West Point, N.Y. – The Canisius College hockey team scored the final six goals of the game, including five tallies in the third period, to earn an 8-2 victory at Army on Friday night. With the win, the Griffs improve to 5-7-1 and 4-3-1 against Atlantic Hockey foes, while the Black Knights drop to 2-11-0 and 2-8-0 in league play.
Senior Kyle Gibbons led the Griffs with three points and two goals in the winning effort. With his two tallies, Gibbons becomes the third player in the program’s Division I history with 50 career goals, joining Cory Conacher (2007-11) and Jason Weeks (2006-10).
Senior Patrick Sullivan, juniors Braeden Rigney and Tyler Wiseman, sophomores Ralph Cuddemi and Chris Rumble and freshman Shane Conacher also scored for the Griffs in the victory. Junior Cody Freeman paced the Canisius offense with a career-best three assists.
Senior Tony Capobianco stopped 19 shots to earn the win in goal for the Griffs.
Both teams would claim a lead in the first period just to see the other team answer right back. The Black Knights opened the scoring 3:36 into the contest, taking advantage of a Canisius turnover in the neutral zone. Army skated in on a 2-on-1 and C.J. Reuschlein finished himself for the early 1-0 lead.
Gibbons answered right back for Canisius just 67 seconds later with his seventh goal of the season. The senior gathered a loose puck in the right face-off circle and fired it into the top corner blocker-side for the 1-1 game. Cuddemi and Freeman both registered assists on the tally.
Canisius then grabbed the lead with 7:24 remaining in the opening frame when Rumble netted his second goal of the campaign. The senior fired a shot in from the blue line for a 2-1 Canisius advantage. Both Sullivan and junior Matthew Grazen posted assists on the go-ahead tally.
The Griffs lead, however, would last just 21 seconds as the Black Knights responded this time. Christian Pomarico was open on the far edge of the crease and the sophomore knocked in a pass for the 2-2 game through 20 minutes of play.
Rigney then gave Canisius the lead for good with his third tally of the season. On a rush, Sullivan found Rigney streaking toward the goal and the junior knocked the puck in for the 3-2 lead. Senior Ben Danford also registered an assist on the goal with 11:41 remaining in the second.
Gibbons then opened the dominating third period with his 50th career tally just 47 seconds into the frame, scoring in a 4-on-4 situation. The senior sent a wrist shot into the back of the net from the left face-off circle for a 4-2 Canisius advantage. Freeman and Rumble both posted assists on the tally.
Wiseman then became the first Canisius player in the program’s history to score a short-handed goal with the Griffs two men down at the 3:11 mark of the period. The junior stole the puck in the neutral zone and then knocked in his own rebound for his second tally of the season.
Conacher then continued the domination with his first collegiate goal at the 6:49 mark of the period. The rookie gathered a loose puck at the blue line and scored from the slot for a 6-2 Canisius advantage. Both sophomore Stephen Miller and junior Mitch McCrank recorded assists on the tally.
Cuddemi stretched the Canisius lead to five with his third score of the season. The sophomore finished a 3-on-2 rush at the 8:25 mark with the assists going to Freeman and Gibbons. Sullivan then wrapped up the scoring for the night with his fifth goal of the year. Senior captain Ryan Bohrer stole the puck and found Sullivan free for a breakaway. The senior beat the Army goaltender to his left for the 8-2 final score.
When all was said and done, Canisius scored five goals in the final period – the most goals by the Griffs in a single period in more than 10 years. Overall, Canisius scored more goals in the frame then Army had shots (four).
The Griffs finished the game with a 35-21 advantage in shots on the night. Neither team was able to score on the power play with Canisius going 0-for-3 and killing all six Army power plays.
The two schools wrap up the series tomorrow night at Army with game time slated for 7:05 p.m.
Game Notes: The eight goals by the Griffs are the most since also scoring eight in a victory over AIC on Jan. 24, 2011 … Canisius last netted five goals in a period in the second frame of a 5-2 win against Connecticut on Jan. 18, 2003 … Gibbons is now tied for second in the program’s history with his 50 career tallies, matching the mark of Weeks. Cory Conacher holds the record with 62 goals from 2007 to 2011 … Rigney now has six points (3g, 3a) in the last seven games after recording 11 points in his first 57 career contests … Canisius is now 4-0-1 in its last five Atlantic Hockey games after starting the year 0-3-0 in league play … The Griffs have also won three-straight games at Tate Rink after going 3-9-2 in their first 14 games at the Division I level at Army.