(Flint/Adrian, Mich.) With 10 wins on the season the Holy Cross men's hockey program had already matched last season's total victories. One victory against either the University of Michigan - Flint or Adrian would give the Saints program their most wins in a single season.
Ranked #12 in the North Division the Saints traveled to the University of Michigan-Flint on Friday and Saturday. Sitting at 12 - 3 the Saints had their hands full Friday night at the Flint Iceland Arena. Flint was able to capitalize early scoring twice within the first two minutes of the first period.
The Saints buckled down and kept Flint off the scoreboard until the 8:24 in the second period mark when Michael Blackstock scored the first of his two goals on the night. Flint added a late goal in the second and headed into the final period with a 4 goal lead.
Tommy Lyons (Valparaiso, Ind.) finally put the Saints on the board at the 15:47 mark on a power play goal. However, Flint added three more goals as they cruised to a 7 - 1 victory.
On Saturday, it was Flint once again jumping out to an early one goal lead, but the Saints bounced back as Sam Soukup (Stillwater, Minn.) tied the game with 3:51 remaining in the first period. Senior Ty Robbins (Granger, Ind.) gave the Saints their first lead of the weekend midway through the second period.
Flint quickly responded as Michael Blackstock scored his third goal of the weekend on a power play less than three minutes later. However, Chris Rodriguez (Valparaiso, Ind.) put the Saints up 3 - 2 heading into the third and final period.
Jerry Vangilder and Chad Cross gave Flint a 4 - 3 lead with 14:36 remaining in the game. Needing a goal to tie the game, Shane Leo (South Bend, Ind.) pulled through less than a minute later and sent the game into overtime. With 2:29 remaining in the first overtime period Mitch MacLeod (Spring Lake, Mich.) gave the Saints their 11th win of the season in dramatic fashion.
After 122 minutes and 31 seconds of hockey the Saints left Flint and headed to Adrian, Michigan to take on the #14 ranked Adrian College Bulldogs. Adrian bested the Saints 5 - 4 on October 1st, at the Ice Box.
The Saints jumped out to a two goal lead behind a power play goal by Shane Leo at the 14:21 mark and a Brendon Gendel (South Bend, Ind.) goal at the 13:06 mark. However, Adrian put up 4 unanswered goals to take a 4 - 2 lead early in the third period.
Brendon Gendel added his second goal of the game to pull the Saints within one, but Adrian added two late goals to give them a 6 - 3 victory.
The Saints finish the first half of the season at 11 - 7 and have won more games this season than any prior season. Brendon Gendel leads the Saints with 36 total points which includes a team high 20 goals. Right behind Gendel is Mitch MacLeod with 35 total points and a team high 27 assists. Senior Tyler Schmatz follows with 33 total points.
The Saints will resume their schedule on January 14th and 15th as they travel to Bloomington, IN to take on the Hoosiers of Indiana University. The game will be played at the Frank Southern Ice Arena. Holy Cross will return home Friday, January 21st, to host the second annual Holy Cross Tournament. The Saints will square off against Lake Superior State at 9:45pm at the Ice Box.