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  • Colton Pankiewicz

Hockey sweeps Robert Morris before season finale

By Colton Pankiewicz, Sports Editor

After defeating Robert Morris on Feb. 16 by a score of 5-3, the Griffs circled back for another win against the Colonels, this time winning 5-4 in overtime.

“I really liked how we played, and thought we were playing well before that, despite not getting the results we wanted,” said Canisius head coach Trevor Large after the weekend series.

In what would be their first regulation win since Jan. 27, the Griffs kickstarted their offense early, scoring three goals in the first thirteen minutes of regulation. After Trey Funk, Matteo Giampa, and Kyle Haskins each grabbed an early goal, RMU responded on the powerplay, making the score 3-1 to close out the first period.

Canisius defenseman Brandon Datema’s blast from between the circles extended the Griffs lead to three before Robert Morris scored the final goal in the period.

The Colonels out-scored Canisius 2-1 in the third period, with Oliver Tarr banking Canisius’ lone goal.  The RMU push wasn’t enough, with the blue and gold taking the contest 5-3. Goalie David Fessenden made 36 saves in the win.

Unlike night one, the Colonels opened the scoring in the second game. Tarr, with his second goal of the weekend, found the back of the net to knot the game, 1-1, heading into the second period. 

The teams would sit at a stalemate in the second frame with RMU’s George Krotiris, and Cansius’ Jack Lyons both claiming goals for their sides. 

Canisius claimed their first lead of the night 6:53 into the third period when Stefano Bottini jammed a rebound home, before Robert Morris tallied two goals within a minute span to retake the lead. With under three minutes remaining in regulation, Jackson Decker tied the game up with a blast on the powerplay before the teams headed into overtime, tied up at four.

A Griffin Loughran highlight-reel goal off the faceoff-circle just 1:15 into the extra period gave Canisius their second straight win. This marks the second time this season that the Griffs have won back-to-back games. Ethan Robertson made 29 saves in the win, while the Grifs peppered RMU with 52 shots on net.

“I think a team that doesn’t have as much faith as ours would crumble in that position,” coach Large said following the come from behind win. 

Canisius heads to Rochester on Friday, Feb. 23, to play against nationally-ranked RIT before returning home for the senior night on Saturday, Feb. 24, facing RIT again. 

Coach Large says in order to beat RIT, the Griffs need to force RIT to cough up the puck, stopping them in transition. Allowing RIT to sit in Canisius’ end is a recipe for a “long night” per, Large. 

Though they currently hold the eighth seed, with a sweep this weekend, Canisius could move up as far as fourth.

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