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  • Colton Pankiewicz

Hockey heads to Army after a winless weekend at Sacred Heart.

By Colton Pankiewicz, Sports Editor

Canisius lost to conference opponent Sacred Heart by scores of 4–1 and 3–2 on Friday and Saturday, putting them at 1–2–1 in conference play so far this season. 

The Griffs opened scoring on Friday with a short-handed goal from freshman Jackson Nieuwendyk, who buried a rebound to give his team the early lead. 

Nieuwendyk’s goal turned out to be Canisius’ lone goal on the night, with the Pioneers scoring four straight goals through the following two periods. Canisius committed seven penalties in the contest, surrendering two goals while Sacred Heart was on the man advantage. The Griffs were outshot 29–25 in the 4–1 final, with freshman Ethan Robertson making 25 saves in the effort.

Saturday's game against the same opponent saw the Griffs fall behind 3–0 through the first 30 minutes of play before Canisius gained any steam. With just under 6:30 remaining in the second period, freshman Matteo Giampa took a wrist shot from between the circles that beat the opposing goalie to give Canisius their first tally. Giampa jumped on a rebound just a few minutes later to give both himself, and his team their second goal of the night. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the third period, handing the Griffs a 3–2 loss. Graduate student David Fessenden made 22 saves in the contest, with one of the shots that beat Fessenden coming off of the power play.

“It looks like discipline needs to get much better but the reality of it is that it’s a few players that need to clean up their checking. We’ve had some guys that have quite a few penalty minutes that we need them to actually be on the ice; I think we’re a disciplined hockey team that just wants to play hard, and will continue to be that,” said head coach Trevor Large. 

Large’s statement comes after his team took 13 penalties on the weekend. The Griffs coach has preached the importance of clean checks throughout the young season, building the foundation for an aggressive identity.

One of the leaders behind the aggressive play is senior Griffin Loughren, who has 31 penalty minutes in the season. The motor is what stands out most with Loughren, playing with the same intensity regardless of the score, or stakes of the game. The Buffalo native attributed his high motor to his hometown, “Being from Buffalo, a blue collar city, we don't stop until that final whistle blows and that’s how our whole team plays because you never know what can happen,” he said.

Canisius travels this weekend for a series against Army, with the opportunity to grab their second and third wins of the year.

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