Ladd shuts the door, Ice Griffs sweep Mercyhurst

Griffs goalie Matt Ladd stopped 50 of the 52 shots he faced over the weekend against Mercyhurst. Photo: Canisius Athletics/GoGriffs

The Canisius Golden Griffins hockey team swept the Mercyhurst Lakers for a huge six points in the standings on the back of two masterful performances in net by junior Matt Ladd. 

The Griffs took game one of the series at home on Saturday by rallying in the third period for three goals after trailing 1-0. Juniors Lee Lapid and Mitchell Martan as well as sophomore phenom Keaton Mastrodonato all found the back of the net in the third period, propelling the Griffs to a 3-2 win. Matt Ladd stopped 21 of 23 shots to secure the win, but he was just getting warmed up for the weekend.

On Sunday, the Griffs took the second of the home-and-home series on the road by a score of 3-0. In what was a very back-and-forth game that saw great goaltending on both sides, the Griffs were able to come away with the sweep because Ladd was perfect in game two. 

Ladd stopped all 29 shots he faced in the win as sophomores Simon Gravel and Mastrodonato tallied goals for the Griffs. Lapid added late insurance with an empty netter to seal the deal. Senior transfer Hank Johnson made 30 saves on 32 shots for the Lakers. 

The series win brings the Griffs to a 3-1-0 record on the season. This sweep is crucial for the team because of the games they will have to make up later in the season that were rescheduled. The team returns to action in just three days to take on RIT in a three-game series that takes place over five days. 

The RIT series will begin in Buffalo on Jan. 6, follow up on Jan. 8 in Rochester for game two, and finish on Jan. 10 back in Buffalo for game three. This three-game series is the product of the game on the 8th being an originally scheduled game, and the games on the 6th and 10th being rescheduled games. 

After the RIT three game series, The Griffs will host the Mercyhurst Lakers again on the 12th, followed up by another home-and-home series against Robert Morris on the 14th and 16th. 

This season has seen a particularly crazy schedule for the Griffs due to Covid-19. Most college hockey seasons will includes series of games on the weekend with a few weekday games scattered throughout the regular season, but the workload for the Griffs moving forward is going to be very heavy, and the team will definitely need to rely on its depth to step up throughout this season if the Griffs want to continue their early success.

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