Men's Hockey Drops Game One To Canisius, 4-2

Adam Schmidt

WORCESTER, Mass. –  Canisius' Ralph Cuddemi netted two goals and tallied an assist as the Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to Canisius, 4-2, on Friday night at the Hart Center in Atlantic Hockey action. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 4-12-2 overall (3-6-2 AHA) while the Golden Griffins advance to 6-10-1 overall (5-4-1 AHA). These teams will conclude their two game series at the Hart Center Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. on autograph day.

Although neither team could score in the first period, the Crusaders came out strong outshooting the Golden Griffins 18-12. Senior assistant captain Adam Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.) beat out an icing call catching up with the puck behind the net. Schmidt wrapped around the goal and took a shot causing Canisius goalie Tony Capobianco to give up a rebound to the stick of junior Tommy Dwyer (Ridgefield, Conn.). Dwyer took a backhand shot into the pads of Capobianco, but Capobianco made the final save to stop the play. Shortly after, junior Jake Youso (International Falls, Minn.) won a faceoff sending the puck to sophomore Joe McNamara (Chestnut Hill, Mass.). McNamara found an open freshman Cameron Lawson (Vancouver, British Columbia) stick side of Capobianco. Lawson took a shot from the top of the crease, but Capobianco made the save again. 

With 14:16 on the scoreboard, Canisius' Doug Jessey caught the puck at the point from Cuddemi. With an open shot on junior goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario), Jessey gave the Golden Griffins a 1-0 lead on their first power play opportunity of the game. Given the Crusaders' second power play opportunity of the game, sophomore Matt Vidal (Manorville, N.Y.) took the puck in from the blue line blocker side of Capobianco and sent it across the line to an open sophomore Nathaniel Domagala (Oakville, Ontario). Domagala fired a slapshot from the point through the center of the ice that sophomore Brett Lubanski (Farmington Hills, Mich.) got his stick on sending it top shelf over Capobianco to tie the game 1-1. At 17:47, Canisius' Cuddemi scored a goal of his own to give the Golden Griffins the lead again. Chris Rumble took the initial shot that caused a rebound for Cuddemi to bury. Shortly after, at 18:23, Schmidt netted the game-tier. Domagala stole the puck from Canisius, tipping the puck up to the stick of senior assistant captain Shayne Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.). Stockton sent the puck up the ice to Schmidt who from the faceoff circle on Capobianco's glove side sent a wrist shot high on the nearside into the net. Both teams netted two goals on 11 shots a piece during the second period.  

In the third period the Golden Griffins found their momentum and came back to score two goals. Rumble took a shot from the point that went in high over Ginn's glove side shoulder off the stick of a Holy Cross defenseman to bring the Golden Griffins ahead for good. The Golden Griffins sent the puck deep into the Crusader defensive zone behind the net and an outstretched Shane Conacher caught Ginn's attempted clear to a defenseman. Conacher sent the puck to the front of the net where Cuddemi skated in to catch the puck and despite Ginn's efforts to make it back to the front of the net beating him between his stick side and the post for the final goal of the game. 

Despite being outshot 35-31, Canisius came out victorious. Both teams capitalized on one of their two power play opportunities. Ginn made 27 saves while Capobianco stopped 33 Crusader shots. Domagala's two assists were his first two points this season. Tonight marked Ginn's 40th consecutive game in net, extending since Dec. 30, 2012, and his 548 saves this season are second among Division I goalies in the country. The team blocked 16 shots tonight, and they are ranked first in the country in blocked shots per game, averaging 18.56 per game. 

For the third straight season, every time the Holy Cross men's hockey team scores a power play goal in the Hart Center, money pledged will benefit PINK Revolution. The Crusaders have scored four power play goals at home. They will be hosting their fifth annual Pink the Rink game on Feb. 15 when they host Connecticut for a 7:00 p.m. game. This game will also be the Crusaders' winter homecoming contest. For more information and to donate go here:

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