Maggie Flaherty ’20
It was a breakaway goal with 1:25 left in the third period that sealed the fate of the AIC Yellow Jackets’ 4-2 win last Saturday at the Hart Center.
AIC (7-4-1, 7-7-1 overall) is ranked second in the Atlantic Hockey Standings, whereas Holy Cross (1-5-1, 1-9-2 overall) currently sits in last place. Despite the rankings, the teams were evenly matched throughout the game. During the first two periods, the teams had the same amount of shots on net. Holy Cross’s Johnny Coughlin struck early in the first period after a one-timed slap-shot rattled off the crossbar, but referees determined that the shot did not cross the goal line. AIC capitalized on the face-off immediately following the no-goal call to get on the board. Holy Cross junior Jack Suroweic answered at the end of the period to tie up the game and nab his third goal of the last five games in which he played.
In addition to his 22-save performance in net, Holy Cross goaltender Erik Gordon had a big role in putting Holy Cross up on the board in the start of the second period. The Crusaders took the lead five minutes into the second during a power play opportunity when Gordon tossed an assist down the ice to freshman Matt Barry. However, AIC tied it up again with a fluke goal after a pass was deflected off the leg of Yellow Jacket freshman Luka Maver and behind Gordon.
Holy Cross was unable to capitalize off a late Crusader surge of momentum in the third. Despite maintaining possession of the puck in AIC’s defensive zone for the vast majority of the period, and outshooting their opponent 9-6, their efforts did not translate onto the scorecard. It was the Yellow Jackets that eventually pulled away with the lead with mere minutes remaining when sophomore forward Blake Christensen went one-on-one with Gordon on a breakaway opportunity. Christensen was tripped midway through his deke, but showed tremendous hustle when he finished his play from the ground to toss the puck over the goal line and score the game-winner. The Crusaders pulled Gordon for the extra man on offense, but AIC struck again with an empty net goal that solidified their 4-2 win.
Holy Cross heads to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, this upcoming weekend for a two game series against Robert Morris University. The meetup is a rematch of last year’s Atlantic Hockey Tournament quarterfinals. Despite being the lower seed, RMU pulled off the upset in both games by big margins with 4-1 and 5-1 wins, respectively.