BUFFALO – Canisius’ top line of Dylan McLaughlin, Jeff Murray and Ryan Schmelzer powered the Golden Griffins to a 4-3 victory over Bentley in Atlantic Hockey Conference action Friday at KeyBank Rink in HARBORCENTER.
The trio did a majority of the offensive damage for Canisius (6-8-2, 5-3-2 AHC), accounting for all four goals and five of the team’s six assists. Max French, Matt Riggleman and Tanner Jago scored for the Falcons (3-7-3, 2-5-2 AHC).
Canisius held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes thanks to a first-period tally from McLaughlin before the two sides battled back and forth in a wild second period.
French tied the game at 1-1 just 62 seconds into the middle frame before Riggleman struck with 4:33 elapsed to give Bentley a 2-1 edge.
The Falcon advantage was short-lived, however, as Schmelzer capitalized on a breakaway opportunity just 41 seconds after Riggleman’s tally to tie the game at 2-2.
McLaughlin restored the Griffs advantage at the 13:21 mark of the second by stuffing home a loose puck at the top of the crease to make it a 3-2 game.
Murray expanded the Griffs margin to 4-2 in the final minutes of the second, finishing off a 2-on-1 break with McLaughlin for his first goal of the season.
Bentley pulled within one with less than three minutes remaining in the third as Jago’s shot from the point found its way through traffic to make a 4-3 game, but that would be as close as the Falcons would get.
Charles Williams made 25 saves in goal for Canisius. Jayson Argue turned aside 28 shots between the pipes for the Falcons.
Head Coach Dave Smith’s Postgame Quote
“I think all four lines and all six defensemen contributed to what we are trying to do, which is play a solid 200-foot, three-zone game. I think we did that tonight. It was a good win.”
- McLaughlin raised his point total to nine (2g, 7a) in three career contests against Bentley. He tallied six assists in the Griffs two games against the Falcons last February.
- McLaughin also turned the first multiple-goal game of his career with his two-goal performance on Friday.
- The three-point effort from Murray established a new career high for the junior forward. Murray’s second-period goal was also the first game-winning tally of his career.
- Schmelzer matched his career high with his three-point effort, tying his point total against Niagara on Jan. 24, 2015 (2g, 1a).
- The Griffs killed off all four power play opportunities Bentley had in the contest as it improved to 31-of-32 on the penalty kill since the start of November.
- Canisius moved to 4-1-2 at HARBORCENTER this season.
- The Griffs are now 5-0-0 this season when scoring the first goal of the game and 4-0-0 when leading after 40 minutes.
Canisius and Bentley complete their weekend series Saturday with a 7:35 p.m. contest at KeyBank Rink in HARBORCENTER.