May 2, 2010

Griff Grief: Random Draw Snubs Canisius

from press releases

The Canisius College men's lacrosse team lost a three-team random draw on Sunday morning, ending the team's season.

Canisius, Manhattan and Marist all tied for third place in the MAAC regular season standings with the top four teams earning an invitation to the conference tournament, meaning one of the three schools would not be included in the championship field.

Per MAAC By-Law, the first tiebreaker is to form a mini-league among the three tied teams and compare the records from the mini-league.  After doing this, each team has a record of 1-1 within the mini-league: Canisius defeated Manhattan and lost to Marist; Manhattan defeated Marist and lost to Canisius; Marist defeated Canisius and lost to Manhattan.

The next step in the tiebreaker is to compare the record of the tied teams against the team that finished first in the standings. If the teams are still tied, move to the team that finished second in the standings and so on through the entire standings until one of the tied teams gains an advantage.  In this case, each of the tied teams lost to the first and second placed teams (Siena and Mount St. Mary's), and each of the tied teams defeated the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth placed teams.

The final step was to break the tie via random draw. Canisius had its named pulled from a hat, eliminating the Griffs from postseason play. Manhattan earned the three seed for the MAAC Championship by virtue of its head-to-head win with the Red Foxes.

Canisius finished the 2010 campaign with a 6-7 record, including a 5-3 mark in MAAC play.

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Canisius Edges VMI in Overtime

With its season on the line and the Canisius College men's lacrosse team down by three in the closing minutes, the Griffs rallied by netting the final four goals, including the game-tying score with three seconds left, to win an overtime battle at VMI, 12-11.
With the win, the Griffs wrap up the regular season with a 6-7 record and 5-3 mark in MAAC play. Canisius' win coupled with Manhattan's loss to Siena puts the Griffs in position to earn one of the final two invitations to the MAAC Tournament. If Marist defeats Mount St. Mary's later in the day (7 p.m.), Canisius will earn the four seed by virtue of its head-to-head win with the Jaspers. If Mount St. Mary's wins, Canisius, Manhattan and Marist will all tie for third in the conference with a 5-3 record, resulting in a coin flip to determine the last two spots in the tournament.

VMI scored a man-up goal with 3:10 remaining in regulation to take a three-goal advantage, 11-8. Canisius, which needed a win to have a chance at the postseason, started its rally when Adam Jones scored an unassisted goal with 2:36 left. The Griffs, however, lost the next faceoff and the Keydets killed off nearly 90 seconds before Canisius could regain possession.

The Griffs finally gained control of the ball with just 68 seconds remaining and down by two scores. Sophomore Brendan O'Hagan scored with 43 ticks left off a pass from senior John Minieri to bring the Griffs within one, 11-10.

Senior Tim Rowley won the all important faceoff and Canisius quickly called a timeout with 34 seconds left. After missing on his first two shots, Minieri scored with just three seconds left on the clock off a feed from Jones to send the game into overtime.

Once in overtime, Rowley won the faceoff to himself and the Griffs called another timeout. Junior Tom Vivian then netted an unassisted goal 1:59 into the extra frame to give Canisius its fourth overtime win this season.

"What heart this team has," said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. "Battling back late was all due to a will to win. It was great leadership by our seniors and I am so proud of these guys. Never say die and we certainly did not today."

Jones led the Canisius offense with five points, scoring three goals and adding two assists. Senior Alex Caldiero and O'Hagan each recorded a pair of scores, while Minieri and sophomore Simon Giourmetakis each posted two points on a goal and an assist. Vivian, senior Mike Benzinger and sophomore Jimmy Haney rounded out the scoring for Canisius with a goal each.

Sophomore Sean Callahan earned his fourth overtime victory of the season with eight saves in net.

Haney opened the scoring for Canisius, netting the game's first goal 1:13 into the contest off a feed from Giormetakis. VMI answered with two-straight goals to take its first lead of the day, 2-1.

The remainder of the half was all Canisius as the Griffs outscored the Keydets 4-0 the rest of the way. Benzinger sparked the Canisius run, tallying an unassisted score with 2:22 left in the first quarter. Caldiero gave the Griffs the lead 6:50 into the second and Jones followed with his first of the afternoon 66 seconds later. The junior added his second goal with 4:05 left in the half as Canisius entered the intermission with a 5-2 advantage.

Giourmetakis scored a man-up goal to start the third quarter, stretching the Griffs lead to four, 6-2. After a VMI score, Caldiero netted a goal for the 7-3 advantage. However, the Keydets scored the last three goals of the quarter as the teams headed into the fourth with Canisius leading, 7-6.

The Keydets (2-13, 0-8 MAAC) picked up in the fourth quarter right were they left off in the third. VMI netted the first four goals of the frame, the final one coming with an extra-man advantage with just 4:27 remaining. O'Hagan cut the Griffs' deficit to two with 3:53 left, ending a 19:45 scoreless drought for Canisius. The Keydets then added its second extra-man goal to take the 11-8 advantage, setting up Canisius' improbable comeback.

VMI held a slight advantage in shots, 40-38, and also won the ground ball (31-23) and faceoff battle (16-11). Colin Bosse and Tim Moran led the Keydets with four points each, while Sean McCoy recorded 12 saves in net.

Canisius now must wait to learn its postseason fate. The MAAC Tournament starts next Friday on the campus of Marist.

Game Notes: Canisius defeated Manhattan during the regular season, 12-11 in overtime, and lost to Marist, 9-6, while Manhattan defeated Marist, 10-6 ... All six of Canisius' wins this season have been by one goal ... The Griffs are the only school in the country to win four overtime games this season ... Overall, Canisius has won its last five overtime games dating back to last season ... The Griffs have played four overtime games this season, topping the previous school record of three (2008) ... Jones is now tied for sixth in the program's history with 96 career goals, matching Ryan Ferraro (1996-99) and passing current head coach and former Canisius standout Randy Mearns (1990-92).

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