Canisius was the top-seed in last season’s Niagara Cup hockey playoffs but bracket-buster St. Mary’s had other ideas. The fifth-seeded Lancers shocked the Crusaders in the Niagara Cup semifinals, en route to an improbable championship.
On Monday night Canisius got a rematch and some payback – and more importantly two points in the standings.
Will Comney scored midway through overtime to give Canisius a 2-1 win over St. Mary’s at Harbor Center in a Division I Federation game.
“It was a back and forth game but at the end there I knew we had to get it done,” Comney said. “It’s a big Monsignor Martin game so any way to get this win was big for us. So it felt really good.”
St. Mary’s was putting on pressure but turned the puck over at the blue line and the Crusaders went to work. Spencer DiLeo came in on the rush and Comney buried the rebound for his fourth goal of the season.
“We finally started to move our feet in overtime” Canisius coach Sam Belsito said. “I changed the lines up a little bit and it clicked. Spencer got a puck to the net, Will came in late and found the rebound. We’ll take it.”
Junior Sammy Nichols got the scoring started for Canisius 3:25 into the second period. Ryan Coyne and Connor Long picked up the assists.
St. Mary’s senior captain Daniel Pfalzer tied it in the third from Chris Henry and Brendan Krawczyk with 11:45 left in regulation.
“For the most part, I thought we played a nice game,” St. Mary’s coach Mark Dantonio said. “I thought 75 percent of the time we controlled the game. We just made the wrong mistake at the wrong time.”
Canisius bounced back nicely from a 2-0 loss to Williamsville North on Wednesday. That was the Crusaders’ first loss to a Western New York team this season.
With this win, Canisius improved to 8-3 overall and 8-1 in the division.
“We hope to get better,” Comney said. “We started well, we kind of petered out there but we hope to get it going again. Hopefully this game got us going again.”
St. Mary’s won the Niagara Cup last season in its first year back in the Federation. That included a 4-0 win over the Crusaders in the semifinals on Feb. 19. Canisius entered the rematch focused on this year’s run.
“We’ve put that behind us” Belsito said. “We know they’re a good team; we know they can play. Every game in this league is tight. But we’re past that.”
Leave a Reply