WORCESTER, Mass. — Halloween night provided plenty of tricks and treats, but in the end neither Holy Cross nor AIC could skate away with the victory, as the teams played to a 4-4 tie in Atlantic Hockey Association action at the Hart Center.
In a very entertaining game, both teams held leads in the third period, but each rallied back to force the overtime tie.
The Crusaders got on the board early, as they controlled much of the first period play. Goals from Erik Vos and Jordan Cyr staked Holy Cross to a 2-0 lead, as they both were beneficiaries of lively boards behind the net of AIC goaltender Dan Ramirez.
Holy Cross was unable to take the margin with them into the locker room though, as Charles LaChance converted his first goal of his career off of a great individual pass from Steve Miele.
AIC dominated the Crusaders in the second period, scoring the only two goals in the stanza.
Reigning AHA Rookie of the Week Adam Pleskach continued his stellar play, netting his fifth tally of the season on a power play to tie the game at two. LaChance tallied once again later in the period to break the deadlock and took AIC into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.
For Holy Cross coach Paul Pearl, the energy level just was not where it needed to be in the second period.
“I thought we came out in the first period and really played with good, focused energy, but things got away from us there in the second period and we fell behind.”
Despite trailing on the scoreboard, the Crusaders found themselves outshooting AIC by a 25-19 margin after two periods.
The treats came back though for Holy Cross in the third, as they scored two unanswered goals to climb right back on top of AIC. It was the two players from Lethbridge, Alb., that lead the charge for Holy Cross.
Everett Sheen tied the game five minutes into the period when he capitalized off of a scramble in front of the net.
Then, Brodie Sheahan looked to put AIC away on a power play when he notched his second goal of the season. Directly off the faceoff, a triangle set up between Sheen, Jordan Cyr, and Brodie Sheahan led to Sheahan wide open in front of the net to convert the one-timer past Ramirez.
However, AIC refused to leave the Hart Center with a loss, as Tom Mele scored on a power play just 43 seconds later. With a loose puck rolling towards the cage of Holy Cross freshman Thomas Tysowsky, Mele was able to muscle his way forward and pokechecked the puck past Tysowsky.
The overtime period was uneventful as neither team could muster up any quality opportunities to steal a victory.
AIC assistant coach Mike Field, who was the acting head coach for the weekend series, was very pleased with the energy his players showed.
“I was happy with the way our guys refused to lose tonight,” Field said. “There were times in the first and third periods where we could have put our heads down and packed it in, but the guys kept fighting and really earned the result.”
Pearl was extremely satisfied with the heart his team showed as well.
“The way we played in that third period is the way we need to play all the time,” Pearl added. “There is a lot of guys with a lot of heart in that locker room and they showed it in the third period. We need to shore up some things moving forward, but I thought the third period was tremendous for us. (Brodie) Sheahan was moved back to the power play for this game and you can see why, when he plays the way he did, he’s one of the better players in Atlantic Hockey.”
Holy Cross outshot AIC 45-29 for the game with each team converting on two of their power-play opportunities.
AIC travels to Connecticut next weekend for a two-game series while Holy Cross will play another home-and-home series, this time with Sacred Heart; the first game will be played at the Milford Ice Pavilion.