BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Sacred Heart men's hockey team led Canisius 4-2 after two periods Saturday at Buffalo State Ice Arena, but the Golden Griffins scored three goals in the third period to win 5-4.
Sacred Heart (5-16-0, 4-10-0 AHA) got on the scoreboard 0:47 into the game. Evan Jasper (Whitby, Ont.) knocked home a Drew George (Regina, Sask.) pass to put the Pioneers ahead 1-0. Goaltender Alex Vazzano (Trumbull, Conn.) stopped the first six Canisius (8-10-1, 7-4-1) shots he saw before the Golden Griffins tied the game with 9:40 left in the first period. Chris Rumble scored off assists by Stephen Miller and Jack Hidi to level the game 1-1. Canisius then took the lead, 2-1, 39 seconds later on a Braeden Rigney tally. The Pioneers tied the game at 2-2 with 7:42 remaining on Jordan Minello's (Sweaburg, Ont.) third goal of the season, assisted by his linemates Justin Danforth (Oshawa, Ont.) and Jeff Carroll (King City, Ont.). Each team had nine shots on goal and two goals in the first period.
Junior defenseman Will Rayner (Needham, Mass.) broke the tie 9:28 into the second period with his fifth goal of the season with assists to Chrad Filteau (Regina, Sask.) and Nick Lotito (Staten Island, N.Y.). Lotito's assist was the first of his career. Less than two minutes later, Sacred Heart extended the lead to 4-2. Once again, the line of Carroll, Danforth, and Minello put the Pioneers on the scoresheet. Carroll scored the goal, his first since Oct. 19, with assists to Danforth and Minello.
Vazzano withstood an early barrage of Canisius shots to start the third period, making five saves. The Golden Griffins cut Sacred Heart's lead to one with 10:56 to play on a Ralph Cuddemi goal. The Pioneers had a chance to get the lead back to two with 5:00 left but Danforth's shot hit the goalpost. Canisius went on the power play with 2:35 left in the game as Danforth went to the penalty box for boarding. The Golden Griffins tied the game 4-4 nine seconds into the power play as Kyle Gibbons scored from Ben Danford and Shane Conacher. Canisius took the lead for good with 0:31 left as Danford knocked in the rebound of a Gibbons shot to make the score 5-4.
Canisius outshot Sacred Heart 38-29 for the game, and 29-20 in the final two periods. The Golden Griffins were 1-for-3 on the power play with Sacred Heart going 0-for-2 on the man advantage. Vazzano made 33 saves for the Pioneers as the duo of Tony Capobianco and Keegan Asmundson made 25 for Canisius. Carroll, Danforth, and Minello each had two points in the game.
The two teams wrap up their weekend series on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 3:05 p.m.