April 3, 2010

Canisius Tops St. Joe's For Second Straight in OT

from press release

PHILADELPHIA - Senior Mike Benzinger scored 37 seconds into overtime to give the Canisius College men's lacrosse team its second-straight overtime victory, defeating Saint Joseph's, 11-10. With the win, the Griffs improve to 2-4 on the season and 2-1 in MAAC play.

Sophomore Justin Maderer won the faceoff in overtime and the Hawks were then whistled for a pushing penalty, giving Canisius just its second extra-man opportunity of the game. Sophomore Simon Giourmetakis, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime last weekend, found Benzinger and the senior buried the shot to give Canisius the victory.

"It was another gutsy win out there and we really needed this one on the road," said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. "We were down senior captain (and faceoff specialist) Tim Rowley and Justin Maderer stepped up big time. We just keep battling and picking each other up. It was a great team effort. We still have a lot to work on but we are getting there. I'm real proud of the effort today against a very good Saint Joseph's squad."

Junior Adam Jones led the Griffs with three goals on the afternoon, raising his career point total to 102. Jones is the 15th player in the program's history to reach the 100-point plateau. The junior has totaled 83 goals and 19 assists during his career.

Benzinger and Giourmetakis each added two scores, while sophomore Mike Allaire recorded a career-best two points on a goal and assist. Junior Tom Vivian and sophomores Jimmy Haney and Brendan O'Hagan rounded out the scoring for Canisius with a goal each. Junior Nick LoCoco paced the Canisius attack with three assists on the afternoon.

Sophomore Sean Callahan recorded eight saves to earn his second-straight victory in net.

The Hawks (0-10, 0-3 MAAC) started the game strong, never trailing in the first half of play. Joey D'Avanzo scored the first goal of the game 2:11 into the contest but Allaire answered right back 1:06 later. Sean Evans once again gave Saint Joseph's the lead but Jones netted his first goal of the afternoon 1:38 later as the teams battled to a 2-2 draw after one.

The Griffs, however, were unable to answer Saint Joseph's goals in the second quarter as the Hawks tallied all three scores in the period to head into intermission with a 5-2 lead.

Canisius rallied in the third period, dominating the quarter and outscoring the Hawks, 6-0, to take the lead. Giourmetakis scored his first goal of the game 16 seconds into the half with a man-advantage. After nearly six minutes of scoreless action, the Griffs scored five goals in the final 8:47 to take an 8-5 lead into the fourth. Benzinger sparked the rally off a feed from LoCoco. O'Hagan then knotted the game at five and Jones gave the Griffs their first lead of the afternoon with 3:52 remaining in the period. Giourmetakis and Jones each added goals in the final 49 seconds of the period for the three-goal advantage.

Saint Joseph's fought back in the fourth quarter. The teams traded goals to start the final period but the Hawks then tallied the next two to pull within one, 9-8. Haney stretched Canisius' lead back to two, scoring with just 3:07 left in regulation. However, Evans scored with 2:20 left and Artie Marrapese netted a goal 28 seconds later to tie the game at 10.

Maderer, who won a career-high 13-of-21 faceoffs on the afternoon, gave the Griffs the possession with a chance to win in regulation. However, Canisius was unable to find the back of the net and the game headed into overtime.

Canisius outshot the Hawks, 35-26, and held a slight advantage in faceoffs, 13-11. Evans led Saint Joseph's with five points, scoring three goals and registering two assists. Griffin Ferrigan recorded eight saves in the defeat.

The Griffs take a break from MAAC play for a non-conference tilt with Robert Morris on Tuesday. Canisius will play in Moon Township with the game set to begin at 3 p.m.

Game Notes: The Griffs played back-to-back overtime games for the first time in school history ... Canisius and Saint Joseph's played a one-goal game for the fourth-straight season ... The Griffs, who entered the game ranked seventh nationally by converting 50 percent of their man-up opportunities, went 2-for-2 on the extra-man advantage, including the game-winning score ... Canisius is 2-0 since LoCoco returned to the lineup from injury and have averaged 11.5 goals per game, compared to 5.75 goals per game when he was out ... Jones now ranks 14th in school history with his 102 career points, passing John Webster, who recorded 101 points from 1991 to 1994.


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