Worcester, Mass. – The Canisius College hockey team topped host Holy Cross, 4-2, on Friday night. The Griffs improve to 6-10-1 on the season with the win and 5-4-1 against Atlantic Hockey foes, while the Crusaders drop to 4-11-2 and 3-5-2 in league play.
“It was a really big win and great team effort tonight,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “We played with the lead very well and responded with a gritty third period to win game one.”
Sophomore Ralph Cuddemi led the Griffs with a career-best three points, scoring two goals and adding an assist. Junior Doug Jessey and sophomore Chris Rumble also added goals for Canisius.
Senior Tony Capobianco recorded 33 saves to anchor the Canisius defense in victory.
After a scoreless opening period, the team traded power-play tallies to start the second frame. Jessey opened the scoring with his third goal of the season. The junior ripped a shot into the net from the point for the 1-0 lead with 14:16 remaining in the stanza with the assists going to Cuddemi and freshman Shane Conacher.
The Crusaders answered back with a power-play goal of their own when Brett Lubanski tipped a shot high into the net with 6:52 left in the period.
The teams then traded even-strength goal to finish the period. Canisius reclaimed its lead with 2:13 remaining in the second when Cuddemi scored his fourth of the year. Rumble fired a shot on goal that was saved but the rebound went to Cuddemi and he buried his chance for the 2-1 lead. Sophomore Mathew Backhouse also registered an assist on the tally.
The Canisius lead, however, was short-lived as Holy Cross answered right back just 36 seconds later when Adam Schmidt scored as the teams headed into the final intermission knotted at two.
The Griffs finally claimed the lead for good when Rumble scored his third goal of the season. The sophomore sent a shot toward goal from the blue line that deflected off a Holy Cross defender and into the net for 3-2 advantage with 8:11 remaining in regulation. Sophomore Stephen Miller posted the assist on the go-ahead goal.
Cuddemi then sealed the Canisius win with his second goal of the game with 2:40 remaining. Conacher forced a Holy Cross turnover and then found Cuddemi open in front from behind the net. The sophomore forward then finished his opportunity from the slot for the 4-2 final score.
Holy Cross finished the game with a 35-31 advantage in shots with both teams going 1-for-2 on the power play.
Matt Ginn recorded 27 saves in defeat for the Crusaders.
The teams wrap up the two-game series tomorrow afternoon with game time slated for 3:05 p.m.
Game Notes: Cuddemi also matched his career high with two goals, which he also did last season against Mercyhurst in the Atlantic Hockey Championship … Rumble matched his career high with two points, while Conacher posted a personal-best two assists … Canisius improved to 3-10-0 on the road this season … Canisius has now outscored opponents, 16-10, in the third period after being outscored by at least five goals in the other two frames.