Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holy Cross Holds on to Beat Boston College

The mighty fell on Friday afternoon when visiting Holy Cross held on to beat host Boston College, 5-4, at Kelley Rink. The Crusaders jumped out to 5-1second-period lead en route to defeating their in-state rival for just the second time in their history, and first since the 1940s.

Junior goaltender Matt Ginn made it all possible with 34 saves, including a breakaway stop on national leading scorer Johnny Gaudreau in the closing seconds of regulation. Mike Barrett scored twice and had an assist for the Crusaders, and Matt Vidal scored the game-winner and also set up two other Holy Cross scores.

It wasn't the signature win in Holy Cross hockey history—that would be its 4-3 overtime shocker over Minnesota in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament—but it's still a big notch in the Crusaders' belt. It was also the first time a school from Atlantic Hockey topped the five-time national champion Eagles.

BC (8-4-2 overall), which fell from No. 7 to No. 9 in this week's USCHO.com Division I poll, has been on the receiving end of other programs' groundbreaking victories before, most notably Northeastern in the 1980 Beanpot championship, and Alaska Anchorage in the first round of the 1991 NCAA Tournament. The Eagles have also now lost two consecutive contests, and have a home-and-home twinbill with Hockey East rival New Hampshire looming this weekend.

If there's anything heartening about the loss to Holy Cross (4-9-0) for BC, which last won NCAA championships in 2008, 2010 and 2012, it's that the Crusaders beat Yale last season—and the Bulldogs ultimately went on to win the national championship.

It's a long way to the Frozen Four and Philadelphia in April, though.

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