U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Canisius scored on four of its first five shots of the game to take an early lead and never look back as it posted a 4-1 victory over league-leading Air Force in Atlantic Hockey Conference action Friday at Cadet Ice Arena.
Junior David Bennett, sophomore Dylan McLaughlin, and freshmen Casey Jerry and Jesse Pereira all scored during the first-period barrage for the Griffs (8-10-4, 7-4-3 AHC). Senior Charles Williams got the start in goal for Canisius and finished with 38 saves, an effort that included stopping all 30 Air Force shots he faced over the final two periods.
Jordan Himley scored the lone goal for the Falcons (13-6-3, 10-3-1 AHC), who saw their six-game winning streak come to an end with the defeat.
Pereira got the Griffs on the board just 3:11 into the contest, stuffing home a rebound created on a shot from junior Jeff Murray to give Canisius a 1-0 lead.
Himley brought the Falcons level at the 9:24 mark of the frame as he wired home a wrist shot from top of the slot to make it a 1-1 contest.
Bennett restored the Canisius lead a little more than a minute later when he put home a goalmouth feed from sophomore Matt McLeod for his first tally of the campaign to make it a 2-1 game.
The Griffs finished off their first-period outburst with two goals in a span of 50 seconds. Dylan McLaughlin opened the sequence with his fifth of the season at the 12:09 mark when he put home a feed from junior Ryan Schmelzer.
Jerry made it a 4-1 contest moments later, deflecting a feed from sophomore Felix Chamberland for his third of the campaign.
Air Force attempted to get back into the contest during the final 40 minutes, out-shooting Canisius, 30-6, during the second and third periods. Williams and the Griffs defense were up to the task, holding the Falcons off the scoreboard to preserve the victory.
Head Coach Dave Smith’s Postgame Comments
“We were ready to play tonight. The first period really set the tone. Our timing was critical throughout the game. Our response to their goal was great, our penalty kill was the difference in the second and in the third period we were able to lock it down, keep them to the outside and win a ton of key face-offs down the stretch. We put it all together tonight to get the win.”
- Canisius improved to 12-17-8 all-time against Air Force. The Griffs are now 4-6-1 in their last 11 contests against the Falcons.
- The Griffs moved to 8-9-4 against Air Force all time at Cadet Ice Arena.
- Canisius improved to 5-0-2 this season when scoring three or more goals in a game.
- Junior David Bennett scored his first goal in nearly two seasons with his first-period tally (Jan. 16, 2015 at Bentley). The goal was also his first game-winning marker.
- Junior Ryan Schmelzer (5g, 7a) and freshman Nick Hutchison (7g, 5a) both recorded assists to remain tied for first place on the team’s scoring chart.
- Senior Charles Williams stopped 30 or more shots for the ninth time this season. He also allowed one goal or fewer for seventh time this season.
- Freshman Jesse Pereira extended his point-scoring streak to three games with his goal. Junior David Parrottino recorded his third point in two games with an assist on sophomore’s Dylan McLaughlin’s tally.
- Eleven different Canisius players recorded a point during the first period.
The two teams complete their two-game series Saturday with a 7:05 (EST) opening faceoff at Cadet Ice Arena.