Date: Oct. 25, 2012
Time: 7:05 p.m.
Location: Buffalo, N.Y.
Rink: Buffalo State Sports Arena
Canisius at No. 2 Minnesota (3-1-0)
Date: Oct. 28, 2012
Time: 2:07 p.m. ET
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.Rink: Mariucci Arena
After starting the 2012-13 campaign with four-straight road games, the Canisius College hockey team returns to Buffalo to host Air Force in its first home game and Atlantic Hockey contest of the season. The Griffs and Falcons are set to meet at the Buffalo State Sports Arena on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.
Thursday is also Uncle Bob's White Out Night as all fans are encouraged to wear white to the game. The first 200 student in attendance will also receive a free white t-shirt.
The Griffs then return to non-conference play on Sunday, squaring off with nationally-ranked Minnesota. Canisius and the second-ranked Gophers are meeting for the first time on Sunday at 2:07 p.m. ET.
CANISIUS IN ATLANTIC HOCKEY OPENERS
• The Griffs are looking to continue their recent success in Atlantic Hockey openers on Thursday.
• Canisius has won its last two league openers, defeating RIT last season, 3-1, and earning a 5-2 victory at Mercyhurst in 2010.
• In addition, the two wins were against two of the league's top teams. Like Air Force this season, RIT was picked first in the preseason poll last year, while Mercyhurst was second in 2010.
• Entering its 10th season of Atlantic Hockey play, the Griffs are 3-5-1 all-time in their first Atlantic Hockey game of the season, including a 2-4-1 mark under head coach Dave Smith.
FIRST IS THE BEST
• The Griffs have played some of their best hockey at times this season in the first period.
• Through four games, Canisius has not allowed a first-period tally.
• Of the 42 teams nationally to play at least three games this season, the Griffs are one of just two teams (UMass-Lowell is the other) that have not surrendered a goal in the opening frame.
• In addition, Canisius has netted two goals in the first 20 minutes of play, the most of any period for the team this season.
LOOKING OUT FOR NUMBER ONE
• The Griffs' good start in the first period is even more important as the first goal has been the team's key to success.
• In Canisius' past 49 regular-season contests, the team that scores first is 42-2-5 in Griffs games, including a 4-0-0 mark this season.
• Both losses were Canisius rallies after surrendering the first tally
• Overall, the Griffs have not lost their last 16 regular-season contests when scoring first (12-0-4).
A TOUGH DEFENSE TO CRACK
• Through four games of the 2012-13 campaign, it looks as if the Canisius defense will be hard to break.
• The Griffs have allowed more than two scores only once this season and have surrendered eight tallies total.
• The eight goals allowed through four games matches the best start for the Canisius defense in the program's Division I history.
• Canisius also accomplished the feat during the 1999-00 season in a year it set the school record with a scoring defense of 2.68.
• The Griffs are currently tied for 11th nationally with a goals against average of 2.00.
CANISIUS - AIR FORCE SERIES HISTORY
• In 18 all-time meetings between the two schools, the Falcons hold a slight advantage against the Griffs, 7-5-6.
• The series has been very competitive between the two Atlantic Hockey foes with only five of the 18 meetings being decided by more than two goals.
• In fact, nine of the last 11 games between the two schools have either resulted in a tie, been decided by one goal or been decided by two goals with an empty-net tally.
• Since the schools' current seniors first arrived on campus, the series is split, 3-3-4, in 10 meetings.
• Air Force does own a 5-2-1 record against the Griffs in Buffalo.
• Last season, the Falcons won one of the three meetings against the Griffs with the other two contests resulting in draws.
ABOUT THE FALCONS
• Air Force is 0-2-2 on the season and also playing in its Atlantic Hockey opener.
• Like Canisius, the Falcons earned two points at the Kendall Hockey Classic to start the season before falling to a pair of nationally-ranked teams last weekend (Denver and Colorado College).
• The two-time defending league champions, Air Force was picked first in the preseason Atlantic Hockey coaches poll.
• Tony Thomas leads the team with four points on two goals and two assists. John Kruse, Jason Fabian and Chad Demers have also chipped in two goals for the Falcons.
• Jason Torf has played a majority of time in goal, posting a 3.72 goals against average and .880 save percentage this season.
CANISIUS - MINNESOTA SERIES HISTORY
• The Griffs and Gophers are meeting for the first time in the schools' history.
• Canisius is 0-2-0 all-time at Mariucci Arena, falling to UMass-Lowell and Union at the Dodge Holiday Classic in 2005.
GRIFFS AGAINST THE WCHA
• The game against the Gophers this weekend marks the 12th time that Canisius will be playing a school in the WCHA.
• The Griffs are still in search of their first victory against the conference and own a 0-9-2 all-time mark versus the league.
• Canisius lost its lone meeting against the conference this season, falling at Alaska-Anchorage in the opener, 2-0, on Oct. 12.
• Prior to the meeting with the Seawolves, the Griffs last played a WCHA school during the 2010-11 season, falling to No. 13 Wisconsin, 3-0 and 6-5 in overtime.
ABOUT THE GOPHERS
• Minnesota is 3-1-0 on the season and currently ranked second in both national polls.
• In their four games this year, the Gophers are outscoring opponents, 18-9.
• Nate Condon leads the team with five points on one goal and four assists, while Nick Blugstad and Erik Haula have both netted a team-high three goals on the year.
• Adam Wilcox and Michael Shibrowski have both started two games in net. Wilcox is 2-0-0 on the season with a 1.58 goals against average and .902 save percentage, while Shibrowski owns a 1-1-0 mark, 3.47 goals against average and .875 save percentage.