For the second time in as many days, the Canisius Golden Griffins defeated the Connecticut Huskies at Buffalo State Arena. After being dominated, 6-0, in the series opener on Saturday, the Huskies came out, took a 2-0 lead, and controlled the play for the first two periods of the game before the Griffins took over in the third and ultimately won, 3-2 in overtime.
â€œUConn played really, really well tonight,â€ Griffins head coach Dave Smith said. â€œThey beat us in a lot of battles early and they beat us to a lot of pucks.â€
â€œWe were 100 percent better than Saturday night obviously,â€ Huskies head coach Bruce Marshall said, â€œso itâ€™s better but itâ€™s not enough yet.â€
It was the Huskies who jumped out to the early lead getting the gameâ€™s first goal at 13:18 from Chris Ochoa. He picked up the puck from Pat McAuley and skated behind the Canisius net before coming out in front and taking a shot. He caught Griffins goaltender Dan Morrison moving and the puck slid between his legs for the goal.
The Huskies would score again with just over a minute to go in the first after putting pressure around the Griffins net. Morrison slid to his left to block a shot that went wide, but it came back out to Michael Coppola, who knocked it into the open net on the second attempt. Marcell Ranallo and Jason Krispel were credited with assists on the goal.
â€œThey finished the play when they needed to there in the end,â€ Marshall said. â€œWe had a chance to make it 3-0 and their guy made a tremendous save and probably gave them some momentum to build off of. We let them creep back into it.â€
Canisiusâ€™ Pat Kenney slammed in a rebound standing on the doorstep to the right of the net at 3:57 of the third period. Josh Heidinger and Peter MacDougall assisted on the play.
Cory Conacher tied the game for the Griffins at 9:22 sending a shot at the net from the slot that found its way behind Huskies goalie Beau Erickson.
Just 49 seconds into overtime, Dave Kostuch took a shot toward the net from near the boards just in front of the goal line.
â€œI was just thinking I hope it hits the net,â€ Kostuch said â€œIt was a nice pass so thatâ€™s all I wanted to do- hope to get one in the net.â€ The puck got past Erickson and after a review between the goal judge and referee, Canisius was awarded the goal for the win.
Morrison ended the game with 32 saves including 14 in the third period, where he fought off the Huskies on an extended 5-on-3 power play in the final three minutes of regulation.
Our leadership is very strong,â€ Smith said. â€œI think we wanted to redeem ourselves for the first couple of periods, which werenâ€™t our best two periods. We tried to establish our work ethic after that.â€
Canisius is now 5-3-2 overall on the season while UConn fell to 2-8-0.