year. They did it together and I give them a lot of credit. Thursday (3-2 OT loss) was tough, we played really well, didn’t get the result they wanted but they stuck with it, had a great attitude and got that win for themselves.”
Long Island University is off until December 4 when they return to the Bay State to take on American International College at 2:00 pm in Springfield. Holy Cross meanwhile has a home and home Atlantic Conference match-up with Bentley University. Friday is a 5:05 pm start at Bentley Arena in Waltham, MA. Saturday’s tilt is also at 5:05 pm but at the Hart Recreation Center in Worcester, MA.