In the extra session, freshman Ryan Bohrer found Gibbons open in the low slot from the behind the net. Gibbons then fired the shot in with 4:22 left in the overtime to give Canisius the victory. Sophomore Torrey Lindsay also recorded an assist on the game-winning score.
"I saw Torrey Lindsay pass the puck to Ryan Bohrer," Gibbons said. "I've been playing with him all year and we have had great chemistry. I saw him skate around the net and I moved into a good position. I didn't even have to call for it, he just gave it to me on the tape and I ripped it over the goaltender's shoulder. It is one of the best feelings I have had playing hockey in awhile."
Senior Chris Forsman also scored in the win, while seniors Cory Conacher and Vincent Scarsella registered two assists each.
Junior goaltender Dan Morrison broke his own postseason record with 49 saves to earn the victory in net.
"We showed a real gutsy and gritty character effort tonight, led by seniors Cory Conacher and Vincent Scarsella, to get us back in the game," said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. "Kyle Gibbons then did what Kyle Gibbons does best and came up with two huge goals for us."
Everett Sheen scored two goals for the Crusaders, one late in the first period and one early in the second period, to give Holy Cross a lead it would hold until the final seconds of regulation. Sheen opened the scoring with 2:17 left in the first frame, one-timing a shot into the back of the net. The senior then netted his second goal of the night off a rebound, scoring 3:09 into the second for a 2-0 advantage.
Canisius had some early chances to regroup and get back into the game, including a five-minute power play in the second period, but couldn't convert.
The Griffs finally did find the scoreboard, connecting on the power play with 6:05 remaining in regulation. Forsman sent a wrist shot through a couple of screens that found the back of the net. Conacher and Scarsella each registered an assist on the power-play score.
Gibbons then started his heroics with his ninth goal of the season. In the dying seconds of the third period, Holy Cross tried to clear the puck out of the zone, but Scarsella blocked the attempt. Conacher then sent a shot toward the goal from the blue line, which hit Gibbons' skate out front. The freshman corralled the loose puck, turned and beat the Holy Cross goaltender with just 3.5 ticks remaining to send the game into overtime.
Both teams had early chances in the overtime. With 17:40 remaining in the extra session, Scarsella hit the inside of the post on a 2-on-1 rush. Just over two minutes later, the Crusaders had a chance with an open net on a rebound but the Holy Cross player could not settle the loose puck and knocked it wide. The near misses led to Gibbons netting the overtime winner with 4:22 remaining in the first extra session.
Holy Cross finished the contest with a 51-29 advantage in shots on the night, including a 12-2 edge in the extra session. Canisius converted 1-of-3 extra-man opportunities, while killing all four of the Crusaders' power-play chances. Adam Roy recorded 26 saves for Holy Cross in the defeat.
The teams conclude the best of three series tomorrow night. The series-deciding game is set to begin at 7:05 p.m. at the Hart Center.
Game Notes: Canisius played its 12th overtime game of the season, just one shy of its school record ... The Griffs are now 3-3-6 in the extra session this season ... Gibbons scored his second overtime goal of the season ... Canisius last won a game when scoring an extra-attacker goal to force overtime on Nov. 28, 2008 ... Conacher now has 40 points on the season, becoming the first player in the program's history with two 40-point campaigns ... It was the first time that Forsman scored in back-to-back games since Jan. 12 and Jan. 13, 2007 ... Scarsella played in his 143rd career game, matching former teammate Dave Cianfrini (2006-10) for the most in school history ... The previous record for saves in a postseason game was 48, set by Morrison last Saturday against Niagara ... Holy Cross entered the game 9-0-3 in its last 12 games ... The win also ended a seven-game winless streak for the Griffs against the Crusaders.