"All the credit goes to Rider, who I thought played really well today," said Canisius head coach Dermot McGrane. "However, I thought we beat ourselves tonight. We can't miss as many easy chances as we did today and expect to win. In the end, two goalkeeper mistakes cost us two goals but it should never have come down to that. The game should have been over in the first half."
Senior Gavin Falconer gave the Griffs the early lead, scoring less than five minutes into the contest. The Rider goaltender misplayed the ball in his defensive area and knocked it back into play. Falconer then scored on an open net from 25 yards out for his eighth tally of the season.
The Griffs then had a number of near misses as the game remained 1-0. Both Falconer and sophomore Denver Spearman just missed wide from close range in the first half. In the second stanza, Falconer's attempt after a rebound was sent right back to the Rider goalkeeper, while senior Regan Steele had his shot in the 78th minute get past the netminder but a Rider defender was there to clear it off the line.
In the end, Rider made the Griffs pay for their lack of execution. In the 87th minute, Matt Veltri fired a long shot toward goal that deflected high in the air and grazed the crossbar. The ball fell at the goal line and Dave Benavidez tapped it in to knot the contest at one.
In the extra session, Veltri scored for the Broncs in the 102nd minute, heading the ball into the back of the net for the winner in both team's MAAC opener.
Canisius finished the game with a 23-11 advantage in shots, while Rider had a slight edge in corner kicks, 5-4.
The Griffs return to action on Sunday, hosting Loyola. Game time at the Demske Sports Complex is set for 1 p.m.
Game Notes: The Griffs had won their last two MAAC openers ... Rider has now won two-straight contests against Canisius after losing the previous four ... Falconer led the Griffs with nine shots in the contest, matching Rider's entire total in regulation.