(Springfield, Ill.) The Saints hockey program got back into the win column over the weekend as they took on Robert Morris University-Springfield at the Nelson Center in Springfield, Illinois. With two dominating performances, the Saints improved their season record to 15-15 on the season.
Game 1 (2/1/13)
The Saints offense was quick to strike in game one of the two game series against Robert Morris Friday night. Tyler Schmatz (A) (South Bend, Ind.) notched the game's first two goals just seven minutes into the game.
The first period offensive outburst, however, was not finished for Holy Cross. Freshmen Daniel Vaughan (Littleton, Colo.) and B.J. Kolcz (Marysville, Mich.) added two more goals to give the Saints a 4-0 lead at the end of the first period.
Despite holding an early 4-0 lead, the game was not as lopsided as it may have seen. Goaltender Brad Hajec (Dearborn, Mich.) shutout Robert Morris during the first period while stopping all 18 shots he faced.
B.J. Kolcz and Tyler Schmatz (A) added two more goals for the Saints in the second period extending their lead to 6-0 through 40 minutes of action. For Schmatz, it was his first hat trick and fourth multi goal game of the season.
Robert Morris found the back of the net for the first time midway through the third period, but it wasn't enough to come back against the Saints. They took game one of the series 6-1.
Brad Hajec finished the game getting the win and stopping 40 of the 41 shots he faced.
Game 2 (2/2/13)
Saturday night's finale was another impressive performance from the Holy Cross hockey team. Once again, the offense got started quickly.
Same Soukup (Stillwater, Minn.) got the Saints started with an unassisted goal midway through the first period. With just over two minutes left to play in the first, freshman B.J. Kolcz found the back of the net which gave the Saints a 2-0 first period lead.
Kolcz was at it again in the second as a late shorthanded goal off a feed from Tyler Schmatz (A) helped extend the lead to 3-0 after two. The team's leading scorer, however, wasn't finished just yet. An unassisted goal in the third period by Kolcz capped off the hat trick, his second of the season.
Ethan Palmer (Granger, Ind.) was impressive between the pipes getting his first career shutout. He finished the game with 34 saves en route to the Saints 4-0 win and series sweep over Robert Morris.
Saints coach Bill Schmatz was pleased with the effort of his team.
"Despite the scores, both games were tough and physical," said Schmatz. "We needed a solid sixty minutes each night to put away Robert Morris."
Both goaltenders combined to stop 74 of the 75 shots they faced over the series.
"Once again goaltending was huge for us," continued Schmatz. "Both Brad and Ethan were exceptional this weekend and played a huge role in us picking up these road wins. Our goal scoring was timely, and paired with our defense and goaltending, we were able to hold off Robert Morris despite their 75 shots over the series."
The Saints, 15-15, will close out the 2012-2013 season this weekend as they host the University of Notre Dame in a weekends series at the Ice Box. Game one will take place on Friday at 9:00 p.m. where seniors Tyler Schmatz (A) and Sam Soukup will be honored prior to the start of the game. The series will conclude on Saturday with the puck set to drop at 2:00 p.m.