Holy Cross still perfect after beating Xavier, 5-3

By Five Boro Sports

The Holy Cross hockey team is averaging six goals per game through five matches and the Knights have scored in a multitude of ways from several different sources. The Knights even have four shorthanded goals in their return to the CHSHL ‘B’ division.

But there was just one thing missing – Holy Cross’ explosive offense had yet to score on the power play. And that irked coach Kevin Goodspeed.

So the Knights put in extra work at practice, the lines were juggled on Monday and the result was two power play goals in a 4-3 victory against Xavier at the World Ice Arena in Flushing Meadows Park.

“We were working on it at practice, we knew it was the weakest part of our game and we needed to step that up,” Holy Cross junior forward James Bowerman said. “We got that going today and that was a big help.”

Bowerman scored two goals in his first game against his former teammates from Xavier. The Howard Beach resident transferred out of the Manhattan school two years ago and spent last year at Forest Hills HS before enrolling at Holy Cross in September.

“I wasn’t doing too well, I didn’t feel comfortable and I felt I could have done better somewhere else, pick up my grades, hopefully get to a good college and play hockey,” Bowerman said. “I looked at a couple of other schools and I felt that Holy Cross would be the best school for me.”

Xavier’s loss is certainly Holy Cross’ gain.

“He’s has good hands, good offensive talent and he still throws the body with a lot of clean hits,” Goodspeed said of Bowerman. “He’s got a good workout regimen. He’s been a pleasure to coach, both him and his brother Nick. He makes my job easier.”

Bowerman got Holy Cross (5-0) going at 9:09 of the first period and 51 seconds later Anthony Yacavone scored the first of his two goals to give the Knights a two-goal cushion.

But Xavier (2-2) responded immediately as Thomas Ferro scored 12 seconds later. Domenick Brennan tied the game at 2 with a blistering slap shot at 3:29 of the second period.

Brennan, though, was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a check from behind with 1:25 left in the period as the chippy game turned ugly.

Brennan will serve a three-game suspension, although Xavier coach Al Di Mauro said the wrong player was called for the infraction. In fact, Brendan Meade, who attempted to admit guilt, even served the penalty.

That penalty gave Holy Cross a 5-on-3, which they converted on as Yacavone scored his second of the game with 10 seconds remaining in the second after Michael Biagioni tied the game for Xavier at 9:36 of the second.

“The penalties came out of sheer aggression,” Di Mauro said. “You can’t fault the kids for being aggressive. We played with a lot of heart and intensity.”

John Pagano, who had a pair of assists, capped the scoring for Holy Cross at 10:18 of the third period after Joseph Gilhooly and Biagioni both hit the post for Xavier, giving Bowerman some bragging rights with his close friends.

“Now we can go home and talk to everyone and tell them we won the game but we still have to face them next time at their rink,” Bowerman said. “Hopefully we can come out with another win again.”

More from Around New York