Holy Cross hockey captures third title

By Mike McAvoy

Cody Frucht is going to have a hard time taking off his Holy Cross hockey jersey and hanging up his skates for the last time. Winning three championships in four years of high school will have that effect.

“I wish I was staying another year,” he said with a smile. “Kids come into high school looking to win a championship. I got three and I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’ll never forget it.”

Holy Cross’ nine seniors would agree with their teammate, and their coach, Kevin Goodspeed, cannot say enough about this senior class.

Holy Cross defeated St. Francis Prep 6-0 in Game 2 of the CHSHL Class B best-of-three championship series at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon, sealing yet another championship for Holy Cross’ veteran-laden squad.

“It’s the best senior class we’ve ever seen at this school,” Goodspeed said. “They’re irreplaceable, we have five captains out there, and there is a reason for it. It’s not even about the championships they’ve won. It’s the level of talent they have and the commitment to the program.”

Holy Cross (18-1-1) came into Game 2 of the championship series with one thing in mind: Close out St. Francis Prep and don’t give the Terriers any life for a winner-take-all Game 3. One of the senior captains, Sean Dolan, quickly acted on this mindset.

With 9:16 left in the first period, Dolan sniped in a shot over the left shoulder of St. Francis Prep goaltender John Doyle. That one goal would set the tone for the rest of the match.

Less than a minute later, Frucht would score his first of two goals in the period. The second tally came at the 3:45 mark, after he received a pass from Brandon Muller and ripped a shot past Doyle.

The first period came to a close and Holy Cross jumped out on St. Francis Prep 3-0.

“We wanted to avoid a Game 3 at all costs,” Goodspeed said. “When you’re playing a team you’re so familiar with, anything can happen in a Game 3.”

Holy Cross erased any hopes the Terriers (12-5-3) had for that Game 3 in the first period, but they didn’t skate lightly after that.

In the second period, although it went scoreless, Holy Cross shows its toughness. The period saw a number of scrums, the biggest between the Knights’ Ryan Mattino and the Terriers’ Ryan Borello, as the two were tied up and exchanged shoves as they fell to the ice.

To get an idea of the tenacity the Knights played with, all one would have to do was look to the penalty box. After that tussle, three members of their team sat in the box at the same time. The Knights came out looking to fight off any hope of recovery the Terriers had, and that’s exactly what they did.

“We didn’t even give them a chance to come back,” Frucht said. “We talked about it before the game. Don’t even give them any life, put them down right away.”

The Knights would add three more goals in the final period, scored by Steven Cachillo, Brandon Muller and the final goal by Rob Anderson.

With its six-goal victory in the second game, Holy Cross outscored the Terriers 12-1 in the series. The Knights had solid goaltending throughout and the team skated out two goalies in their championship victory, to complete the shutout.

J.D. Schabhuttl played the first two periods, stopping 13 shots, and senior David Pastiglione made 10 saves in the final period to seal the championship.

The best senior class Holy Cross has ever seen went out the only way it knew how to: winning.

How exactly do you put winning three championships in four years into words?

“Speechless,” Dolan said.

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