College Hockey:
Weber Hat Trick Helps Crusaders Reach Semifinals

— Junior Andrew Weber netted his first career hat trick to lead Holy Cross over Sacred Heart, 4-2, Saturday night in the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals at the Hart Center.

With the win, the Crusaders improve to 16-13-6 overall and advance to the semifinals on Friday, which will be hosted by top-seeded Quinnipiac. Sacred Heart concludes its season with an overall record of 13-21-1.

The two teams exchanged two goals apiece in the first period. Holy Cross jumped on the board first when junior Marc Bianchi grabbed a loose puck at the red line and passed it to Weber, who came barreling down the left side and deked before putting the puck past netminder Kevin LaPointe’s glove side at 10:56 in the first period.

The Pioneers answered at 14:26 when senior captain Garrett Larson poked the puck past junior netminder Tony Quesada from the right side of the crease to even the score at 1.

With four minutes left to play in the first, Weber knocked the puck out of LaPointe’s mitt into the net to give Holy Cross a 2-1 lead, after senior Chris Sullivan fired a shot from the right point. Sophomore Tanner Fogarty also assisted on the play.

As the Crusaders took the only penalty of the first stanza, Sacred Heart’s Bernie Chmiel used it to tie the game, 2-2, when he scored from just outside the right faceoff circle with 21 seconds remaining in the period.

Freshman Matt Burke scored his fifth power-play goal of the season as he found the back of the net early in the second with help from sophomores James Sixsmith and Frank O’Grady at 4:57 in.

Weber used another breakaway to net his third tally of the game when O’Grady made a cross from the right side just above the circles to Weber down in front at 3:26 in the third. Fogarty was credited with the second assist.

Quesada (9-8-4) held Sacred Heart scoreless the final two periods of the game en route to 21 saves for the victory. LaPointe (10-15-1) halted 24 shots on goal for the Pioneers.

Holy Cross meets Mercyhurst Friday at 4 p.m.

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