WORCESTER, Mass. – Kyle Gibbons tied the game with just 3.5 seconds left in the third period for the Golden Griffins and then scored the game-winner in overtime as the Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to Canisius 3-2 on Saturday evening at the Hart Center in the second game of a best two-out-of-three Atlantic Hockey quarterfinal series. With the loss, the third-seeded Crusaders fall to 16-15-5 overall, while the eighth-seeded Golden Griffins improve to 13-18-6. The decisive game three will be on Sunday, March 13 at 7:00 p.m. The winner of this series will advance to the Atlantic Hockey Tournament semifinals which will be held at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y., on Friday March 18. The championship game will be on Saturday, March 19. Holy Cross won game one on Friday by a 6-3 margin.
Holy Cross is now 7-1 all-time at the Hart Center in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament. With the loss, the Crusaders snapped their school record 12 game unbeaten streak, which was tied for the longest current streak in the nation.
Both teams came out firing in the first period. Holy Cross senior Everett Sheen (Lethbridge, Alberta) was able to slip one by Canisius goalie Dan Morrison at the 17:43 mark for his team-leading 15th goal of the season to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead. Freshman Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) and freshman Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) recorded assists on the play. With the goal, Sheen reached 100 points for his career, having recorded 50 goals and 50 assists. He becomes the 39th Crusader to reach this mark, the ninth Crusader to do so since the program gained a Division I status. Also, in playing in today's contest, he set the new school record for career games played with 147.
Holy Cross was able to extend their lead to 2-0 early in the second period, as Sheen found the back of the net again at the 3:09 mark on assists by Schmidt and junior Mike Daly (South Burlington, Vt.). The Crusaders were able to continue their strong defense and held Canisius to no goals on a total of 15 shots in the first two periods.
The Crusader defense held the Golden Griffins without a goal until the 13:55 mark in the third period, when Chris Forsman netted a power play goal to trim the lead to 2-1. With time whittling down at the end of the period, with their season on the line, Canisius pulled their goalie. In last second heroics, with 3.5 seconds remaining, Gibbons was able to slip the puck by Crusader senior goalie Adam Roy (Feeding Hills, Mass.) on a rebound to knot the score at two, forcing the game into a sudden-death overtime.
Holy Cross continued their aggressive offensive play in the overtime session, but was not able to get one by Morrison. Gibbons continued his heroics in the game, netting the game-winning goal at the 15:38 mark. The Crusaders got off 12 shots in the overtime period, compared to Canisius' two.
Roy made 26 saves in the loss, falling to 10-7-3 on the season, while Morrison made 49 saves in the win to improve to 10-15-4 on the year. The Crusaders went 0-4 on the power play while Canisius went 1-3. Holy Cross outshot Canisius by a 51-29 margin.