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Hockey Battles Back to Tame Tigers, 3-1

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 01/20/2017
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Canisius tallied three unanswered goals to erase an early 1-0 deficit and defeat RIT, 3-1, in Atlantic Hockey Conference action Friday at the Gene Polisseni Center.

Juniors Mike Sabatini and Ryan Schmelzer and sophomore Felix Chamberland scored for the Griffs (9-10-5, 8-4-4 AHC). Senior keeper Charles Williams made 45 saves in goal for Canisius, including the final 41 shots he faced.

Gabe Valenzuela recorded the lone marker for the Tigers (10-13-1, 10-8-0 AHC). Mike Rotolo made 25 saves between the pipes for RIT.

Valenzuela opened the scoring just 3:40 into the contest, capitalizing on an odd-man break by putting home a backdoor feed from Erik Brown to give RIT a 1-0 lead.

Sabatini tied the game at 1-1 at the 3:49 mark of the second, taking a feed from junior Jeff Murray in the slot and beating Rotolo for his first goal of the season.

Schmelzer put the Griffs in front, 2-1, less than four minutes later when he collected a loose puck at the RIT blue line, drove down the right side and waited for Rotolo to make a move before tucking the puck inside the right post for his sixth goal of the campaign.

Chamberland added an insurance marker with under four minutes remaining in regulation, batting a rebound out of midair and into the net while the Griffs were on the power play to make it a 3-1 contest.

Head Coach Dave Smith’s Postgame Comments

“I really like our energy in the first period, although it led to a lot of their scoring chances. I thought we simplified our game in the second and third. In the first, we were too much risk and not enough reward. We got back to playing harder, checking better, passing better, and I thought we settled in and did some really good things in the second and third.”

“It’s an emotional game every time Canisius and RIT play. The games are always physical. Both teams are doing everything they can to win, so I think it’s more the norm when its physical and its tough sledding out there. It’s hard to play and you’ve got to have a big heart to get out there and put yourself in that situation. I thought we did that in the second and third period tonight and we were rewarded for it.”

Game Notes
- RIT outshot Canisius, 46-28, for the contest. The Tigers held a 17-9 shot advantage in the first period and a 15-8 margin in the third.

- The Griffs finished the contest with 19 blocked shots compared to just six for the Tigers. Sophomore Ian Edmondson led the way with four blocks.
- Canisius picked up its third win of the season against RIT to move to 13-21-2 against the Tigers in Division I play.
- Canisius moved to 6-0-2 on the year when tallying three or more goals in a game.  
- Senior Charles Williams recorded 40 or more saves in a game for the second straight contest and sixth time this season. He is 4-2-0 in those games.
- Junior Ryan Schmelzer took over the team scoring lead with a goal and an assist tonight to give him 14 points (6g, 8a) on the year. The performance was Schmelzer’s fifth multiple-point performance of the season and 14th of his career.
- Sophomore Dylan McLaughlin recorded assists on the final two Canisius goals to give him his second multiple-point game of the season and the sixth of his career.
- Sophomore Felix Chamberland scored his fifth power play goal of the season with his third-period tally, moving him into a tie with freshman Nick Hutchison for the team lead in that category.  
- Junior Mike Sabatini recorded his first point of the season with his second-period tally.

Up Next
- Canisius and RIT complete their home-and-home series Saturday with a 7:35 p.m. contest at KeyBank Rink in HARBORCENTER.
- The game will air regionally on the Time Warner Cable Sports Network. 

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