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Mercyhurst Drops Griffs Hockey

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 02/25/2012
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The Canisius College hockey team lost its regular season finale to Mercyhurst on Saturday night, 5-0. The Griffs finish the regular season with a 10-20-4 record and 10-14-3 mark in Atlantic Hockey play, while the Lakers improve to 18-14-4 and 15-8-4 against league foes.

The Griffs now turn their attention toward the postseason, which begins next week with the Atlantic Hockey First Round. Canisius finished as the ninth seed for the tournament and will play at Connecticut in a best 2-of-3 quarterfinal series.

"Now it is playoff time for us," said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. "We will see if what was a young team early on in the year has learned how to play winning hockey when it matters most. At times this season, we have shown that we have the ability to beat anyone. Playoffs should bring out the best in our team."

In a game where the two teams combined for 58 penalty minutes on the night, it was the Lakers who were more advantageous en route to the victory. Mercyhurst went 2-for-10 with the extra-man advantage, while Canisius went 0-for-5 on the power play.

The Lakers grabbed the lead in the contest, scoring on a five-minute major penalty just minutes after killing a major that gave Canisius a man advantage for more than four minutes. Daniel O'Donoghue netted his seventh tally of the season with 3:56 remaining in the first period for a lead Mercyhurst would not relinquish.

Mercyhurst then stretched their lead with four goals during the second frame to take control of the contest. Nardo Nagtzaam scored on the power play 3:06 into the period before Chris Bodo added an even-strength goal just 2:41 later.

Kyle Just and Nick Jones added tallies 79 seconds apart at the 12:38 and 13:57 marks of the period for the 5-0 score.

Despite firing 16 shots on goal during the third period, the Griffs were still unable to solve the Mercyhurst goaltending as the Lakers won the season series against its long-time rival for the first time since the 2008-09 season and for just the second time in the last six years.

Mercyhurst outshot the Griffs 36-27 on the night. Max Strang stopped all 27 shots to earn the victory in net, while sophomore Tony Capobianco recorded 31 saves for the Griffs.

Canisius and the Huskies begin their best 2-of-3 series on Friday, meeting in Storrs, Conn.

Game Notes: Senior captain Scott Moser appeared in his 114th-consective game for the Griffs, matching the program's record ... Billy Irish-Baker also appeared in 114-straight contests from 2004 to 2007 ... Canisius is jus 3-for-59 (5.1 percent) on the power play since January 1, including 1-for-38 (2.6 percent) during the month of February ... The Griffs lost both games against Connecticut during the regular season, falling 6-2 and 4-3 in Buffalo.

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