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  • The Griffin

Hockey Secures Home Ice with Weekend Series Sweep Against Holy Cross

By Connor Pohlman, Sports Editor

Canisius goaltender Jacob Barczewski stood on his head in the Griffin's first game in their series against Holy Cross on Friday. The 2022 Hobey Baker nominee stopped all 33 of the Crusaders’ shots, earning his first shutout of the season and the fourth of his career.

After a scoreless first period, graduate student Erik Urbank fired a wrist shot from below the right face-off circle, netting the first goal of the game. Senior Ryan Miotto doubled the Griffs advantage with a shorthanded tally with less than two minutes to play in the second period.

Urbank placed the icing on the cake with his second of the game, netting an empty netter with less than two minutes remaining in the final frame.

“Barczewski was spectacular,” head coach Trevor Large said. “He was dialed in. As the game started to tick away I went, man, they're not going to beat him tonight.”

The Ice Griffs would look to build upon their 3–0 shutout win over Holy Cross the following day, as they dialed in once again to play the Crusaders.

Holy Cross would not allow themselves to have a repeat performance from the previous day, playing the Griffs much closer the second time around. After another stagnant first period, Nick Hale put the Crusaders on the board for the first time in the series, taking a 1–0 lead as both teams headed for intermission.

Matt Shatsky doubled the Holy Cross lead with a powerplay goal a little more than five minutes into the second period. Canisius evened the score thanks to Miotto and Grant Loven, who added a pair of tallies just 30 seconds apart.

The score remained at two until Jake Higgins gave the Crusaders the edge just 4:38 into the third period.

Canisius captain Keaton Mastrodonato brought the Griffs level less than three minutes later when he buried a pass from David Melaragni to tie the game at 3-all.

The score remained deadlocked until the 15:12 mark of the final frame, when graduate defenseman Tyrell Buckley sent a shot from the point that Miotto was able to get a piece of, redirecting it into the net to give Canisius the lead.

Daniel DiGrande and Mastrodonato put the game out of reach in the final minutes in the third, burying a pair of empty-net tallies as regulation ended to secure the win and the series sweep.

As the 2023 Atlantic Hockey Association Postseason gets underway, Canisius will enter as the No. 4 seed. The Ice Griffs will face off against fifth-seeded Army in a best-of-three first round series March 3–5 at LECOM Harborcenter.

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