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Canisius hockey rallies to beat Holy Cross


Jimmy Mazza action vs AIC 1-14-18
WORCESTER, M.A. -- Box Score Canisius scored the final three goals of the game to overcome a two-goal deficit and defeat Holy Cross, 7-6, in Atlantic Hockey Association action Saturday at the Hart Center in Worcester. 
Trailing 6-4 early in the third period, junior Nick Hutchison and senior Dylan McLaughlin scored nearly three minutes apart to tie the game before the senior Jimmy Mazza netted the eventual game-winning goal at the 10:49 mark of the third to give the Golden Griffins (1-1-0, 1-1-0 AHA) a split of their season-opening series.
Earlier in the contest, Holy Cross held a 1-0 lead on a goal from Anthony Vincent before Hoover brought Canisius level at the 9:47 mark of the opening frame, one-timing a feed from senior Felix Chamberland into the cage from the middle of the slot for his first of the campaign.
Holy Cross regained the lead on the next shift on an even-strength goal from Frank Boie before Matt Berry closed out the first by converting a penalty shot opportunity with 89 seconds to play to stretch the Crusaders lead to 3-1.
Berry struck for his second of the contest with a power-play goal early in the second to increase the Holy Cross advantage to 4-1, but Canisius countered just less than two minutes later as freshman Kevin Obssuth recorded his first collegiate goal with a redirection of a point shot from Mazza.
Hutchison pulled Canisius with one during the final minute of the second, deflecting a shot past Holy Cross keeper Erik Gordon to trim the deficit to 4-3 heading into the third.
Logan Ferguson restored the Crusaders' two-goal cushion less than a minute into the final frame before freshman Lee Lapid made it a 5-4 contest just two minutes later with a wrist shot from the slot.
Holy Cross regained its two-goal lead on a power-play goal from Johnny Coughlin that made it a 6-4 contest and set the stage for the Griffs' comeback.
Sophomore Tucker Weppner recorded 26 saves to earn his first collegiate victory while Gordon stopped 21 stops after replacing starter Tommy Nixon after he suffered an injury during the opening minutes of the contest.
Head Coach Trevor Large's Postgame Comments
"It was a very odd game. We were down 4-1 in the second period and then we got a couple of goals that allowed us to go into the third period down just one and we felt like we were fortunate to be back in it. Then they got an early goal and I think that some teams would be down at that point, but I loved our compete after that. We were able to generate some offense as our guys attacked. In the third period there was a lot of offense and a lot of aggressive play from us. I loved it.
"I believe it is important for us to show some resiliency. I loved that it happened early in the season because as the year goes on, we're going to have a lot of different games. I don't know how many 7-6 games we're going to have, but if it happens again where we are down by a few goals, we'll be able to look back and point to this game and say 'remember when we were down at Holy Cross and we came back and won?' Our resiliency will be tested again. I'm sure that it won't be the last time and now we have something to use to build some momentum with if we get down in a game."
Game Notes
• Canisius improved to 5-2-1 in its last eight games versus Holy Cross at the Hart Center with Saturday's victory.
• The Griffs scored its four goals in the third period on just six shots on goal.
• Hutchison's goal in the second period was his second power-play tally of the season and the 16th of his career.
• Obssuth was one of three freshmen (Mitchell Martan, J.D. Pogue) to make his Canisius debut on Saturday.
• Obssuth became the second Canisius rookie to score in his debut in as many seasons as sophomore Matt Long found the back of the net in his first game against Robert Morris (Oct. 13, 2017).
• Mazza matched his career high for points with three on Saturday, matching his total versus Mercyhurst on Nov. 11, 2017.
• Hutchison recorded multiple goals in a game for the seventh time in his career with his two-goal effort on Saturday. 
• McLaughlin recorded multiple points in a game for the 30th time in his career with his three-point effort (1g, 2a) on Saturday. The Griffs improved to 25-4-1 when he does so.
• Lapid (1g, 1a) and sophomore Logan Gestro (2a) both finished with multiple points in a game for the first time in their careers.
Up Next
• Canisius opens the home portion of its 2018-19 schedule Oct. 19-20 when it welcomes defending Atlantic Hockey Association tournament champion Air Force to KeyBank Rink at Harborcenter for a pair of games.
• The Oct. 20 contest serves as the team's Pink the Rink game, supporting the American Cancer Society's Real Mean Wear Pink initiative.
• Tickets for both games are available. They can be purchased by visiting GoGriffs.com or by calling 716-888-TIXX.

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