WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Tyler McGregor provided all the offense for Holy Cross Saturday evening at American International, as the Crusaders held on for a 2-1 victory over the Yellow Jackets.
McGregor put home a rebound off a Blair Bartlett attempt at 11:25 of the third period for his second goal of the game and what proved to be the game winner. McGregor currently leads Atlantic Hockey with nine goals so far this season.
AIC had an early flurry of activity in the opening moments that included two power-play opportunities, however the Yellow Jackets were unable to sneak the puck past Holy Cross netminder Ben Conway. The Crusaders had their own opportunities later on in the first frame as they were awarded two power-play chances as well, including a five-minute major, but the Crusaders were unable to convert on account of good penalty killing by the Yellow Jackets. The two teams skated into the first intermission still scoreless, with Holy Cross outshooting AIC 11-9.
The Crusaders broke the scoreless tie 55 seconds into the second period. Pierre Napert-Frenette sent the puck from behind the net to McGregor on the left side. McGregor made the most of his chance, quickly lifting the puck high into the net. The tally stood as the lone goal in the period, giving Holy Cross a 1-0 advantage after two.
Holy Cross made it 2-0 midway through the third period on McGregor’s second goal of the evening.
AIC broke up Conway’s shutout bid at 14:46 of the final frame. Sophomore Mark Pavli connected in the slot on a nice pass from classmate Jereme Tendler to cut the Crusader lead to 2-1.
The Yellow Jackets had a great opportunity to tie the game late in the third period, as Holy Cross was whistled for holding with under two minutes remaining. AIC pulled its goaltender in favor of the extra attacker to make it a six-on-four, however the 2-1 score held up for Holy Cross.
Conway finished the evening with 27 saves, while AIC’s Tom Fenton stopped 31 shots. Neither team saw any goal production on the power play during the contest. Holy Cross, which entered the weekend second in the nation on the man advantage, finished the game 0-for-7 and 0-for-15 on the weekend against AIC.
Holy Cross (6-2-1, 5-2-1 AHA) will participate in the Rensselaer Holiday Hockey Tournament beginning Friday evening against the host Engineers at 7:00 p.m. American International (0-7-1, 0-5-1) returns to action next Saturday at the Olympia Ice Center at 7:00 p.m. when the Yellow Jackets host Division I newcomer RIT.