ERIE, Pa. – With the Crusaders trailing 3-2 in the third period, the Lakers netted an empty net goal with 32 seconds remaining as the Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to Mercyhurst, 4-2, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center on Saturday evening in Atlantic Hockey action. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 11-7-2 overall (7-4-2 AHA), while the Lakers improve to 10-8-1 overall (8-4-0 AHA). These teams tied its two-game regular season series as the Crusaders defeated the Lakers, 2-1, on Jan. 11.
The Lakers took a 1-0 lead with a goal by Paul Chiasson at 4:33 of the first period. At 17:17, Mercyhurst increased its lead to 2-0 when Matthew Zay found back of the net. Holy Cross outshot Mercyhurst, 13-9, while the Crusaders went 0-1 on the power play.
Senior Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario) made it a 2-1 contest at 7:45 of the second period with his eighth goal of the season. Junior Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) and senior Brandon Nunn (Fairport, N.Y.) posted assists on the goal. The Lakers moved back out to a two-goal lead at 12:09 with a goal by Ryan Misiak. Holy Cross outshot Mercyhurst by a 12-10 margin, while the Lakers went 0-1 on the man-advantage.
At 3:58 of the third period, sophomore Mike McNamara (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) cut the Mercyhurst lead to 3-2 with his sixth goal of the season. Senior captain Erik Vos (Carlisle, Ontario) and freshman Jake Bolton (Ellington, Conn.) tallied assists. With 58 seconds remaining the Crusaders went with an empty net. But with 32 seconds left, Chiasson scored an empty-net goal for the 4-2 final.
Sophomore goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) made 20 saves and is now 10-6-2 on the season, while Max Strang posted 32 saves to improve to 7-3-0. Holy Cross outshot Mercyhurst, 34-24, while each team went 0-1 on the power play.
The Crusaders return to action on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18-19, when they host Atlantic Hockey opponent No. 17 Niagara at the Hart Center. Both contests are at 7:00 p.m.