Canisius hasn’t played too many home games this hockey season, but the Golden Griffins are still the only team in the nation not to send fans home disappointed.
On Saturday afternoon at the Buffalo State Ice Arena, the Griffs treated the crowd of 849 to a good old-fashioned come-from-behind victory by scoring thrice in the third period, including twice in the final 2:26 to earn a 5-4 Atlantic Hockey decision over Sacred Heart.
Senior Ben Danford scored the game-winner with 32 seconds left in regulation, nearly two minutes after he had earned an assist on classmate Kyle Gibbons’ game-tying goal as Canisius improved to 4-0-1 on home ice.
“It’s a sign of a veteran team that we were able to stay the course when things weren’t going our way,” said Griffs coach Dave Smith. “We had a number of chances early and good puck possession but Sacred Heart played well today and had a late two-goal lead. ... We were very resilient though and our seniors, who have been in this situation before, found a way late to get a big two points out of the game.”
Gibbons and Cody Freeman earned assists on the game-winner for Canisius (8-10-1, 7-4-1), who have a rematch at 3 p.m. today against the Pioneers (5-16-0, 4-10-0).
Ralph Cuddemi, Chris Rumble and Braeden Rigney also scored for Canisius in the win. Cuddemi’s goal at 9:04 of the third period trimmed the Griffs’ deficit to one. Keegan Asmundson came off the bench and stopped all seven shots he faced in the third period to earn the win. Jeff Carroll and Jordan Minello each had a goal and an assist for Sacred Heart.