Canisius completed the 2011 campaign with a 3-9 record and 3-3 mark against conference foes. The Griffs finished the season tied for fourth in the conference standings with Jacksonville but the Dolphins earned the final berth to the MAAC Championship by virtue of its 12-8 victory against Canisius on March 19.
Junior Simon Giourmetakis led the Canisius with three points and two goals in the victory, while senior Greg Michael also netted a pair of scores. Junior Travis Gibbons rounded out the scoring for the Griffs with one tally.
Junior Sean Callahan anchored the Golden Griffin defense on the night, stopping 69.2 percent of Manhattan's shots on goal with nine saves. Junior Ryan O'Hagan added three caused turnovers as the Canisius defense allowed its fewest goals since a 9-3 victory against Mount St. Mary's on April 4, 2009.
The Jaspers (3-13, 2-4 MAAC) opened the scoring in the contest, connecting 2:47 into the game for the early lead before the teams then traded a pair of man-up goals. Giourmetakis fed Gibbons as Canisius knotted the game, but Manhattan answered back for a 2-1 advantage with 9:27 left in the second quarter.
Giourmetakis tied the game at two with 4:56 remaining in the first half, connecting off a feed from senior Nick LoCoco. Manhattan, however, headed into the intermission with a 3-2 advantage thanks to a goal with just 32 ticks remaining in the stanza.
Defense proved to be the story for Canisius in the second half. Michael scored the only goal of the third quarter with junior Brendan O'Hagan registering the assist. The duo once again connected early in the fourth as the Griffs claimed its first lead of the game, 4-3. Giourmetakis then stretched the Canisius advantage to two, scoring his second of the night with 3:36 left in the game.
Manhattan couldn't crack the Canisius defense in the second half, going scoreless until the final minute of regulation. Callahan recorded his ninth save of the game with just under a minute remaining but a strong ride by the Jaspers led to their only second-half goal with 35 seconds left. Manhattan won the ensuing faceoff and called a timeout with 12 ticks remaining but the Jaspers struggled to get a shot off and then threw the ball away in the closing seconds.
The Jaspers outshot the Griffs, 26-19, on the night thanks to a 12-2 edge in the fourth quarter. Justin Jensen led Manhattan with two goals, while Matt Solomito recorded five saves in net.