BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Canisius scored twice in the third period to erase a 2-0 deficit and record a 2-2 tie against Sacred Heart in Atlantic Hockey Conference action Friday at Webster Bank Arena.
Sophomore Cameron Heath freshman Matt Hoover scored for the Griffs (15-10-7, 14-4-6 AHC), who extended the nation’s longest unbeaten streak to 11 games and maintained a share of first place in the Atlantic Hockey standings with the tie. Stephen Hladin and Evan Jasper accounted for the two tallies for the Pioneers (10-14-5, 8-12-3 AHC)
Hladin gave Sacred Heart a 1-0 lead at the 11:11 mark of the first period when he deflected a point shot past Canisius keeper Charles Williams from the middle of the slot.
After a scoreless second, Evan Jasper doubled the Pioneers margin to 2-0 just 20 seconds into the third period, capitalizing on a Canisius turnover to beat Williams glove side from close range.
Hoover got the Griffs on the board a little more than four minutes later, knocking home a loose puck from just outside the right post to make it a 2-1 contest.
Trailing by one with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Canisius pulled the goalie and took advantage of the extra attacker when Heath wired a wrist shot from the top of the point that beat Sacred Heart keeper Brett Magnus between the legs with 1:19 on the clock to tie the game at 2-2.
Sacred Heart had the best chance of the overtime period when Justin Danforth created a breakaway opportunity in the second minute of the extra session, but Williams turned aside the attempt to keep the game tied.
Williams made 22 saves in goal for Canisius. Magnus turned aside 29 shots for Sacred Heart.
Head Coach Dave Smith’s Postgame Comments
“A late goal allowed us to salvage a tie, but Sacred Heart played well and took us off our game tonight.”
- Canisius saw its all-time record against Sacred Heart shift to 27-22-7 with the tie. The draw was just the second in the last 17 meetings between the two programs and the first since the 2013-14 season.
- The Griffs extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games, matching the longest stretch of games without a loss in program history. The 1996-97 squad went 11 games between losses from Dec. 9-Feb. 2 of that campaign.
- Canisius moved to 5-1-2 in its last eight road contests with Friday’s draw after opening the campaign 2-6-0 in its first eight true road contests.
- Canisius out-shot Sacred Heart, 31-24, for the contest. The Griffs held a combined 25-15 edge over the final 45 minutes after the Pioneers posted a 9-6 shot in the first period.
- The Griffs were 0-for-4 on the power play, marking the first time in 10 games that Canisius has failed to score with the man advantage. The Pioneers were 0-for-2 on the power play, giving the Griffs’ 23 straight successful penalty kills.
- Junior Ryan Schmelzer extended his point-scoring streak to a career-best nine games with an assist on Heath’s game-tying goal. Schmelzer also moved into a tie for the team lead in points (25) with the assist.
- Sophomore Cameron Heath’s game-tying goal was the first for Canisius with an extra attacker since Doug Beck netted an equalizer with six seconds remaining at Air Force on Oct. 29, 2011.
- Freshman Matt Hoover recorded his fifth point in the last six games with his third-period tally.
The teams conclude their series Saturday with a 2:05 p.m. matinee at Webster Bank Arena.