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Senior captain Preston Shupe

Griffs Finish Sweep with 6-3 Win Over Sacred Heart

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 01/12/2013
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Bridgeport, Conn. - Senior captain Preston Shupe netted the 13th hat trick in the program's history to lead the Canisius College hockey team to a 6-3 victory and a weekend sweep at Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon. The Griffs improve to 8-9-5 and 7-4-2 in Atlantic Hockey play with the win.

"Our power play made the difference today," said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. "It got us back into the game with our first goal, giving us momentum that we were able to ride the remainder of the contest. We had four special teams goals today and that goes a long way toward a victory. We really had to battle hard to get that win and getting contributions from all four lines was excellent to see."

Shupe netted two power-play goals in the win and added a short-handed tally to complete the hat trick. Junior Kyle Gibbons added two goals with sophomore Tyler Wiseman rounding out the scoring with a goal.

Junior defender Ben Danford paced Canisius with two assists and now owns the program's career assists record for a defenseman. Danford raised his total to 47 career helpers, surpassing the mark of 46 set by Carl Hudson (2006-10).

Junior Tony Capobianco posted 28 saves to earn the win in net.

For the second-straight day, the Pioneers (0-19-2, 0-13-2 AHA) struck first in the contest when Brian Sheehan ripped a shot high 3:46 into the game for the early 1-0 lead.

The Griffs answered back with Shupe netting his first power-play tally of the day with 4:34 remaining in the first. Freshman Chris Rumble fired a shot on net and the senior captain tipped it in to knot the game at one. Junior defender Duncan McKellar also registered an assist on the game-tying goal.

Canisius opened the second stanza strong, netting two goals in just over five minutes of play to take the lead. Wiseman gave the Griffs the advantage for good with his fourth tally of the season just 63 seconds into the period. The sophomore took the puck at the boards, skated to the slot and finished for the 2-1 lead. Sophomore Mitch McCrank and Danford both registered assists on the go-ahead goal.

Gibbons quickly stretched the Griffs' lead to two, netting his eighth goal of the season with 14:48 remaining in the period. The junior intercepted a pass in the Sacred Heart zone and buried his chance for the 3-1 lead.

The Griffs added to their lead early in the third, taking advantage with their second power-play goal of the night. Junior Ryan Bohrer centered a pass and Shupe knocked it in for his eighth goal of the season and the 4-1 lead. Freshman Ralph Cuddemi also registered an assist on the power-play tally 2:26 into the third.

The teams then went back-forth for the remainder of contest. The Pioneers pulled to within two when Chad Barthelmess knocked in his own rebound with 15:49 remaining in the contest.

Canisius then reclaimed its three-goal lead when Gibbons ripped in his second of the day with a two-man advantage on the power play. The junior scored off passes from sophomore Doug Beck and Danford for the 5-2 lead with 8:08 remaining in the game.

The Pioneers netted one final goal with 4:36 left when Chad Filteau scored but the Griffs sealed the victory and Shupe finished his hat trick with an empty-net tally with the Pioneers on the power play. Sophomore Stephen Farrell also posted an assist on the tally with 13 seconds remaining.

Canisius held a 41-31 advantage in shots in the win. The Griffs were 3-for-7 on the power play, while killing all five Sacred Heart penalties.

Steven Legatto recorded 35 saves in the loss for Sacred Heart.

The Griffs look to continue their winning ways next weekend when they travel east to face Bentley. The schools open the two-game series on Friday at 7:05 p.m.

Game Notes: Shupe is the first Griff to net a hat trick since Cory Conacher on Feb. 3, 2011 ... The Griffs scored three power-play goals in a game for the first time since Nov. 24, 2011 against AIC ... Rumble now has three points, one goal and two assists in three collegiate games ... Canisius is 5-0-2 in its last seven games against Sacred Heart ... The Griffs won for the second-straight night when allowing the first goal of the game (they entered the weekend 0-7-3 when surrendering the first tally).

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