A trio of Griffs earned Preseason Atlantic Hockey honors by SB Nation on Monday. Senior Kyle Gibbons was named the league’s Preseason Player of the Year and classmate Tony Capobianco collected Preseason Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Year accolades. Both were also named to the Preseason All-Atlantic Hockey First Team, while freshman Shane Conacher was named to the all-rookie squad.
Gibbons led the Griffs with 43 points, 21 goals and 22 assists during the 2012-13 campaign. His 43 points and 21 goals are the third most in the program’s history, while also placing second with nine power-play tallies. Overall, Gibbons ranked 12th in Division I in points, eighth in goals and sixth in power-play goals.
Gibbons played his best hockey with the team’s season on the line, earning Atlantic Hockey Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. The third-team all-conference selection led all players in the country with 18 points during the month of March, posting six goals and 12 assists. He recorded at least one point in all seven postseason contests, including a career-best four points in the championship win over Mercyhurst.
Capobianco was named the Griffs’ MVP during the 2012-13 campaign after playing a key role in the team’s first conference championship. He set four school records in saves (1,256), save percentage (.929), goaltender wins (18) and shutouts (four) during the season. Capobianco also led all players in the country with 1,256 saves, which ranks 12th in NCAA history and the most since the 1988-89 campaign. He finished 12th nationally with his .929 save percentage to go along with a 2.40 goals against average.
During the Griffs’ run to the Atlantic Hockey Championship, Capobianco set a tournament record with 235 saves. Overall, the All-Tournament Team selection posted a 6-0-0 record during the league’s postseason championship with a 1.99 goals against average and .951 save percentage.
Conacher, who also earned runner-up distinction for Rookie of the Year, joins the Griffs after leading the St. Michael’s Buzzers to the OJHL Championship in 2013. Named the league’s playoff MVP, Conacher totaled 35 points (14g, 21a) during the Buzzers’ 23-game postseason run and accumulated 57 points (28g, 29a) in 51 contests during the regular season.
The Griffs are coming off their most successful season in school history. Canisius won the program’s first Atlantic Hockey Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history, while also finishing the season ranked 19th in the final USCHO.com national poll, the highest placement in the program’s history.
Canisius opens the 2013-14 campaign with an exhibition game against Brock on Oct. 6 before playing at Battle of the Bridge rival Niagara on Oct. 12.