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Hockey Griffs top Sacred Heart on short-handed goal; Niagara streak ends

Junior forward Casey Jerry scored a short-handed goal with 1:46 left in regulation to give Canisius a come-from-behind Atlantic Hockey victory over Sacred Heart before 681 on Saturday afternoon at HarborCenter.

The Griffs (5-7-1, 4-6-1 Atlantic Hockey) gave up the last two goals of the game in a 3-3 draw with the Pioneers in the series opener on Friday and the first two on Saturday. But after falling into a 2-0 hole, they fought their way out  on goals by Grant Meyer and Dylan McLaughlin and a 27-save performance in goal by Blake Weyrick.

Sacred Heart (2-7-2, 2-5-1 Atlantic Hockey) struck for goals by Jordan Kaplan at 6:56 and on the  power play by Marcel Godbout at 17:49 of the first period . Godbout's goal came with Blake Wareham serving an interference penalty.

Meyer's tally with assists from Nate Hutchison and Matt Hoover came with 19 seconds left in the opening period.
After a scoreless second period in which Canisius was outshot, 12-4, McLaughlin tallied his team-high ninth of the season 4:14 into the third  with 12 seconds left on a minor penalty to Kaplan.

The Golden Griffins seemed in trouble when defenseman Jimmy Mazza went off for tripping at 17:45 of the third. But Matt McLeod set up Jerry for the short-handed tally, and Canisius was able to hold on even when the Pioneers had an extra attack on in place of goalie Brett Magnus, who faced 27 shots.

The Canisius defense helped Weyrick shut out the Pioneers the last two periods. Mazza had three blocked shots. On the attack, McLaughlin had seven shots on goal for the Griffs and defenseman Cameron Heath put six on the net.

Meanwhile at West Point, Niagara’s six-game unbeaten streak came to an end because of penalty difficulties in a 5-1 loss to Army at Tate Rink.

The Black Knights (7-7-1, 6-5-1 AHC) scored three times in their seven power-play opportunities, including two by Dominic Franco on the last 1:22 of the second period for a 4-1 lead.

Earlier, Franco scored an even-strength goal 33 seconds into the second period to make it 2-0. Zach Evanko assisted on three of the Army goals, including two by Franco.

Niagara (7-6-1, 7-4-1 AHC) had cut its deficit to 2-1 on Jared Bryant’s third goal of the season at 8:21.

Franco made it 3-1 just 5 seconds after Nick Mucci of the Purple Eagles drew a minor for slashing at 18:33. Then Johnny Curran of Niagara was whistled for delay-of-game with 59 seconds left in the period. Franco scored his eighth of the season 25 seconds later.

Colin Bilek’s goal gave Army the lead at 9:47 of the opening period with Jon Hill of Niagara off for slashing. Bilek scored again at 10:35 of the third.

Army put 34 shots on Niagara goalie Bryan Wilson. Jared Dempsey of Army faced 18.

Niagara had defeated the Cadets 3-1 on Friday and looking for its first series sweep at Tate Rink since the 2012.


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