Ice Griffs swept by Air Force

Freshman Jackson Decker tallied his first career goal, but the Griffs fell short in overtime on Friday, 4-3. (Aidan Joly/The Griffin)

Canisius hockey’s four-game winning streak came to an end as they were swept by Air Force on Friday and Saturday. 

On Friday, Canisius fell short in overtime as the Air Force Falcons took it by a score of 4-3. Sophomore Keaton Mastrodonato continued his strong season with a goal and an assist in the affair. Mastrodonato’s goal came with 1:38 left in the game when he deflected Logan Gestro’s shot behind Schilling with the extra-attacker on the ice. Freshmen Jackson Decker and Jack Lyons both scored their first collegiate goals, and sophomore goaltender Jacob Barczewski made 31 saves in the loss.

“We got out-competed by an opponent tonight,” head coach Trevor Large told GoGriffs.com. “That’s very disappointing. We are not an excuse-driven culture. There may be lots of excuses about why we didn’t have energy and why we did not out-compete Air Force tonight. But we don’t live in that world, so we’re very disappointed. With multiple guys, and almost throughout our entire roster, there was not enough effort and it’s really disappointing. We’re leaving with one point and that’s not what we came here to do. We did get a goal with an extra attacker out, but tonight we got more than we deserved.” 

Leading the charge for Air Force was Willie Reim with two goals for the Falcons. Reim’s second goal was the overtime game-winner. Air Force also got offensive contributions from Brandon Koch and Ty Pochipiniski. 

Canisius was heavily outshot in the game on Friday. They were only able to get 18 shots on Air Force’s goalie Alex Schilling, while Air Force was able to get 35 shots on Jacob Barczewski. Canisius was also dominated in the overtime period, with Air Force controlling the puck for the majority of overtime before Reim ended the game when his centering feed deflected off the stick of a Canisius defender and into the net. 

On Saturday, Air Force completed their sweep over Canisius with a 5-1 dominating victory. The lone Canisius goal came on a Jami Virtanen slap shot that beat Air Force goaltender Zach Larocque. Freshman Jackson Decker and senior Austin Alger were both credited with assists on the goal. 

Max Harper and Nate Horn scored two goals each for Air Force as they earned a series sweep for the first time this season. Air Force’s win came on their senior night as it was their final regular-season home game of the season. Air Force extended their winning streak to three games to end the season, and they will look to take that momentum into the playoffs. 

Canisius gets back to action with a two game series against rival Niagara this weekend to cap off their season. The Griffs play at Niagara on Friday and at home at HarborCenter on Saturday. The team will look to create some momentum of their own as they head into the playoffs.

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