BUFFALO, N.Y. — Ben Walter picked up the game-tying goal and an assist as Mass.-Lowell tied Canisius 2-2 in the final game of the Xerox Punch Imlach College Hockey Showcase at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.
“It was a game that I thought we deserved better from,” said River Hawk head coach Blaise MacDonald. “We deserved the win, we had ample opportunities to score. If you look at the shot chart, you can see that we dominated in the second period, but we failed to get more than one goal past their goaltender.”
The Golden Griffins struck first at 7:30 with the first goal of the season from Tim Songin. Songin received the puck in the slot thanks to a nice pass from Todd Bowler in the low right corner, putting the puck along the ice to beat junior netminder Chris Davidson and giving Canisius the lead in the process, 1-0.
UML tied the contest at one midway through the first. A cross-checking call against James LeCuyer put the River Hawks on the power-play for the second time on the evening, and the River Hawks made the Griffs pay for the mistake. Walter picked up his first assist of the season after he threaded the needle from the right corner with a beautiful feed to a wide-open classmate Elias Godoy on the left side post. Before Canisius goaltender Bryan Worosz could react, Godoy had already put the puck into the net at 11:12, knotting the game at one.
Canisius regained the lead shortly before the end of the period. Billy Irish-Baker tallied his first goal of the season when he buried an opportunity low along the ice from the right side low, a power-play goal at 19:27 that put the Golden Griffins back on top 2-1.
Walter tied the game at two just 28 seconds into the second, tallying his team-leading eighth goal of the season on the power-play. Freshman Cleve Kinley sent the puck down to Walter on the right side low from the blueline, and Walter beat Worosz five-hole for his sixth man-advantage goal of the season.
Although both teams had opportunities to take the lead in the third, neither team was able to put home the go-ahead goal, and the game progressed into overtime. The River Hawks controlled the momentum early on in the extra frame
Davidson made 15 saves in net for UML, while Worosz stopped 31 shots. The River Hawks picked up both of their goals on the power-play, going 2-for-9, while the Golden Griffins were 1-for-6 in a physical contest that saw both teams combine for 17 penalties and two disqualifications.
“I give Worosz and their team credit,” said MacDonald. “They hung in there, survived, and got a good point out of it. They are one of the better Canisius teams that I have seen, but I still feel that we should have gotten the ‘W’. But as a young team, we didn’t make any plays and bury our chances when they presented themselves. That was clearly the difference in the game.”
Friday Mass.-Lowell (1-2-2, 0-1-0 HE) will return to league action when the River Hawks begin a home-and-home series against Northeastern at Matthews Arena, while Canisius (0-3-3, 0-1-1 AH) hosts league member Mercyhurst on Thursday.