The Canisius College men’s lacrosse suffered its first loss of the 2014 campaign, falling at fifth-ranked Denver on Sunday afternoon, 14-3, in the final game of the Frontier Airlines Face-Off Classic. The loss drops the Griffs to 2-1 on the season, while the nationally-ranked Pioneers improve to 3-1.
“Obviously, Denver is a very good team and we seemed to run out of gas today with our second game in two days,” said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. “We did a good job of managing the faceoff X but couldn’t seem to get the advantage anywhere when we had the ball. We made a lot of half plays and a team like Denver makes you pay for that. Overall, it was a great trip and it’s nice to come back with one win. We now have 10 days to take what we learned out here and get ready for another battle with Cornell.”
Juniors Sam Connors and Tim Edwards and freshman Jeff Edwards each scored for the Griffs in the defeat.
Tim Edwards also led the Griffs at the faceoff X, claiming 11-of-16 restarts for .688 winning percentage.
Junior Alex Govenettio recorded 11 saves between the pipes for the Griffs with sophomore Jeff Wilson posting one save in relief.
Both Tim Edwards and Govenettio were selected to the Frontier Airlines Face-Off Classic All-Tournament Team for their efforts against Air Force (7-6 win on Saturday) and the host Pioneers. Edwards claimed 21-of-30 faceoffs (70 percent) in the two contests in addition to his one tally, while Govenettio recorded a 9.88 goals against average and .571 save percentage during the weekend.
The Pioneers netted the first five goals of the game in the opening 18:05 of the contest and never looked back. Jeff Edwards got the Griffs on the scoreboard with his first collegiate tally with 9:02 remaining in the second and then set up Connors for his first goal of the season to pull Canisius within three, 5-2.
Denver, however, would answer with the final two goals of the second for a 7-2 intermission lead and then added four quick tallies to start the third quarter to stretch its advantage to 11-2. Tim Edwards would stop the run with a goal off a faceoff victory but the Pioneers netted the game’s final three scores for the 14-3 victory.
The Pioneers finished the game with a slight advantage in shots, 39-36, but forced the Griffs to low-percentage shots most of the contest. Canisius won 12-of-20 faceoffs on the afternoon with both teams collecting 23 ground balls.
Jack Bobzien led Denver with five points and four goals in the winning effort. Ryan LaPlante earned the victory in net, with four first-half saves.
Canisius looks to get back to its winning ways on Tuesday, March 4 with a road contest against nationally-ranked Cornell. The Griffs and No. 16 Big Red are set to meet in Ithaca at 4 p.m.
Game Notes: The Griffs had started the season 2-0 for just the second time in school history … Tim Edwards has won double-digit faceoffs in all three games this season, claiming 32-of-43 overall for a .744 winning percentage … The junior also recorded a game-high seven ground balls on Sunday … Govenettio has stopped at least 11 shots in all three games this season, recording a .625 save percentage.