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Hockey Defeats Mercyhurst on Senior Night, 3-2

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 02/25/2011
Senior Cory Conacher
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The Canisius College hockey team earned a Senior Night victory against long-time rival Mercyhurst on Friday night, winning 3-2 in the team's final home regular season contest at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. With the win, the Griffs improve to 11-16-6 on the season and 10-11-5 in Atlantic Hockey play, while the Lakers drop to 13-16-4 and 11-13-2 against league foes.

Senior Cory Conacher led the Griffs with three points in his final home game, netting two goals and adding an assist. Classmate Eric Rex set a career-high with three points in the victory, recording an assist on each of the Griffs' three scores. Junior Scott Moser rounded out the scoring for Canisius, scoring a goal and adding an assist.

Junior Dan Morrison anchored the Canisius defense on the night, recording 43 saves to earn the victory.

"A win on Senior Night feels a little better than normal but in the in the long run, a win is a win," Conacher said. "Hopefully we can do it again tomorrow and go into the playoffs on a roll. We have some nice momentum right now. The puck seems to be bouncing the right way after a tough stretch and we just need to keep it going."

Conacher and the Griffs wasted no time taking the lead, scoring just 25 seconds into the contest. The senior netted his 20th goal of the season on a wrap around as Canisius grabbed the early 1-0 advantage. Rex and Moser both posted assists on the go-ahead tally.

The Canisius defense then took over from there for the remainder of the opening period. The Griffs were whistled for four-consecutive penalties, giving the Lakers more than seven minutes worth of power play action, including two separate 5-on-3s. The Canisius defense, however, stood strong to preserve the 1-0 intermission lead.

The Griffs stretched their advantage to two 6:04 into the second frame. Rex lofted the puck through the neutral zone and to Conacher, who settled the puck. Conacher then fed Moser and the junior promptly netted his eighth goal of the season.

Mercyhurst cut the Griffs' lead in half when Paul Chiasson scored with 5:49 remaining in the second period. Taylor Holstrom found his teammate open in front of the goal and Chiasson buried the puck for his 17th score of the season.

Canisius reclaimed its two-goal advantage 3:30 into the final period of play when Conacher nearly single-handily scored for the Griffs. After a shot from senior Scott Jenks was blocked, Conacher picked up the loose puck, beat a number of Mercyhurst defenders and then finished for his 21st goal of the season. Rex added his third assist of the night on the score.

The game remained 3-1 in favor of the Griffs until Mercyhurst scored an extra-attacker goal with 1:04 remaining in the contest. Grant Blakey found the back of the net from the slot to pull the Lakers within one, 3-2. Mercyhurst, however, was unable to find the equalizer as Canisius pulled out the 3-2 victory.

Mercyhurst outshot the Griffs, 45-40, on the evening. Neither team was able to score on the power play, with Canisius going 0-for-2 and killing all five Laker power plays.

The Griffs wrap up the regular season tomorrow night at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. Game time is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Game Notes: Conacher's 21 goals this season are a new career-high total, topping the 20 he set last season ... The senior is now just one goal shy of the program's single-season record, set by Chris Duggan during the 1998-99 campaign ... Conacher is the first player in the program's Division I history to score 20 goals in two different seasons ... Conacher also raised his school-record totals in career points (140), goals (60) and game-winning scores (12) ... Rex now has 24 points during his senior season (7, 17a), quadrupling his previous career high of six points ... Canisius has won seven of the past eight games with the Lakers ... The Griffs were 7-22-4 against Mercyhurst in Division I meetings before the run ... Canisius honored its nine seniors - Conacher, Jenks, Rex, Taylor Anderson, Derek Danowski, Chris Forsman, Pat Kenney, team captain Phil Rauch and Vincent Scarsella - following the contest.

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