SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Senior captain Mike Leveille (Delmar, N.Y.) became the 15th player in SU history to record 200 career points in leading the third-seeded Orange (13-2) to a 20-3 victory against Canisius (10-6) on Sunday, May 11 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Carrier Dome. Leveille finished with a game-high six points (3g, 3a) and now has 202 points (125g, 77a) in his career.
With the victory, the Orange improved to 11-3 in first-round NCAA games and will make its 27th trip to the tournament quarterfinals where it will meet sixth-seeded Notre Dame Sunday, May 18 at Cornell’s Schoellkopf Field. Game time is 3 p.m.
The Irish moved on by beating Colgate in overtime earlier Sunday afternoon. Top-seeded Duke will take on Ohio State in the site’s other quarterfinal matchup.
Tickets for the quarterfinal round are on sale at www.cornellbigredtickets.com or in person at the Cornell Box Office. They are $10 for adults and $5 for children and students. All tickets are general admission. No quarterfinal tickets will be sold at the Carrier Dome Box Office.
The Syracuse offense blitzed Canisius, scoring early and often Sunday. The Orange registered three scores in the first five minutes of the contest and jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the first period. Juniors Dan Hardy (Tully, N.Y.), Kenny Nims (Watertown, N.Y.) and Greg Niewieroski (Watertown, N.Y.) each had two points in the quarter. The scoring spurt featured consecutive man-down goals by Niewieroski and Josh Amidon (Lafayette, N.Y.). They represented SU’s first man-down scores of the season and Amidon’s layup was the result of a ground-ball pickup and fastbreak started by Nims.
The Orange tacked on two more goals at the start of the second period before Canisius’ Adam Jones stopped the SU surge with an unassisted goal at 8:06 mark of the second quarter to make it 8-1. After an unassisted goal by junior Pat Perritt (Holtsville, N.Y.) pushed the lead back to eight, the Golden Griffins got a pair of tallies from Michael Blocho to close the gap to 9-3 at halftime.
Syracuse eliminated any hope of Canisius comeback, scoring seven goals in third quarter to claim a 16-3 margin heading into the final period, and it out-scored the Golden Griffins 11-0 overall in the second half to record the win. Leveille had four points in the third quarter, including an unassisted score at the 10:54 mark to reach the 200-point plateau. Freshmen Stephen Keogh (Toronto, Ontario), Joel White (Cortland, N.Y.) and Amidon recorded fourth-period goals to produce the final score. Keogh converted twice in the final stanza.
Overall, 11 SU players found the cage Sunday and seven had multiple goals. Nims totaled five points on two goals and three assists. Hardy had four points (2g, 2a) and his two helpers matched his career best. Amidon and Keogh’s two goals also equaled their career highs. Rookie Jeff Gilbert (Liverpool, N.Y.) made his NCAA debut Sunday and assisted on the final goal of the game to record his first collegiate point.
In addition to recording his 200th point, Leveille also climbed the Orange’s all-time goals and assists lists against the Golden Griffins. He is now tied with Rob Kavovit for 12th in career goals (125) and he passed Josh Coffman, Tom Marechek and Brad Kotz to move into 13th on the school’s all-time assists ledger (77).
Senior faceoff specialist Danny Brennan (Farmingdale, N.Y.) started at the X for the Orange and won four of his five draws. He has 436 faceoff wins in his career, one shy of Chris Bickel for second on the school’s all-time list.
Rookie John Galloway (Syracuse, N.Y.) had eight saves in his first NCAA game. He played the first three quarters before being relieved by Al Cavalieri (Lathrup Village, Mich.). Cavalieri played the fourth quarter and made three saves.
Canisius’ starting goalkeeper Chris Courteau allowed 12 goals and finished with four saves in 36:34 of action. He was removed in favor of Bryan Jack who stopped three shots and allowed eight tallies in the final 23:26.
Syracuse’s 17-goal margin of victory was its highest of the season and it marked the second time in 2008 the Orange scored at least 20 goals. SU scored a season-best 21 against Villanova in the campaign opener on Feb. 17.
The victory improved the Orange's all-time NCAA playoff record in the Dome to 21-1, and Canisius' three goals is tied for the fewest ever scored against SU in the postseason. The Orange also held Army to three scores back in 1996.
Next week’s matchup with the Irish will be the third meeting all-time between the two schools and the first since Syracuse defeated Notre Dame, 12-5, in the 2001 NCAA semifinals.
|Mike Leveille||(4, 2)|
|Kenny Nims||(2, 3)|
|Dan Hardy||(2, 2)|
|Greg Niewieroski||(2, 1)|
|Josh Amidon||(2, 0)|
|Stephen Keogh||(2, 0)|
|Brendan Loftus||(2, 0)|
|Pat Perritt||(1, 1)|
|Matt Abbott||(1, 0)|
|Chris Daniello||(0, 1)|
|Steven Brooks||(1, 0)|
|Joel White||(1, 0)|
|Jeff Gilbert||(0, 1)|
|John Galloway||8 (0.727)|
|Al Cavalieri||3 (1.000)|