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Canisius men’s lacrosse entertains Robert Morris in NCAA opening round contest

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Date: Wednesday, May 9
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Demske Sports Complex | Buffalo, N.Y.
TV/Webcast: ESPN3
Live Stats: GoGriffs.com
Game Notes: Canisius | Robert Morris
Series History: Robert Morris leads, 6-5
Last Meeting: Robert Morris 11, Canisius 9 (April 10, 2018)
NCAA Championship Bracket: PDF | Interactive
 
The Canisius men's lacrosse team makes its third appearance in the NCAA Tournament when it hosts No. 18 Robert Morris in the opening-round game of the 2018 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship Wednesday at the Demske Sports Complex.

 
Opening faceoff between the Golden Griffins (8-8) and Colonials (12-4) is set for 4 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN3.
 
The winner of Wednesday's game advances to the first round, where it will take on defending national champion and No. 1 overall seed Maryland Sunday in a noon matchup at Capital One Field in College Park, Md.
 
Ticket Information
• Tickets for Wednesday's game are on sale now and can be purchased for $10 for adults and $5 for children (18 and under).  
• Tickets can be purchased online through TicketMaster.com, by calling the Canisius Ticket Office at (716) 888-TIXX, or by stopping by the ticket office in the main lobby of the Koessler Athletic Center between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Tickets will be sold at the ticket office on Wednesday from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m., and will also be available at the gate.
 
How They Got Here
• Under the guidance of first-year head coach Mark Miyashita, the Griffs will make their third NCAA Tournament appearance on Wednesday after capturing the program's first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in six seasons last weekend at Kessler Stadium on the campus of Monmouth University.
• Serving as the tournament's No. 4 seed, Canisius claimed both games of the tournament in dramatic fashion, recording overtime victories against No. 1 seed Quinnipiac in the semifinals (11-10) and No. 2 seed Detroit Mercy in the title matchup (10-9).
• Robert Morris secured its first trip to the postseason after claiming the program's first Northeast Conference title last weekend at Sweeney Field in Philadelphia.
• The third-seeded Colonials dispatched of defending champion and No. 2 seed Bryant in the semifinals, 12-5, before upending top seed and host Saint Joseph's in overtime of the championship game, 9-8.
 
Scouting Canisius
• One of the most potent offenses in the nation, Canisius heads into the NCAA Tournament ranked in the top teams in the nation in scoring offense (11.8/11th), man-up offense (0.488/7th), assists (7.4/9th), points per game (19.2/9th) and shooting percentage (.367/3rd).
• Senior Connor Kearnan has been one of the top offensive players this season as the attack ranks in the top 10 nationally in both points (5.0/7th) and assists (3.1/6th) per game. Kearnan was named the MAAC Championship Tournament MVP last weekend after recording nine points (4g, 5a) during the two championship contests.  
• Senior Steven Coss sits second on the team's scoring chart with 51 points. Coss, a MAAC Championship All-Tournament Team selection, also ranks second on the team with 28 assists.
• Sophomore Mathieu Boissonneault ranks second on the team in goals (37) and third in points (47). Boissonneault scored the game-winning goal in the championship game on Saturday
• Sophomore Carter Stefaniak is third on the squad in goals (36) and fourth in points (46). Stefaniak earned MAAC Championship All-Tournament Team accolades after registering six goals last weekend.   
• Sophomore Reece Eddy highlights the team's defensive efforts as he leads the squad in both ground balls (79) and caused turnovers (28). Eddy enters the NCAA Tournament in the top 35 players in the nation in both ground balls (4.94/31st) and caused turnovers (1.75/13th) per game.  
• Senior Liam Ganzhorn has started all 16 games in goal for the Griffs, posting a 12.80 goals against average and a .442 save percentage in 928 minutes of action. Ganzhorn recorded double-digit saves in both games of the MAAC Championship last weekend.
 
Griffs Win MAAC Championship with Overtime Victory Against Detroit Mercy 
• Sophomore Mathieu Boissonneault's goal six seconds into overtime lifted the Golden Griffins to a 10-9 victory over Detroit Mercy and allowed the Blue and Gold to win the 2018 MAAC Men's Lacrosse Championship in West Long Branch, N.J. on May 5.
• Boissonneault's game-winner at the 3:54 mark of overtime came after the Whitby, Ontario native intercepted a Detroit Mercy pass off the face-off and fired a shot into the wide-open goal from eight yards out. 
• The Griffs held a 5-2 early in the second quarter, but Detroit Mercy scored four unanswered goals in the second to take a 6-5 advantage into the halftime break.
• Canisius tied the game midway through the third, but Detroit Mercy scored three of the next four goals to build a 9-7 advantage with just under 11 minutes to play.
• The Griffs once again battled back, scoring twice in the final 2:38 of regulation to force overtime and setup Boissonneault's decisive tally.
• The win moved Canisius into a tie with Siena, and former league members Mount Saint Mary's and Providence, with three MAAC Men's Lacrosse championships.
• The Griffs are now 3-0 all-time in MAAC Men's Lacrosse Championship games.
• Canisius is the fourth No. 4 seed to win a MAAC Championship in men's lacrosse, and the first since Detroit Mercy did it in 2013.
• The five one-goal wins for the 2018 team are the most for the program since the Griffs won six one-goal games in 2010.
• Seniors Ryan McKee and Steven Coss and sophomore Carter Stefaniak joined Tournament MVP seniorConnorKearnan on the All-Tournament Team. 
• Sophomore Carter Stefaniak posted his seventh hat trick of the season with his four-goal effort on Saturday.
• With his two assists on Saturday, senior Connor Kearnan moved into a tie with Randy Mearns for first place on the program's single-season assists chart with 49.
• Kearnan also moved into a tie with Nick LoCoco (2008-11) for second place all-time with 88 career helpers while his four-point effort catapulted him into a tie with Ned Franz (1993-95) for fifth place on the career points list (177).
• Sophomore Mathieu Boissonneault recorded multiple goals for the 12th time this season with his two-goal effort on Saturday.
• With his two goals on Saturday, McKee moved within two points of the 100-point plateau for his career.

Canisius in the NCAA Tournament
• Wednesday's opening-round game begins Canisius' third NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since the 2012 season.
• The Griffs are 0-2 in the event, suffering a 20-3 setback at No. 3 seed Syracuse in the first round of the 2008 championship and falling to eventual national champion and No. 1 seed Loyola (Md.) in the first round of the 2012 tournament, 17-5.
 
Griffs Make History by Hosting NCAA Postseason Game 
• Wednesday's NCAA Tournament game holds additional significance for the Griffs as it will serve as the first home NCAA postseason event to be hosted by Canisius in school history.
• The school is no stranger to hosting NCAA Championship events however, having served as the host institution for six NCAA Basketball Regionals (2000, 2004, ,2007, 2010, 2014, 2017) and the 2003 Men's Ice Hockey Frozen Four.
• Canisius will serve as tri-host for the 2019 Men's Ice Hockey Frozen Four at KeyBank Center next April.  
 
Canisius Versus Ranked Opponents
• Wednesday's matchup with No. 18 Robert Morris provides Canisius another opportunity to make a splash on a national stage.
• Since the 2004 campaign, the Griffs have played 26 games against ranked competition, compiling a 1-25 mark in that time frame.
• Canisius' one win against a ranked school in that time frame came in 14-10 triumph against No. 13 Albany on March 25, 2014 in Albany.
• The Griffs are 0-2 against nationally-ranked competition this season, suffering a 19-11 setback at then-No. 1 Albany on March 20 and an 11-9 defeat at the hands of then No. 19 Robert Morris at home on April 10.
 
Scouting Robert Morris
• The Colonials head into their inaugural NCAA Tournament appearance one of the stingiest defenses in the nation, ranking third in scoring defense (7.8) and caused turnovers per game (9.88) and sixth in man-down defense (.771).
• Goaltender Alex Heger has been a rock in the cage for Robert Morris, ranking second nationally in save percentage (.603) and third in goals against average (7.49). Heger finished with 11 saves in the first meeting between the two teams back in April.
• Defenseman Zachary Bryant, the 2018 NEC Defender of the Year, sits sixth in the nation in caused turnovers per game (2.25), one of three Robert Morris defenders to rank in the top 70 nationally in the category. Bryant was a fourth-round pick of the Ohio Machine (45th overall) in the recent MLL Collegiate Draft.
• Offensively, All-NEC Second Team selection Jimmy Perkins paces the squad in assists (28) and points (54) while fellow second team all-league pick Matt Schmidt leads the team in goals (34) and is second in points (49).
 
Canisius-Robert Morris Series Notes
• In a series that dates back to the 2005 season, Robert Morris holds a slim 6-5 edge over Canisius in 11 previous meetings.
• After the Griffs won the first five meetings, the Colonials have held the edge of late with wins in each of the last six matchups, including a 11-9 triumph April 10 at the Demske Sports Complex.  
• Canisius and Robert Morris have split their previous six contests against each other at the Demske Sports Complex. The Colonials have been victorious in their previous three visits to the Nickel City, including their two-goal triumph in their most recent visit in April.