"We just have to stay the course," said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. "We are playing well and making really good things happen but the puck just isn't bouncing right for us. As long as we play with the same urgency and keep generating chances, we will find the back of the net and get two deserved points."
Junior Kyle Gibbons scored the Griffs' lone goal on the afternoon. Classmate Tony Capobianco recorded 21 saves to anchor the defense.
It was the Yellow Jackets who struck first in the contest, scoring on the power play with 1:07 remaining in the opening period. Jon Puskar's shot from the point snuck through with screens in front for the early 1-0 advantage.
Canisius responded and controlled the game following the first intermission. After the teams each posted nine shots on goal in the first 20 minutes, the Griffs would outshoot the Yellow Jackets, 35-13, the remaining 45 minutes - including a 20-5 advantage alone in the second frame.
The Griffs finally got on the scoreboard 5:13 into the second stanza when Gibbons scored on the power play. The junior sent a wrist shot into the back of the net from the left face-off circle to knot the contest at one. Junior Ben Danford and sophomore Mitch McCrank both registered assists on the game-tying goal.
However, Canisius was unable to find the game-winning tally in the final 40 minutes. AIC's Ben Meisner stopped the last 28 shots he saw to preserve the tie and finished with 43 saves overall.
The Griffs outshot AIC, 44-22, on the afternoon - the most shots for Canisius in nearly two seasons. Both teams also finished 1-for-4 on the power play.
The schools wrap up the two-game series tomorrow afternoon at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. Game time is set for 4:05 p.m.
Game Notes: The 44 shots for Canisius are the most since posting 49 against Robert Morris on Feb. 5, 2011 ... The 20 shots in the second period are the most for the Griffs since registering 21 in the second period against Mercyhurst on March 13, 2010 ... The Griffs are outshooting teams 33.4 to 25.6 in Atlantic Hockey play this season ... Canisius remains unbeaten in its last 13 games against AIC (11-0-2) ... The team that scores first in Canisius games this season is now 8-0-4 ... The line of Gibbons, Doug Beck and Patrick Sullivan has now scored five of the team's eight goals in the four games since the line was formed ... The Griffs have scored one or fewer goals in eight games this season.