"After not playing to our potential in the first half, I thought our team really stepped up their performance in the second half," said Canisius head coach Dermot McGrane. "We were unlucky not to win in regulation but at this point in the conference season, we'll take a win whatever way it comes."
Juniors Regan Steele and Gavin Falconer each scored for the Griffs as Canisius rallied from a 1-0 deficit for the victory.
Sophomore goaltender Ryan Arvin recorded five saves to earn his first collegiate victory with the Griffs.
Canisius was put in an early hole after conceding the first score to the Saints just 3:01 into the contest. James Beeston sent a through ball past the Canisius defense and to Nathan Olukanmi, who then chipped the ball into the back of the net for the early lead.
The Griffs fought back from their slow start and eventually knotted the game in the 59th minute. Canisius was awarded a free kick and Steele took advantage with his first goal of the season. The junior defender sent a perfectly-placed strike in from 30 yards out and the ball floated right over the Siena goaltender hands and into the net.
Neither team was able to net the game-winning goal in the final 30 minutes of regulation, sending the contest into overtime. Siena had the first opportunity in the extra session but Arvin made a diving stop on a Saints header in the box.
The Griffs then took advantage of their opportunity in overtime to start conference play on a high note. Sophomore Will Hudson crossed the ball into the box and junior Sam Zarka headed it back to Falconer. The junior then connected from 15 yards out off his left foot and into the lower right of the goal for the game-winning tally.
Each team fired 14 shots during the overtime game, while Siena held a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks. Jack Binks recorded three saves for the Saints in the defeat.
Canisius continues conference action on Sunday, hosting Marist. Game time at the Demske Sports Complex is set for noon.
Notes: The Griffs have now won five of their last six conference openers ... Canisius rallied from a deficit to win a game for the third time this season ... The Griffs have surrendered the first goal in eight of nine games in 2011 ... Canisius is outscoring opponents 6-5 after halftime after being outscored 10-2 in the opening period ... Siena now holds a 13-10-1 advantage in the series but Canisius has won seven of the last 10 meetings between the two schools.