U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. –Senior Charles Williams recorded a career-high 46 saves and Canisius battled back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 2-2 tie against Air Force in Atlantic Hockey Conference action Saturday at Cadet Ice Arena.
The Griffs (8-10-5, 7-4-4 AHC) trailed 2-0 midway through the contest but used a second-period goal from sophomore Dylan McLaughlin and a power-play tally from sophomore Cameron Heath early in the third to tie the game.
Williams was once again rock solid between the pipes for Canisius, stopping 24 shots during the first two periods to keep the Griffs within striking distance before turning aside all 22 shots he faced in the third and overtime to keep the contest level.
The Falcons (13-7-4, 10-4-2 AHC) received goals from Evan Feno and Jordan Himley. Shane Starrett made 25 saves between the pipes.
Air Force opened the scoring late in the first period as Erik Baskin found Feno alone below the dots, where he beat Williams with a wrist shot over his right shoulder to give the Falcons the lead.
Himley doubled the Air Force margin to 2-0 at the 6:18 mark of the second period with a shorthanded tally, stuffing home a loose puck during a goalmouth scramble.
McLaughlin cut the Griffs deficit in half less than five minutes later with his sixth goal of the season as he beat Starrett from the right faceoff circle thanks to a feed from junior David Parrottino to make it a 2-1 game.
Heath tied the game at 2-2 with a power play tally less than three minutes into the third, wiring a wrist shot from the left point through traffic and past Starrett for his third goal of the season.
Head Coach Dave Smith’s Postgame Comments
“In terms of regular season competition, that’s as an important a result as you can get, especially against a first-place team. We had to battle back and tie it differently. Our power play gave up a goal in the second, but responded with the equalizer in the third. That’s a great sign of resiliency and without question, our guys played with immense pride tonight. Both teams at the end of 65 minutes were exhausted, but our pride got us that tie tonight.”
“Something special is brewing in our locker room. We’re battling hard, we’re pushing through tough times, we’re playing the right way which can swing some chances in our favor. I thought we did that tonight. The goal by (Dylan) McLaughlin got us back in it and the power-play goal by (Cameron) Heath in the third gets us the tie. It was a full team effort tonight.”
- Canisius moved its all-time record against Air Force to 12-17-9. The teams battled to a tie for the second time in as many seasons, having skated to a 1-1 draw on Jan. 30, 2016 at HARBORCENTER.
- Canisius moved its record to 8-9-5 against the Falcons at Cadet Ice Arena.
- Junior David Parrottino extended his point-scoring streak to three games with his assist on McLaughlin’s second-period tally. All four of Parrottino’s points this season (1g, 3a) have come during his current streak
- Sophomore Dylan McLaughlin tallied his second goal in as many contests to become the third Griff this season with double-digit points (6g, 4a).
- Sophomore Cameron Heath tallied his third goal of the season with his third-period goal, giving him the lead amongst Canisius defensemen in that category.
- Senior Charles Williams established a new career high with his 46 saves. He broke his previous personal best of 43 saves, set on two prior occasions this season (Oct. 29 at Penn State & Nov. 5 at RIT).
- Williams recorded 40 or more saves for the fifth time this season.
- Sophomore Ian Edmondson recorded his sixth assist of the season with the primary helper on Heath’s goal. He moved into a tie with Matt Stief for first place amongst Canisius defensemen for assists.
- Canisius opens a home-and-home series against RIT Jan. 20 with a 7:05 p.m. contest at the Gene Polessini Center.
- The Griffs host the Tigers in the series finale the following evening at HARBORCENTER. Opening faceoff is set for 7:35 p.m.