(Evanston, IL) The Holy Cross Hockey Team ventured on the road this weekend to take on the Wildcats of Northwestern University.
It was a successful weekend in that both games on Saturday and Sunday ended in a victorious fashion against hosts Northwestern University. In both games, Holy Cross poured it on offensively scoring eights goals in each of two games winning the first game 8-4 and the second game 8-5.
In the first game, the Saints scored three unanswered goals at the end of the first period in the span of a minute and forty-seven seconds to open up a 3-0 advantage. Junior Tyler Schmatz, (South Bend, IN) scored two goals in that span, and Holy Cross was in control throughout the rest of the game.
Northwestern did score early in the second period to make it 3-1, but two unanswered goals in a five minute span by sophomore Brendon Gendel (Stillwater, MN), and sophomore Drew Brodbeck (Stillwater, MN) put the Saints lead comfortably at 5-1. Holy Cross cruised from there winning 8-4 in the first game of the weekend against the Wildcats.
Brodbeck led the Saints with a hat trick on the day, and scored 5 points total as he dished out two assists as well. Schmatz finished the game with 2 goals and 2 points on the day, and sophomore captain Thomas Lyons (Valparaiso, IN) produced a goal and assist from his defensive spot on the afternoon.
Sophomore goaltender, Brad Hajec, got the win in a strong outing facing 34 shots and letting in 4 goals for a save percentage of .882.
The second game of the weekend proved to be a much tighter game through two periods. Holy Cross was down 3-2 heading into the third period, and it was evident that Holy Cross needed to amp up the energy in the third period if they were going to get their second of the weekend over the Wildcats.
It seemed Head Coach Bill Schmatz said all the right things in the second intermission as the Saints came out with renewed vigor in the third period. They scored five goals in a five minute span. Northwestern was only able to get back one goal during this flurry as Holy Cross came back from their second period deficit to open up 7-4 lead midway through the third period.
Northwestern got another goal to make it a two goal deficit with just under eight minutes remaining in the game. Saints captain Lyons ended any idea that Northwestern had in coming back late in the game as he scored less than minute later putting the Saints up for good with the final score at 8-5 in favor of Holy Cross.
Gendel and Lyons recorded hat tricks and totaled 5 points after both players dished out two assists as well. Sophomore Tyler Joy (Hobart, IN) added a goal and an assist, and Schmatz helped lead the attack with two assists on the afternoon.
Freshman Ethan Palmer (Granger, IN) got his second career win relieving Hajec between the pipes making 18 saves while facing 23 shots for a save percentage of .783.
Holy Cross enjoyed an offensive output all weekend out shooting Northwestern 46-34 in the first game, and 36-23 in the second game. After winning both games, Holy Cross is now one game under .500 with a record of 10-11-1.
They host Xavier University this weekend at the Ice Box on February 3rd, and 4th. Puck drop is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. on the 3rd and 1:45 p.m. on the 4th.
The game on the 3rd is being labled as the "Seniors and Legends" game. Senior defenseman Steve Stetz (Uniontown, OH), the lone senior on the roster, will be honored with fellow alumni Eddie Prusinski, Tyler Robbins, Jamie O'Connor, Levi Burkins, and Ritchie Rectenwal in a ceremonial puck drop before the game. Color guard will be on hand to sing the national anthem, and a pre-game function for the parents will be in the meeting room at the Ice Box. Fans are encouraged to come on out and cheer on the Saints for this great matchup against Xavier, and also to honor Stetz along with the fellow alumni that helped make Holy Cross Hockey what it is today.