Top overall seed Quinnipiac rallies with three goals in third to edge Canisius 4-3
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Matthew Peca, Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Kevin Bui scored in a 6:26 span in the third period and top-seeded Quinnipiac overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Canisius 4-3 on Saturday night in the NCAA East Regional semifinals.
The Bobcats, upset in the ECAC semifinals by Brown but still the No. 1 overall seed in the field of 16, will face Union (N.Y.) on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four.
Down 3-1, Quinnipiac (28-7-5) cut it to one on Peca's goal at 8:02 of the third period. Samuels-Thomas tied it on a power play with 9:18 to go at 10:42, and Bui beat goalie Tony Capobianco off a rebound with 5:32 left.
"There was no panic out there. No panic on the bench," Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. "I knew once we made it 3-2, we were going to win the hockey game."
The Bobcats are 7-4-1 in their last 12 games.
"There's no question we have to be a better hockey team. We are not playing our best hockey," Pecknold said. "If we are going to win [Sunday], we have to be better."
Connor Jones had a goal and an assist for the Bobcats.
"We were just trying to stay positive," Jones said. "We had a lot of chances and we knew we needed to stick with it. We got more shots, more traffic, more chances and then, as you saw, more goals.
Stephen Farrell and Duncan McKellar scored 44 seconds apart in the second period for Canisius, and Kyle Gibbons beat Hobey Baker finalist Eric Hartzell at 3:43 of the third. Hartzell stopped McKellar's shot at the final buzzer.
The Golden Griffins, the Atlantic Hockey champs in their first NCAA tournament, finished the season 19-19-5. They had won eight in a row.
"This is a proud group here, and we talked about the season before this game, and playing with house money," Canisius head coach Dave Smith said. "A lot of guys on our team didn't know what house money was, but we wanted to play with it. Let's go for it, and we did.
"We played well, we played aggressive in the second, but things went their way in the third. The recipe for us was there. We gave ourselves a chance to win. There are only positives for us here. I don't feel like we let this slip. I feel Quinnipiac earned this."
Added senior captain Preston Shupe: "We've talked a lot about footprints in the snow and we made some big ones this year. It's been pretty special to be a part of."
• Box Score: Quinnipiac 4, Canisius 3