by Amy Moritz
The skinny: The magical run for the Canisius Golden Griffins came to an end Saturday night in a 4-3 loss to No. 1 Quinnipiac. The Griffs took a 3-1 third-period lead but couldn't hold on as the Bobcats scored three goals in a 6:26 span to end the Cinderella story.
How Quinnipiac Won: The Bobcats kept throwing pucks on net. Pucks on net. Pucks on net. And then their top line of Matthew Peca and twin brothers Connor and Kellen Jones, got to work scoring, well, a pretty goal. Then came a power play goal. Then came a hard-work goal. It wasnt' a magic switch. It was a steady, confident wave with experienced players, even if they didn't have any NCAA experience either.
How Canisius Lost: It was a bad seven-minute span in the third period and the Griffs couldn't weather the speed and senior leadership of the Bobcats.
Shots on Goal: Qunnipiac held a commanding 40-23 advantage in shots on goal. But that's not a stat that concerned Canisius too much. This is a team which during their eight-game run routinely got outshot.
Player of the Game: Game-winning goal scorer Kevin Bui was the first star, though that top line of Peca-Jones-Jones made it terribly difficult for the Griffs to get out of their own zone, especially late in the third period.
Player of the Game, Losing Effort: Tony Capobianco. The junior made 36 saves and the Bobcats needed some perfect shots to beat him in the third period. He looked extraordinary at times and normal at others. Expect this game to provide some motivation for next season.
Looking Forward: The Griffs finish the season 19-19-5. They graduate four seniors -- defensemen Ben Parker and Chris Barrea and forwards Torrey Lindsay, Preston Shupe. That means they return six juniors, including leading scorer Kyle Gibbons and goaltender Tony Capobinaco, 10 sophomore and four freshmen. After the sting of this loss goes away, the offseason is looking incredibly exciting.
They Said It:
"The shots are the shots. We didn’t have to win shots. We wanted to win the scoreboard battle." Canisius coach Dave Smith.
"I know for a fact that we’ll look back at this year and have nothing but good memories, but for the time being right now, it’s still pretty fresh and stings a lot. But the guys have a lot to be proud of. It’s been a special year." Canisius senior captain Preston Shupe.