WORCESTER, Mass. — Army’s Mike McLean scored off a rebound with 9:09 to play in the third period as the Black Knights defeated the host Holy Cross Crusaders tonight in a MAAC hockey matchup. The loss drop Holy Cross (6-19-2, 6-13-2 MAAC) four points behind Army (9-15-0, 9-12-0 MAAC) in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot with five games remaining.
The Black Knights opened up the scoring just 24 seconds into the game, Nathan Mayfield deflected a Joe Dudek shot past Crusader goaltender Rick Massey.
Holy Cross answered back 4:17 later, when Brian Akashian scored off a pass from Tony Deluzio on a three-on-one break.
Army regained the lead at the 10:25 mark Garrett Brougham capitalized on a Crusader defensive miscue and floated the puck past Massey.
In the second stanza, Holy Cross skated on four power plays, and Army skated on two, but neither squad could find the back of the net as Black Knight goaltender Scott Hamilton stopped all 11 shots he saw, while Massey made 10 saves for the Crusaders.
Holy Cross knotted the score at 2-2 1:41 into the third period when Tom Pawlak deflected a Greg Kealey shot past Hamilton and into the back of the Army net.
Holy Cross took their first lead of the night just under six minutes later when Pat Rissmiller put a slap shot past Hamilton from just inside the left face-off circle.
Army scored the equalizer 2:32 seconds later when Brougham scored his second goal of the night.
With the score tied at 3-3, Mike Fairman carried the puck up the right boards and, when taken down by a Holy Cross defender, managed to get a shot on net from the prone position and McLean was there to put home the rebound and give the Black Knights the victory.
Holy Cross will next be in action Friday, February 16th when it hosts Bentley. Army returns to action on Friday when it hosts Sacred Heart.