Ice Griffs split with RPI, tie Clarkson
By: Jon Skuza
Canisius men’s hockey finished off their five-game road trip with a series split against RPI (1–2–1) on Friday and Saturday and with a tie against Clarkson (1–1–1) on Tuesday.
On Friday, Canisius (2–2–1) suffered a 6–2 loss after a strong second period against RPI.
"We were completely outworked tonight,” head coach Trevor Large told GoGriffs.com about the loss. “It was an inexcusable effort from our guys. We talk about compete being the most important thing for us to win shifts and periods and at most we won a couple shifts tonight.”
After a scoreless first period, RPI scored four straight goals in the second period to take a 4–0 lead over the Golden Griffins. Canisius answered back in the third period with goals from juniors Keaton Mastrodonato and Hudson Lambert to make it 4–2. Lambert’s tally was his first career collegiate goal. RPI added two late goals to seal the 6–2 victory on Friday.
On Saturday, Canisius won 3–2 in overtime to split the series with RPI.
"We're always looking to build over the course of a weekend,” Large told GoGriffs.com. “If you look at our effort last night, which wasn't what it needed to be to beat any opponent, it was about how are we going to respond tonight.”
RPI opened the scoring 1:16 into the opening frame with a power-play goal. At the 12:34 mark of the period, sophomore Randy Hernandez broke free on a breakaway and scored his first goal as a Golden Griffin to tie the game at one. RPI would add another goal to take a 2–1 lead at the end of the first period.
Canisius tied the game on a Randy Herenandez power-play goal in the second period, and the game would remain tied for the rest of regulation. Keaton Mastrodonato would score the game-winning goal for the Golden Griffins with less than a minute remaining in the overtime period.
Junior goaltender Jacob Barczewski recorded 22 saves in the game before getting injured in the third period. Fellow junior goaltender John Hawthorne would take over and record 15 saves and earn the win in net for Canisius.
On Tuesday, Canisius earned a 4–4 tie against Clarkson after a late Clarkson power-play goal sent the game into overtime.
"We did not achieve what we wanted to tonight,” Large told GoGriffs.com. “We came here for the win and we're leaving with a tie. There was a lot of adversity early in lots of areas. Our team did not handle that the best we could in the first period and then it took us too long to respond.”
Clarkson led 3–0 just 13 minutes into the game as three penalties and lackluster play by the Golden Griffins killed the team’s momentum. Junior Simon Gravel would score the lone goal for Canisius in the first period to shift things back in the Griffs favor.
The Griffs came out and played a much better second period and pushed back against the Golden Knights. Graduate student Jake Witkowski scored his first collegiate goal 7:59 into the second period to bring Canisius back within a goal. Senior Lee Lapid tied the game for Canisius at the 15:59 mark of the second to complete the comeback.
Canisius would take it a step further and find the next big goal in the game to take a 4–3 lead in the third period due to a goal from junior Ryan Miotto. The Griffs played hard and tried to hold on for what would’ve been another huge out-of-conference win for the team.
However, Lee Lapid would be called for a faceoff violation penalty with 1:42 remaining in regulation. Clarkson scored on the ensuing power play with their net empty to tie the game at 4 and send the game into overtime.
Clarkson controlled possession for most of the overtime period, but neither team could notch a game-winner, resulting in the game ending in a tie. The tie was the first tie for both teams this season, and while the team could not close out the game to win it on the road, they did find a way to notch four straight goals and complete a comeback down 3–0 against a very good Clarkson team.
Canisius will have their home opening series against Ferris State this Halloween weekend. The first game is on Friday, Oct. 29 and game two will be played the following night. Canisius competes in their first Atlantic Hockey action of the season the following weekend with a two-game series at Bentley.