One goal was all the offense needed on Friday night at RIT earned a 1-0 victory against the Canisius College hockey team on Senior Night at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. The loss drops the Griffs to 12-18-3 on the season and 11-12-3 in Atlantic Hockey play, while the Tigers improve to 10-18-5 and 9-14-3 against league foes.
“RIT played very well defensively and we couldn’t get one past them tonight,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “They kept us to the outside more than we would have liked. We had a lengthy 5-on-3 power play in the second and we need to find a way to score there. We need to get more traffic at the net and find a way to get more shots to be successful.”
Senior Tony Capobianco played strong for the Griffs in the defeat, recording 29 saves on 30 shots. The senior is now just 17 saves shy of the program’s all-time record entering the regular-season finale on Saturday.
Canisius had a number of chances to grab the lead in the contest during the first two periods but couldn’t capitalize. Senior Kyle Gibbons just missed on a 2-1 break, sending his shot wide with five minutes remaining in the first period. The Griffs also had 1:24 of 5-on-3 early in the second but couldn’t convert, while junior Tyler Wiseman’s shot in the closing seconds of the second frame deflected past the RIT netminder but hit the post to keep the game scoreless through 40 minutes.
The Tigers took advantage in the third frame, scoring just 2:19 into the stanza. Danny Smith joined a rush for RIT and just got a piece of a one-timer, which fluttered into net for the game’s only goal. Canisius was unable to find the equalizer in the final 17-plus minutes as the Tigers hung on for the 1-0 victory.
RIT finished the game with a slight advantage in shots, 30-27. The Griffs were scoreless in four power-play chances, while the Tigers went 0-for-1 with the extra-man advantage.
Mike Rotolo stopped all 27 shots he saw to earn the shutout victory for the Tigers.
The same two schools wrap up the regular season tomorrow night in Rochester. Game time is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Game Notes: The Griffs are now locked into the seven seed for the Atlantic Hockey Tournament, which begins next weekend … Canisius won the 2013 Atlantic Hockey Championship last season with the seven seed … Capobianco now has 2,812 saves during his career, just 17 shy of the school record held by Dan Morrison (2,829 saves) … The Griffs have not won a game this season when failing to score three goals (now 0-16-2) … The game marked the final regular-season contest for the Griffs at the Buffalo State Sports Arena … Canisius honored its seven seniors – Capobianco, Gibbons, Ryan Bohrer, Ben Danford, Taylor Law, Duncan McKellar and Patrick Sullivan – prior to Friday’s game for playing in their final home regular-season contest … The loss ended a four-game winning streak for Canisius in the series.