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Griffs Hockey Outlasts RIT, 6-5

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 03/01/2013
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Rochester, N.Y. - The Canisius College hockey team seized control of the game with a three-goal five-minute spurt in the first period and then held on for a 6-5 victory at RIT on Friday night. With the win, the Griffs move into eighth place in the Atlantic Hockey standings with an 11-13-2 league record and are now 12-18-5 overall. RIT drops to 13-15-5 and 11-11-4 in Atlantic Hockey play.

"We played fast and with a lot of pace tonight," said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. "We were on pucks first and that was a big key to our win. We didn't play a perfect game but we played with a lot of energy and heart. We did a good job of responding to RIT's momentum with some big goals of our own."

Sophomore Cody Freeman led the Griffs with two tallies on the night, while juniors Ben Danford and Ryan Bohrer, sophomore Matthew Grazen and freshman Stephen Miller all scored for Canisius in the win.

Junior Tony Capobianco recorded 37 saves to earn the win in net.

Grazen gave the Griffs the early advantage, scoring his seventh tally of the season at the 6:47 mark. Senior captain Preston Shupe slid a pass back to the sophomore and Grazen finished for a lead the team would not relinquish. Sophomore Tyler Wiseman also registered an assist on the go-ahead tally.

Canisius quickly doubled its lead, scoring just over two minutes later with Miller's fifth goal of the season. Grazen intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and then found Miller open in the left face-off circle. The rookie then ripped a shot high into the net for the 2-0 lead.

The Griffs continued to add to its advantage, netting their third goal of the game just less than three minutes later. From his own zone, Wiseman sent a pass to a streaking Freeman, who then skated in 1-on-1 and beat the RIT netminder high for the 3-0 lead 11:48 into the contest. Sophomore Logan Roe also recorded an assist on Freeman's fifth goal of the season.

The Tigers cut the Canisius lead to two twice in the second but the Griffs answered right back each time. RIT scored on a delayed penalty when Chris Saracino's one-timer from the high slot found the back of the net with 13:52 remaining in the second for the 3-1 score.

Canisius, however, quickly regrouped - killing off the RIT penalty and then scoring just more than a minute later. Danford's shot from the point found its way into the back of the net as the Griffs reclaimed their three-goal lead, 4-1. Junior Kyle Gibbons posted an assist on Danford's first goal of the season with 10:40 remaining in the second.

RIT again pulled to within two when Ben Lynch knocked a rebound in with 7:30 left in the second but Canisius would respond even quicker this time, scoring just 25 seconds later. Bohrer knocked in a rebound of his own off a rush for his fourth goal of the season with 7:05 left in the period. Sophomore Doug Jessey and senior Torrey Lindsay both recorded the assists on the team's fifth goal of the game.

The Tigers started the final stanza strong, netting two goals 123 seconds apart to pull within one at 5-4. Bryan Potts swatted a loose puck into the net with 15:46 left in the period and Greg Noyes then knocked the puck in on the power play from close range with 13:43 left in regulation.

Canisius, however, weathered the storm and then reclaimed its multi-goal lead when Freeman netted his second of the day. The sophomore scored on a wrap-around for his sixth of the season with 8:51 left in regulation. Gibbons and Danford both posted an assist to give Canisius a 6-4 advantage.

RIT attempted to fight back and once again got within one, 6-5, scoring with just 84 seconds remaining in regulation when Mike Colavecchia's shot bounced over Capobianco. The Tigers would not get any closer as Canisius held on for the last 84 seconds, including 18 seconds on the penalty kill, for the 6-5 win.

The Tigers finished the game with a 42-33 advantage in shots on the night. RIT was also 1-for-4 on the power, while the Griffs went 0-for-2.

Jordan Ruby stopped 17-of-22 shots in the start for RIT, while Josh Watson recorded 10 saves in the loss.

The schools wrap up the regular season tomorrow night in Buffalo. With a win, Canisius will secure the seventh seed in the Atlantic Hockey standings. The Griffs can also earn a home-playoff series by matching Bentley's result against AIC on Saturday night. Game time between the Griffs and Tigers is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.

Game Notes: Canisius, who also won in Rochester on Nov. 10, have won consecutive games at RIT for the first time in school history ... The win ended the Griffs' seven-game road losing streak, the team's longest since a seven-game skid from March 4, 2006 to Nov. 4, 2006 ... The Griffs also ended a five-game losing streak, the longest for Canisius since the 2005-06 season ... Danford's goal was the 50th point of his career, becoming just the second Griff defender in the program's Division I history to reach the mark (Carl Hudson owns the school record with 90 points by a defender) ... Freeman now has 10 points in his last 16 games after recording seven points in his first 38 career contests.

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