Less than two weeks ago, the Canisius men's hockey team was humbled in an eight-goal loss to a nationally ranked team.
On Saturday night, against another ranked opponent, the Griffs (6-9-5) nearly pulled a colossal upset. Canisius went toe-to-toe with No. 13 Wisconsin, eventually losing, 6-5, in overtime. Dan Morrison made 47 saves in net and freshman Taylor Law scored a pair of goals.
"We showed great character in the third after a tough second period," Canisius coach Dave Smith said. "Our team play was much better this weekend than in the past and it kept us in the game."
Down by 3-0 in the second period, Canisius fought back. Law, Scott Jenks, Ryan Bohrer and Preston Shupe all scored. And then, with five minutes left, Law scored again to give Canisius a 5-4 lead.
Only a few minutes away from a season-defining win, the Griffs couldn't hang on. Wisconsin's Craig Smith answered with 3:34 to go, and Justin Schultz scored the game-winner in overtime on the power play.
The overtime defeat may sting. But considering that Canisius lost, 10-2, to then-No. 12 Notre Dame on Dec. 29, Saturday's overtime thriller was a major step forward for the up-and-down Griffs. Canisius will host Quinnipiac next weekend for a pair of games.
Elsewhere, Niagara lost to Holy Cross, 5-1, in Worcester, Mass. The Crusaders scored two power-play goals and had another short-handed tally to beat Niagara (11-7-2, 8-5).
For the Purple Eagles, Bryan Haczyk scored to extend his point streak to 16 games.
Niagara returns to action Friday at American International.