Men's Hockey Advances To Quarterfinals After 3-2 OT Victory Over RIT
WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman Mike Barrett (Orland Park, Ill.) scored the game-winner 38 seconds into sudden death overtime to secure a quarterfinal appearance for the eighth seeded Holy Cross men's hockey team as the Crusaders defeated ninth seeded RIT, 3-2, at the Hart Center on Sunday afternoon in the deciding game three of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament first round series. With the win, the Crusaders advance to 14-20-3 overall, while the Tigers conclude their season 12-20-5 overall. The Crusaders won the series 2-1 as RIT won in overtime on Friday 3-2 and the Crusaders defeated the Tigers 5-1 on Saturday night. The Crusaders will advance to play next weekend in the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinal series, March 14-16, when they travel to Erie, Pa. to take on the No. 1 seeded Mercyhurst Lakers.
RIT tried to take an early lead just three minutes into the game when Andrew Miller brought the puck up and sent a shot past junior goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario). Before the puck could pass the line, sophomore Nathaniel Domagala (Oakville, Ontario) caught the puck and sent it out, robbing RIT of the goal. RIT took the first lead of the game when at 10:23 Eliot Raibl split the Crusader defense and fired a shot from the slot that went five-hole on Ginn to bring the Tigers up 1-0. The Crusaders tried to add a tying goal right as time expired when sophomore Karl Beckman (Okemos, Mich.) sent in a power play shot, but the horn rang before Beckman's shot reached the net.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead when Dustin Fostvelt took a shot from the point that Danny Smith redirected into the net at 3:00 in the second. The Crusaders countered 1:08 later at 4:08 with a goal by senior assistant captain Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.). Junior Nilan Nagy (Canonsburg, Pa.) gave the puck to senior assistant captain Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.). Stockton sent the puck in towards the net and from the slot on the glove side circle that Schmidt deflected high to the near side and in. Junior Tommy Dwyer (Ridgefield, Conn.) scored the next goal for the Crusaders tying the score 2-2. Domagala gloved the puck down to keep it in the offensive zone and despite a Tiger defender's swatting attempts, Dwyer caught the puck and sent it off the stick of junior Jake Youso (International Falls, Minn.). Dwyer found the puck again and netted it on the stick side of goaltender Mike Rotolo to even the score.
The third period brought no offensive success to either team. Tiger defenseman Nolan Descoteaux ripped a slapshot at 5:47 through traffic that managed to reach Ginn on the far side, but Ginn made the glove save. With 41 seconds remaining in the game, Schmidt tried to net his second of the game with a shot from the glove side across the net, but Fostvelt gloved the puck down and saved the game for the Tigers.
The Crusaders came out into the overtime period hungry attacking the net. Despite an RIT faceoff win and a shot, sophomore Jake Bolton (Ellington, Conn.) tied up the RIT players and freshman Logan Smith (Littleton, Colo.) flipped the puck out of the scrum. Schmidt took the puck and flew up the glove side boards. Schmidt had the defense beat before doubling back a second to pass the puck off to Barrett. Barrett caught the puck with his backhand, switched it over to his forehand and rifled a shot up into the top of the net to win the game and keep the Crusader season alive.
Ginn made 31 saves during the evening to advance his season total to 999, breaking his own school record of 994 saves in last year's season. Mike Rotolo posted 39 saves during the game. The Crusaders outshot the Tigers 42-33. Neither team converted a power play as the Crusaders went 0-for-4 and the Tigers went 0-for-2. The Crusader defense blocked 18 shots, headlined by Bolton with five and Smith with four. Sophomore Brett Lubanski (Farmington Hills, Mich.) led the centers going 14-6 in the circle, while the Crusaders went 37-34 overall. Tonight marked Schmidt's 149th career game which ties him for the second most in program history. This was also Barrett's 11th goal this season, tied for the fifth most of any Division I rookie at the school. The game was also Ginn's 33rd this season which is the third most by a goalie in school history. His 96 career games played are tied for the second most by a goalie all-time at the school.
For the third straight season, every time the Holy Cross men's hockey team scores a power play goal in the Hart Center, money pledged will benefit PINK Revolution. The Crusaders have scored nine power play goals at home. For more information and to donate go here:http://www.powerplaypointsforpink.com/.
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