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Another weekend for Atlantic Hockey, another upset of one of the top programs in the country.
Actually, make it two.
One week after Mercyhurst stunned Arizona State in their season opener, Holy Cross knocked off No. 6 Providence 3-2 in an overtime win on Friday night, while RIT defeated No. 17 Bowling Green by the same score on the same night while also needing the extra session to get it done.
RIT scored the upset win in the opening round of the Ice Breaker Invitational, potting three unanswered goals to come all the way back and get the job done. Brody Valette opened the scoring for the Tigers in the second period, but it was Andrew Rinaldi’s goal with about five minutes left in regulation that ultimately sent the game to overtime. Caleb Moretz struck for the game-winner to send RIT to the finals of the event before ultimately falling to No. 12 Ohio State 3-1 in the title game.
But it was the Crusaders’ shocking upset over the Friars in Providence that garnered some national headlines. After Andrew Dumaresque tied the game at 2-2 in stunning fashion with just 23 seconds left to play and goaltender Matt Radomsky pulled for the extra attacker, senior forward Kevin Darrar’s goal at the 2:57 mark of overtime capped off one of the biggest wins in program history.
Nick Hale’s incredible, 100-foot tape-to-tape pass after a turnover found Darrar’s stick and created a breakaway opportunity uncommon in five-on-five overtime. The Monroe Township, NJ, native outwaited goaltender Michael Lackey, faked a shot to freeze Lackey, and then went to his forehand to slide the puck past the outstretched right pad of Lackey and set off a raucous on-ice celebration fitting of how significant the win was.
“To end it with that tremendous pass from Nick Hale from our D-zone, hitting Kevin Darrar, who is one of our captains, and Kevin finishing on the breakaway in overtime was great,” head coach David Berard said in a video that was posted to the team’s official Twitter account.
“But it’s a sign of the depth that we have on our team, and their willingness to work together and believe in one another. It was just a great team win. When we set out to make the schedule every year, we’re trying to challenge ourselves against the best teams in the country. So, to have a season opener at the No. 6 team in the country is part of the design. In order for us to be a successful team in our league, we feel like we have to challenge ourselves in non-league (games) to give us experiences that will help us as the year goes on. Tonight was one of those experiences. We’re trying to raise the national profile of our program, and the only way you do that against teams that are ranked and teams like Providence. It’s a huge win for our program, and it’s a step forward.”
Weekly Award Winners
Via Atlantic Hockey press release.
Player of the Week
Andrew Dumaresque – Holy Cross
Junior, Forward – Hammond Plains, NS/Langley Rivermen
Dumaresque missed all of last season with an injury but returned to the ice with a bang on Friday. He had a career-high two points in Holy Cross’ road upset of No. 6 Providence. Dumaresque assisted on the first goal of the night, then scored the equalizer with 22 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Defensive Player of the Week
Marshal Plunkett – Army West Point
Sophomore, Defense – West Salem, WI/Coulee Region Chill
Marshal Plunkett had the primary assist on the game-winning goal in Army’s 2-1 road win over UConn Friday night. The sophomore has now assisted on the game-winning goal of both wins to open the season. He also is part of the penalty kill unit that negated all four UConn power-play opportunities and added one block in the win.
Goalie of the Week
Justin Kapelmaster – Robert Morris
Senior, Goalie – Coral Springs, FL/Wichita Falls Wildcats
Kapelmaster continued his unparalleled start to his Robert Morris career, backstopping the Colonials to a sweep of Atlantic Hockey rival Bentley. The transfer from Ferris State stopped 80 of 81 shots faced in the two-game sweep, including a 35-save shutout on Friday. He followed that with a 45-save effort on Saturday to hold off the Falcons’ comeback attempt.
Rookie of the Week
Matt Radomsky – Holy Cross
Freshman, Goalie – Winnipeg, MAN/Steinbach Pistons
Radomsky, in his first career start, led the Crusaders to an upset victory of then-No. 6 Providence. He made 12 saves in both the first and third periods, contributing to a 31-save total in the win.
Mike Ashmore has 17 years of experience covering professional and college sports. You can follow him on all social media channels at @mashmore98.