Canisius Hockey puts first loss in RPI’s record column
By: Connor Pohlman
Graduate student Nick Bowman and senior Daniel DiGrande continued their torrid starts to the season as Canisius defeated RPI, 3-2, in collegiate men's hockey action Tuesday at LECOM Harborcenter.
Bowman and DiGrande, who both started their college careers at RPI, each scored against their former team during the first period while junior defenseman Jackson Decker netted the eventual game-winning goal less than a minute into the third to give the Golden Griffins (2-3-0) the win in their home debut. Senior goaltender John Hawthorne picked up his first win of the campaign as he finished the contest with 30 saves.
Jakob Lee and TJ Walsh scored for the Engineers (4-1-0), who suffered their first loss of the season with Tuesday's setback. Jack Watson mad 23 saves between the pipes for RPI.
Bowman staked Canisius to a 1-0 lead less than three minutes into the contest, beating Watson with a shot from close range on a feed from junior Randy Hernandez for his fourth goal in as many contests.
The teams traded goals during the final minute of first period. DiGrande doubled the Griffs advantage to 2-0 with 39 seconds to play in the frame when he backhanded shot over the glove of Watson while on the rush for his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Lee answered for the Engineers with a power-play tally just moments later, jamming home a loose puck to make it a one-goal game at the first intermission.
After a scoreless second, Decker restored the Griffs' two-goal cushion less than a minute into the third with a 4-on-4 goal as he put home a centering feed from senior Keaton Mastrodonato to make it a 3-1 contest.
Walsh pulled RPI within one just near midway point of the third, beating Hawthorne with a wrist shot over the right shoulder from the middle of the slot to trim the Griffs lead to 3-2.
That would be as close as the Engineers would get, however, as Hawthorne turned aside the final nine shots he faced in the game to preserve the one-goal victory.
Canisius welcomes Miami (Ohio) to LECOM Harborcenter this weekend for a pair of non-conference contests. The series begins Friday at 7 p.m. before concluding Saturday with a 4 p.m. matchup.
Friday's contest will serve as the program's "Pink the Rink" contest, with the program playing in support of the American Cancer Society's "Real Men Wear Pink" initiative.