"I thought we played well from the start of the game right up to the point where we scored," said Canisius head coach Dermot McGrane. "We haven't been in the lead for much of the season and unfortunately, it showed today as we didn't know how to play when ahead."
Freshman Denver Spearman gave the Griffs the early advantage in the contest, scoring a goal in the second-consecutive game. Junior Gavin Falconer sent a ball through the Rider defense and Spearman finished in the 17th minute for the early 1-0 lead. Sophomore Will Hudson also recorded an assist on the game's opening goal.
Canisius held its early advantage until the 55th minute when Matt Veltri knotted the game for Rider. Veltri gained possession of a loose ball in the penalty area and found the back of the net as the teams were once again even.
The Broncs (4-12-2) then took their first lead of the game with just 6:18 remaining in regulation. Dan Friga took advantage of a Canisius miscue on the defensive end and scored from 15 yards for the game-winning tally.
Rider finished the contest with a 19-10 advantage in shots during the contest with sophomore Ryan Arvin recording five saves for the Griffs.
Thursday's contest not only marked the final contest of the 2011 season but also the final game for Canisius' lone senior - J.J. Hughes. The Clarence, N.Y. native finished his collegiate career by appearing in 54 games with 36 starts on defense and in the midfield. Hughes recorded six points, two goals and two assists during his Canisius tenure.
A young team in 2011, Canisius has high hopes for next season, returning 19 players who appeared in at least 10 games. Of the 20 student-athletes to play for the Griffs this season, 10 made their first collegiate appearance during the campaign.