Worcester, Mass. – Junior Keegan Asmundson stopped 31 shots to post his first collegiate shutout and lead the Canisius College hockey team to a 3-0 victory at Holy Cross on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Griffs complete the sweep and improve to 7-10-1 and 6-4-1 in Atlantic Hockey play, while the Crusaders drop to 4-13-2 and 3-7-2 against league foes.
“It took us awhile to get going today and Holy Cross came out with electric legs,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “Keegan kept us in the first period and a big five-minute penalty kill really energized our bench. From that point on, we played very confident, very together and with effective effort.”
Senior Patrick Sullivan, junior Cody Freeman and sophomore Stephen Miller all scored for the Griffs in the winning effort.
The Griffs struck first in the contest thanks to Freeman’s third tally of the season. From the corner, Sullivan centered the puck and Freeman swatted it out of the air and into the net from right in front for the early lead. Senior Kyle Gibbons also registered an assist on the goal with 3:08 remaining in the first.
Despite the one-goal lead, it was Holy Cross that was controlling the play of the game in the first 20-plus minutes. A five-minute major called on the Griffs actually swung the momentum to Canisius’ favor. During the five-minute power play, Holy Cross could only get one shot on goal, compared to two plus one post hit for the Griffs. Canisius then slowly made its mark on the game for the remaining 26-plus minutes.
Canisius finally took advantage of its strong play when Sullivan netted his sixth goal of the season with 14:34 remaining in regulation. The senior finished a rush to stretch the Griffs lead to 2-0 with assists going to Freeman and junior Logan Roe.
The Griffs then sealed the victory when Miller scored an empty-net goal with 1:45 left in regulation – his second tally of the season.
Holy Cross finished the game with a 31-26 advantage in shots, while neither team converted on the power play – Canisius had five extra-man chances and killed all three Holy Cross power plays.
Canisius looks to continue their winning ways next weekend with a home series against Sacred Heart. The schools begin the two-game set on Saturday at 3:05 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius won consecutive games against Holy Cross for the first time since 2000 … It also marks the first time that Canisius won two-straight games at Holy Cross in the programs’ Division I histories … The Griffs entered the weekend with a 4-14-5 mark at the Hart Center in Division I play before posting the two wins in Worcester … Gibbons moved into sole possession of sixth in the program’s history with 108 career points, breaking a tie with Jason Weeks.