BUFFALO, N.Y.-Canisius scored with 18 seconds remaining in the third period Sunday afternoon to edge Williamsville North 4-3 in Federation Hockey action at the Buffalo State Ice Arena.
Williamsville North had taken a 3-2 on a goal by # 19 David Powers but Canisius rallied to tie the game on a goal by # 23 Patrick Mitchell with 3:35 to go in the third period. The game winner came off the stick of # 19 Austin Aksoy. It was his second goal of the game. He beat defenseman Mike Nowicki and then beat goaltender # 30 Jake Griebner to give Canisius the hard fought win.
Crusaders head coach Mike Broderick told Two On Your Side's Stu Boyar "We're happy. Its been an up and down year for us. I think this was the culmination of a lot of really hard work. The boys did a really good job today."
Williamsville and St. Joe's have been consistent Federation powerhouses. Broderick told Stu that "the last five or six years there's been a three way rivalry between us, North and St. Joe's. The last couple of years North has been better than us. Most would consider this an upset although the games we've lost have been close. I think North is really well coached, they play strong at both ends of the ice, they have experience and size. For our young guys to it together today, I would consider it an upset."
Broderick also told Stu that he's been trying to upgrade the program while also dealing with a very young team. "We graduated 11 seniors from last year's team. The vast majority of our team is sophomores. I had two returning lettermen, both on defense so the young guys who've come in have had to buy in fast. We've put in a new system, a university system and its tough. It was nice to see our guys work as a team and be consistent throughout a full game."
Broderick has taken the Crusaders to Ohio and Canada for tournaments to help give his team big game experience. He said Sunday "was the first time we saw the benefit of playing against the high quality teams we played in those tournaments." The Crusaders played against two time Ohio State champion St. Ignatius in Ohio and against St. Mikes' and Niagara Falls in Canada.
Canisius is 7-8-1 overall and 4-5-1 in Federation play. North goaltender Griebner stopped 29 of 33 Canisius shots on goal. Canisius goaltender # 30 Connon Naughton stopped 41 of 44 North shots on goal.
The Crusaders other goal was scored by # 7 Dimitrios Koutsomitis. North other goals were scored by # 14 Owen Green and # 26 Scott Sims.