Canisius used goals from five different players and a 42-save effort from junior goaltender Jacob Barczewski to defeat Army, 5-3, in Atlantic Hockey Association action Friday at Tate Rink in West Point, N.Y.
Graduate student Jake Witkowski, freshman Alton McDermott, sophomore Jackson Decker, junior Daniel DiGrande and graduate student Alex Ambrosio accounted for the five goals for the Golden Griffins (10-8-2, 7-5-1 AHA).
Celebrating his 23rd birthday, Barczewski picked up his ninth win of the season as the stopped the final 21 shots he faced on the evening as he established a career high in saves.
Anthony Firrlolo, Joey Baez and Josh Bohlin tallied third three goals the Black Knights (7-9-3, 5-5-2 AHA). Gavin Abric finished with 29 saves between the pipes for home team.
Witkowski staked Canisius to a 1-0 lead just before the midway point of the first period, putting home junior Ryan Miotto’s goalmouth feed for his third of the campaign.
Firrlolo brought Army level during the final minute of the first, firing a wrist over the right shoulder of Barczewski from the middle of the slot to tie the game at 1-1.
The second period was a back-and-forth affair that saw the teams combined for six total goals in an 11:30 span.   
McDermott opened the outburst just before the five-minute mark of the period, beating Abric with a wrist shot just inside the right post for his first collegiate tally to make it a 2-1 contest.
The teams then traded goals during a 63-second span just a few minutes later as Baez tied the game at 2-2 with a power-play goal, only to see the Griffs retake the lead a little more than a minute later when Decker fired a wrist shot between the legs of Abric for his third of the season.
Army drew even with Canisius for the third time in the contest on a wrap-around effort from Bohlin towards the later stages of the period, but the Griffs once again had a response as DiGrande answered with a power-play goal less than two minutes later to put the Griffs back in front, 4-3.
In the third, the Black Knights attempted to net the equalizer, but Barczewski was up to the task, stopping all 20 shots he faced to keep Canisius in front.
Ambrosio closed out the scoring with an insurance marker on an empty-net goal in the final two minutes of regulation while the Griffs were shorthanded, one of four penalties they killed off during the final frame.
Head Coach Trevor Large‘s Postgame Comments
“The result is a great positive from this evening. We had conversation with the team prior to the game about having a strong definition of who we are, how we play, how everybody’s required and how everybody has value and it was very evident tonight. Everybody on our bench played very well. We played well together. We made mistakes, those are going to happen during the course of a game. But our response, whether it was killing three penalties in a row at the end of the game, or responding each time they tied the game, it was just a really strong team win. I was very proud to coach that group tonight, whether we won or lost.
Alton McDermott was ultra-competitive the entire game, whether it was 5-on-5, shorthanded, he was unbelievable. He couldn’t be stopped tonight. He goes to the net and makes a nice play to score his first career goal. He’s been due, but we love Alton because of his effort. It’s not how many goals he’s going to score. He’s going to score a bunch. Jackson Decker gets a big goal when we needed it. He put us up 3-2 on a nice play from a very creative crafty defenseman and then Alex Ambrosio gets cherry on top after leading our penalty kill, especially in the third period, by getting a shorthanded empty-netter to put the game away. It was a great moment for him and very proud of how he took control of our bench tonight. So, we can lean on young guys like Alton, but we can also lean on our veteran guys like Alex and Jackson as well. We’re very fortunate as a staff to have the guys that we have on this team. The depth of this group is extremely strong and it was on display this evening.
“I thought Barzo (Barczewski) was really strong tonight. In terms of the workload, there was a lot of it tonight. Army is a team, especially in the third period with the power play, they got some confidence and when they have the puck, they like to throw it on net a lot. About halfway through the game, Barczewski really settled in and with that just comes a huge sense of confidence for every guy that’s wearing Blue and Gold. We trust him. We know he’s going be there when we need them and in the second half of the game, he was extremely strong. He is a big reason why we won tonight.”
Game Notes
• Friday’s game served as the 67th all-time meeting between Canisius and Army. The Griffs took the lead in the series, 31-30-6, with the victory on Friday.
• The Griffs also improved to 5-2-0 in its last seven contests against the Black Knights at Tate Rink.
• Canisius scored four or more goals in a game for the ninth time this season. They improved to 8-0-1 on the year when doing so.
• The Griffs also tallied the first goal of the game for the eighth time in 2021-22. They moved to 7-1-0 when getting on the board first.  
• Army out-shot Canisius by a 42-29 margin for the game, highlighted by a 20-4 edge in the third period.
• Canisius was 1-for-2 on the power play on Friday while Army went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
• McDermott’s second-period tally was the first of his collegiate career. He is the first Canisius freshmen to record a goal this season.
• DiGrande scored his second game-winning goal of the season, with his first coming against AIC back on Nov. 26.
• Miotto tallied multiple points in a game for the second time this season and the fifth time in his career as he finished with two assists.
• Sophomore Cooper Haar tallied multiple points in a game for the second time this season and the third time in his career as he also finished with a pair of helpers.
• Ambrosio tallied multiple points in a game for the first time in his career as he finished with a goal and an assist.
• Barczewski recorded 40 or more saves in a game for the second time this season as he surpassed his previous personal best of 40 saves, set against Bentley back on Nov. 5. He also picked up his ninth win of the season on his 23rd birthday.
Up Next
The teams complete their weekend series Saturday with a 4 p.m. matchup at Tate Rink.
For complete coverage of the Canisius hockey team, please follow the Griffs on social media at @GriffsHockey on Twitter and Instagram.

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