The Canisius College hockey team couldn't finish off a weekend sweep on Sunday, falling to Holy Cross, 5-1, at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. The Griffs are now 10-13-5 on the season and 9-8-2 against league foes, while the Crusaders improve to 14-10-2 and 10-7-2 in Atlantic Hockey play.
"Holy Cross played very well and very hard today," said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. "We weren't able to get that second goal in the second period when the game was tied and we were playing our best hockey. Points every night and every weekend are huge with the standings so tight so we just need to regroup and come back strong next weekend."
Junior Kyle Gibbons scored the lone goal for the Griffs - his third-straight game with a tally to extending his career-best point streak to nine contests.
The Crusaders netted the game's opening tally, scoring 11:57 into the contest. Evan Zych fired a shot toward goal for Holy Cross and the puck deflected off a Canisius defender. Canisius' Tony Capobianco stopped the bouncing puck but couldn't control the rebound and Shayne Stockton knocked it in for the 1-0 lead.
The Griffs fought back and eventually knotted the game at one. From the point on the power play, Gibbons sent the puck into the back of the net for his team-leading 14th goal of the season and seventh with the extra-man advantage. Junior Ben Danford and sophomore Mitch McCrank both recorded assists on the game-tying goal at the 5:07 mark of the second period.
The Griffs continued their strong play after Gibbons' tally but couldn't find the go-ahead goal and the momentum slowly turned back toward Holy Cross' way. The Crusaders took advantage by netting two goals in the final three minutes of the second stanza. Tim Driscoll knocked in a rebound with 2:44 remaining in the period and Stockton netted his second of the day with 1:28 left, sneaking the puck around Capobianco on a rush.
Holy Cross then added two final tallies in the final five minutes of regulation. Karl Beckman scored an unassisted goal on the power play, taking advantage of a Canisius turnover, and Rob Linsmayer then sealed the victory with his sixth of the season.
Overall, the Crusaders finished the game with a 33-29 advantage in shots. Holy Cross was 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Griffs converted 1-of-5 extra-man chances.
Both Capobianco and Holy Cross' Matt Ginn recorded 28 saves in goal.
Canisius now prepares for a rivalry series with Niagara in the upcoming week. The two schools open the series on Thursday at the Buffalo State Sports Arena with game time slated for 7:05 p.m.
Game Notes: Gibbons' nine-game point streak is the longest by a Griff since the 2009-10 campaign ... Gibbons has 14 points, nine goals and five assists during the run ... Gibbons leads all Atlantic Hockey players with 13 goals in league play ... Gibbons now ranks second nationally with seven power-play tallies ... The junior has the third-most goals in the country since Nov. 10 (14) ... Canisius has scored a power-play goal in four-straight games for the first time since Jan. 23 to Jan. 29, 2011 ... The Griffs are 0-13-4 this season when failing to score three goals.