WEST POINT, N.Y. – Holy Cross played the role of spoiler at Army’s senior night with the help of the stellar goaltending of Matt Ginn winning in a 2-0 shutout.
In the first period both teams had plenty of chances to put the puck in net, each recording 10 shots on goal, but Holy Cross struck first. The goal came from Tim Driscoll. Adam Schmidt went hard to the net and after his attempt was batted away by Army goaltender Parker Gahagen, Driscoll, who was trailing the play, caught the rebound at the far post and fired it past the out of position Gahagen at 5:35 of the period.
“‘Shmidty’ got a pass from the neutral zone and he has got some wheels,” Driscoll said. “He just beat the ‘D’ wide and put it on net and somehow it fell on my stick and I just tapped it in. ‘Shmidty’ gets all the credit for that one, though; he did all the work.”
The second period was scoreless; even with three power-play opportunities, Holy Cross was unable to light the lamp.
“I am very impressed with the penalty kill’s performance tonight,” said Army coach Brian Riley. “But I am disappointed in some of the penalties we took; it’s hard enough to win and you can’t make it harder on yourself by taking so many penalties.”
With seconds winding down in the second period, Army captain aBrian Schultz had a breakaway opportunity to tie the game up, but Ginn stood his ground and made one of his great saves of the night (27) to keep Army off the scoreboard.
When asked about his performance, Ginn gave credit to his team.
“We played great team defense right from the start; our guys did a good job keeping shots to the outside and clearing rebounds,” said Ginn.
The third period was different; Army stayed out of the box and kept the pressure on Ginn, who stopped all 12 shots he faced. Holy Cross’ coach spoke about Ginn’s performance.
“When Matt is playing well, he is tracking the puck well through traffic,” said Holy Cross coach Paul Pearl. “He wasn’t giving up rebounds and when called upon he can make a spectacular save. He is so athletic that sometimes it’s not always the prettiest save, but he finds a way to get in front of the puck.
Holy Cross tallied its second goal at 11:02 in the period. Karl Beckman sent a pass to Shayne Stockton at the left circle, and Stockton wristed it over Gahagen, giving Holy Cross the 2-0 lead.
“I didn’t think we matched Army’s intensity level last night,” explained Pearl. “I thought tonight a big key was to come out to compete like we normally do. Last night was out of character for us and bouncing back the way we did tonight was really good. One thing we need to work on this week to get ready for the playoffs is our power play. If we have seven power plays, we need to score, and we couldn’t do that tonight.”
Holy Cross will play RIT next weekend, while Army will be playing Robert Morris in the first round of the AHA playoffs.