Maggie Flaherty ‘20
Holy Cross Men’s Hockey (1-5-0) fell to Providence College (5-1-1) 3-0 last Saturday, November 3, at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. The sold-out crowd set a new attendance record at Hart, with 2,502 people in attendance, over 500 of whom were Holy Cross students. In post-game interviews, Holy Cross players noted that the crowd contributed to a high intensity, playoff-like atmosphere in the arena and helped the team keep the energy and momentum high throughout the game.
The Crusaders were set to face a tough opponent. Providence is the third ranked Division 1 team in the nation, and the Friars headed into Worcester fresh off a 5-0 win against Boston University. But visiting fans were aware that historically Holy Cross and Providence games have made for some exciting hockey – the last time the two teams met was in the fall of 2016 at the DCU center, when Holy Cross won 2-1 in overtime off a goal from current senior Johnny Coughlin.
Goaltenders from both teams had stalwart performances in net, and the game was ultimately decided by the few key opportunities that the Friars capitalized on. Holy Cross junior netminder Beau Collins recorded his first collegiate start, and an impressive one at that: the junior made 35 saves in the game, and the two goals he let up resulted from a power play disadvantage and a screened shot deflected in from the point. Providence senior Hayden Hawkey (what a fitting name!) also had a notable 27 save performance between the pipes.
The teams skated to a scoreless, hard-fought first period. Collins recorded 13 saves and Hawkey stopped 9 Holy Cross opportunities. The Crusaders let up a power play goal a minute into the second when Providence’s Spencer Young fired a wrister from the point after a quick turnaround from a Friar faceoff win. Collins went on to make 14 more saves in the second period, while the Crusaders registered 7 shots. Providence scored again early in the second period when defenseman Ben Mirageas snuck a shot past Collins, whose vision was blocked from traffic in the slot. The Friars added an empty-net insurance goal late in the third after Holy Cross pulled Collins for some extra offensive support. The Crusaders chipped in more shots than the Friars in the third, peppering Providence’s Hayden Hawkey with 11 shots that couldn’t find their way into the back of the net. The Friars successfully defended seven penalty kills during the game, including a 5 on 3 disadvantage in the first that Holy Cross failed to capitalize on.
The Crusaders are on a five game losing streak, and look to turn the tide in their favor this weekend in a two game series at Niagara on Friday and Saturday. However, the Crusaders seem confident in their effort and hustle this week. In a post-game interview, Holy Cross Head Coach Dave Berard remarked, “If there was a casual observer that was in the stands tonight, you didn’t know who’s #3 [in the national rankings] and who was not #3.” For Crusader fans interested in keeping that intensity going, the Men’s Hockey team’s next home game is November 16 at 7 p.m. against national powerhouse UMass Amherst. I also suggest that Holy Cross students show up in similar fashion for the women’s team – their next home game is Saturday, November 10 at 7 p.m. against Merrimack.
Photo Credit: Mike Seliger Photography