Men’s Hockey Defeats Sacred Heart, Preps for Stretch Run
Published: Friday, February 14, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 15:02
The Holy Cross men’s hockey team needed a win like this past Saturday to spark them for the stretch run. After going through a tough stretch with six losses in a row, the team has slowly begun to turn it around going 4-2-1 in their last seven. Last Saturday’s game vs. Sacred Heart where the Crusaders dropped six goals on the Pioneers may have been the boost the team needed to move up in the Atlantic Hockey Standings.
Senior Assistant Captain Adam Schmidt and freshman Mike Barrett had two goals apiece as the Crusaders notched four power play goals and one shorthanded goal en route to the 6-1 win. Schmidt, who registered his 100th point in a game last week against RIT, spoke about the impact that this much-needed win will have about the team’s confidence.
“Winning a big game like that with such dominance is a huge confidence boost for us,” said Schmidt. “It shows ourselves that we can play like that and we need to play with that confidence all the time. We are moving in the right direction and Saturday definitely helped.”
The game started out evenly until the Crusaders took advantage of the first Sacred Heart penalty with Schmidt scoring the first of his two goals on the night. They held onto the 1-0 lead until midway through the second period when Sacred Heart got on the board. Shortly after, Sacred Heart was awarded a penalty shot after a Crusader impeded his progress on a breakaway. Holy Cross needed a big play and senior goalie Derek Kump, who played brilliantly all night long, delivered. His save was one of the turning points of the game as he prevented the Pioneers from gaining any more momentum.
After a five minute major penalty when one Sacred Heart player hit Schmidt up high, the Pioneers committed a hooking penalty. With Kump pulled for the extra man, Schmidt got his revenge and scored again for his second goal.
“It was a hectic shift during a delayed penalty, even though we were already on the powerplay,” said Schmidt. “Everyone was buzzing and moving around. We were able to get two or three good shots on net and during the mess I somehow ended up on the point. Logan Smith made a great play to kick it to the point and I just fired it on net. Shayne Stockton had a great screen in front and the goalie had no idea where the puck was.”
The Crusaders never looked back after going up 2-1 as they added two more powerplay goals and a short-handed goal in the 6-1 win. With an 8-17-3 record overall and a 7-11-3 record in the conference, the Crusaders currently sit tenth out of twelve teams. However, with 6 games to play Holy Cross has a chance to move up with wins against division rivals.
Adam Schmidt discussed what the team needed to improve on to get them in a better playoff position saying, “[We] just [need to] improve on focusing on playing our style of hockey every game. When we play hard and together we are a scary team we just need to be as consistent as possible.”
With two games each against Connecticut (one of which is Pink the Rink on February 15), American International, and Army the Crusaders can really improve their playoff positioning by playing a consistent game. The hopes of an Atlantic Hockey championship are still alive for the Crusaders as Saturday’s win showed what a dangerous team they can be.