Strong 2nd Half Leads Canisius by Detroit to Title Game

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Third-seeded Canisius advanced to the MAAC title game for the second time in program history on Friday, defeating second-seeded Detroit, 12-10, in a semifinal at Marist. The Griffs who doubled the Titans in the second half, 10-5 improve to 5-7 with the victory, while Detroit finishes its season with a 6-9 record.

"Our seniors really stepped up today when we need them to," said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. "Sean Callahan came up with some big-time stops in the second half. Our attacking trio of Travis Gibbons, Simon Giourmetakis and Jimmy Haney really buried their chances. Justin Maderer, Ryan O'Hagan, Brendan Murphy and Nico Capron did a phenomenal job on the defensive end, along with freshman Adam Donner. I couldn't be happier and more proud with our effort today and look forward to another great game on Sunday."

Senior Jimmy Haney (Cicero, N.Y.) led the Griffs in the win, matching career highs with five points and four goals. Senior Simon Giourmetakis (Edmonton, Alberta) matched Haney with five points, netting a hat trick to go along with two assists. Fellow senior Travis Gibbons (Owen Sound, Ontario) paced the Canisius attack, recording four points on a goal and a career-best three assists. Seniors Brandon Bortignon (Coquitlam, British Columbia) and Justin Maderer (Orchard Park, N.Y.) also posted multiple points, with Bortingon recording a goal and an assist and Maderer chipping in two helpers.

Junior Nick Caldiero (Buffalo, N.Y.) and freshmen Kevin Collins (Orchard Park, N.Y.) and Tim Edwards (Jamesville, N.Y.) rounded out the scoring for Canisius with a goal each.

Senior Sean Callahan (Orchard Park, N.Y.) anchored a strong defensive effort in the win, recording 13 saves. The senior was especially strong in the second half, posting nine saves on 14 shots on goal in the winning effort.

The Titans grabbed the early advantage in the contest thanks to the play of goalkeeper A.J. Levell, who held the Griffs to just two tallies in the opening 30 minutes of action with nine first-half stops. Detroit netted five goals on its end to take a 5-2 lead into the intermission.

The second half was a different story as the Griffs were able to solve the Detroit goaltending and finish their chances. Haney netted a pair of goals in the first three minutes of the third quarter to bring Canisius within one, 5-4. Caldiero then knotted the game for the first time since the score was 0-0 with his first goal of the day with 10:05 remaining in the quarter, completing the Canisius rally in just 4:55 of action in the second half.

Twice Detroit reclaimed its lead in the third quarter only to see the Griffs answer right back less than a minute later. Collins netted his second goal of the season just 12 seconds after a Titan score and Giourmetakis then tied the game at seven 57 ticks following a Detroit goal. Canisius finally claimed its first lead of the day when Bortignon netted a man-up goal with 3:25 remaining in the period, giving Canisius an 8-7 advantage heading into the fourth frame.

The Griffs stretched their lead to two early in the fourth quarter when Haney completed his hat trick 1:24 into the stanza. The senior then gave the Griffs a three-goal advantage with an unassisted tally with 9:21 remaining in the contest.

Detroit twice pulled to within two but each time, Canisius was there to answer. Gibbons' first goal of the game with 1:34 remaining sealed the victory for the Griffs before a Detroit goal with one tick left resulted in the 12-10 final.

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