Taylor Law scored in his first game back from an undisclosed injury for Canisius and that was a positive for the Golden Griffins in Burlington, Vt., on Saturday night. But the Griffins’ first game in three weeks ended like their previous outing, with a loss.
The Griffs dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 10 UMass-Lowell in their first game of the Catamount Cup in Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Law, the team’s MVP during the 2011-12 season who was hurt most of last season and last played in the Griffs’ win over then No. 17 Denver on Oct. 26, gave Canisius a 1-0 lead on the power play 6:56 into the contest.
But last year’s national semifinalist responded 85 seconds later on Joe Pendeza’s goal. The River Hawks (12-5-0) went into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead thanks to A.J. White, whose initial shot with three minutes left hit the post but the rebound bounced into the net off Canisius goalie Tony Capobianco (32 saves).
Lowell increased the lead to 3-1 at 9:38 of the second period but the Griffs’ Cody Freeman scored off assists from Kyle Gibbons and Duncan McKellar just 71 seconds later.
Hopes of a Golden Griffins upset were crushed late in the second period as Lowell’s Josh Holmstrom and Ryan McGrath scored 59 seconds apart.
“Lowell was just a little more consistent in its effort and capitalized on a couple of our mistakes,” Griffs coach Dave Smith said. “We were close with our play but we didn’t write the story that we were hoping for.”
Canisius (5-9-1), which faces host Vermont (9-6-1) tonight at 7, fell to 6-27-2 all-time against nationally ranked opponents.