BUFFALO – Sophomores Dylan McLaughlin and Matt McLeod each tallied a goal and an assist to guide Canisius to a 4-1 victory over rival Niagara in Atlantic Hockey Conference action Tuesday at KeyBank Rink in HARBORCENTER.
In the first of four regular season meetings between the two programs, the Griffs (11-10-5, 10-4-4 AHC) took a 2-0 lead in the opening 12 minutes of the contest and never looked back as it extended its season-best unbeaten streak to five games. The win also propelled Canisius into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Hockey Conference standings with Air Force.
Freshman Casey Jerry put the Griffs up 1-0 just 2:30 into the contest as he stuffed a rebound past Purple Eagles keeper Jackson Teichroeb for his fourth goal of the season.
Junior Ryan Schmelzer doubled the Canisius advantage to 2-0 at the 12-minute mark of the opening frame, putting home a loose puck created on a rush by McLaughlin for his eighth goal of the campaign.
McLeod expanded the Griffs cushion to 3-0 in the final two minutes of the second period when he one-timed a feed from junior David Bennett between the legs of Teichroeb from the middle of the slot for his first collegiate tally.
McLaughlin notched the Griffs second power play goal of the contest at the 4:26 mark of the third period, beating Teichroeb with a wrist shot over the right shoulder to give Canisius a 4-0 edge.
Nicolas Carrier spoiled the Griffs’ shutout bid just 70 seconds later, recording a power play tally to make it a 4-1 contest.
Senior Charles Williams got the start in goal for Canisius and made 35 saves. Teichroeb made 31 stops between the pipes for the Purple Eagles (3-19-3, 3-14-2 AHC).
Head Coach Dave Smith’s Postgame Comments
“I thought we took pucks to the net pretty well tonight. I thought we defended some key areas. There were a lot of dangerous pucks from Niagara, but when they got to the net, Charles (Williams) stopped them. Our recipe for success is having all 20 guys contribute and I thought we got that tonight.
“This group has worked really hard. There’s a lot of pride in our game. We played this as a one-game weekend and I thought our guys played hard and gave it a lot of attention, which is really important. Now we need to put this game behind us and prepare for AIC. Where we are in the standings is nice to look at and it’s nice to talk about, but our group has to handle confidence properly. We’ve been up and down when we’ve been confident this year, but since Christmas we’ve handled confidence very well. We’ll put this behind us and prepare for the next one.”
- Canisius picked up its third straight win against Niagara as it moved to 15-17-4 against the Purple Eagles in the Division I era of the series. The contest is part of the Battle of the Bridge series between the two schools.
- The Griffs are now 9-0-0 against Atlantic Hockey Competition this season when they score the first goal of the game.
- Canisius improved to 8-0-2 in 2016-17 when scoring three or more goals in a game.
- The Griffs moved to 5-2-4 this season at HARBORCENTER.
- Canisius is now 9-0-0 in 2016-17 when leading after 40 minutes.
- Sophomore Dylan McLaughlin extended his point-scoring streak to five games with his two points tonight. McLaughlin, who has tallied eight points (3g, 5a) during the streak, now leads the Griffs in scoring with 17 points (7g, 10a).
- Junior Ryan Schmelzer recorded a goal for the third straight contest.
- Sophomore Matt McLeod posted his first multiple-point game of his career with his two-point effort this evening.
- Freshman Matt Stief matched his season high with two assists and turned in his third multiple-point game of the season.
- Senior Charles Williams recorded 30 or more saves in a game for the 13th time this season.
- Canisius takes to the road this weekend for a two-game series at Atlantic Hockey foe American International Jan. 27-28.
- Faceoff for both contests is set for 2:05 p.m. at the MassMutual Center.