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  • Colton Pankiewicz

Canisius' chances of repeating as champions disappear after being swept in quarterfinals

By Colton Pankiewicz, Sports Editor


Despite holding a lead in both games, the Griffs fell victim to a sweep with a 4–3 loss on Friday and a 2–1 double overtime loss to the Crusaders on Saturday, ending their season.


Friday's game saw Canisius jump out to a 3–1 lead with captain Max Kouznetsov netting two of his teams goals, while freshman Trey Funk grabbed a tally as well. After Funk gave his team their third score of the contest in the second period, the Crusaders dominated for the remaining minutes of play. After three straight goals, Holycross took their first lead of the game with under ten minutes to play. They maintained that lead for the remaining minutes, with Canisius failing to find the equalizer. David Fessenden made 42 saves in the loss.


In his first game back from injury in Saturday's game, Grant Porter jammed home a goal. It was the first goal of the game and the last goal that the Canisius Golden Griffins would score in the 2023–2024 season. 


Holycross tied the game with 12:09 remaining in the second period. It took 55 minutes and two seconds for either team to find the back of the net again. In the second overtime period, Crusaders Jack Seymour found a pass from behind the net. His quick shot blew past Ethan Robertson, who made 40 stops prior to that release, ending Canisius’ season and its chance of a consecutive conference championship. 


“In game two we get an early goal from Grant Porter. I thought we had the advantage through 60 minutes, but Holycross the better team in the first overtime and ultimately scored quickly in the second,” Canisius head coach Trevor Large said.


15 seniors and graduate students went into the weekend knowing that their collegiate careers could possibly come to an end and many of them did with Holycross’ overtime goal on Saturday.


“When the season ends you don't think about the hockey part  as much as the people, and obviously we have a large number that probably played their last games as a Griff,” said Large.


Large described the season as a rollercoaster with ups and downs, but said he was pleased with how his team came together despite injuries and other adversities. Large specifically saw big jumps with Robertson, Matteo Giampa, Trey Funk, and Oliver Tarr and said he looks forward to next year building off of the young core. 


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