SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Canisius scored three times in the first period to build an early advantage and never look back as it cruised to a 6-1 victory over AIC in Atlantic Hockey Conference action Saturday at the MassMutual Center.
Junior Ryan Schmelzer and sophomore Dylan McLaughlin notched a goal and two assists each to pace the Griffs (13-10-5, 12-4-4 AHC), who won their fifth straight contest and extended their unbeaten streak to seven games as they maintained their share of first place in the Atlantic Hockey standings.
Sophomore Alex Jaeckle pitched in a goal and an assist while junior Jeff Murray and sophomores Felix Chamberland and Jimmy Mazza also scored for Canisius. Austin Orszualk tallied the lone goal for the Yellow Jackets (7-15-6, 6-11-5 AHC).
Murray staked Canisius to a 1-0 lead just 3:15 into the contest when he jammed home his own rebound for his second goal of the season.
Jaeckle doubled the Griffs margin to 2-0 at the 14:41 mark of the opening frame, finishing off an odd-man rush by flipping the puck over AIC keeper Alex Murray for his second goal of the campaign.
McLaughlin capped the first-period scoring barrage for the Griffs with less than two minutes remaining in the first, firing a wrist shot past Murray from the slot while Canisius was on the power play to make it a 3-0 contest.
Chamberland stretched the Canisius lead to 4-0 less than five minutes into the second, one-timing a pass from freshman Nick Hutchison between the legs of Yellow Jackets backup goaltender Justin Ketola for his sixth of the campaign.
Orszulak got AIC on the board a little more than two minutes after Chamberland’s tally, deflecting a point shot past Griffs netminder Charles Williams to make it a 4-1 contest.
Mazza restored the Griffs four-goal cushion, 5-1, just before the midway point of the second with a power play tally, beating Ketola with a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle for his first of the season.
Schmezler closed out the scoring with a little more than four minutes remaining in the third, beating Ketola with a back-handed effort from the right faceoff circle.
Williams got the start between the pipes for the Griffs and finished with 25 saves. Murray began the game in goal for AIC and made nine saves in 20 minutes of action before being replaced at the start of the second by Ketola, who recorded 13 stops.
Head Coach Dave Smith Postgame Comments
“I really liked our game. I thought we played exceptionally well. The first period really set the tempo for the game. Our power play was good, we took only one penalty, our goaltending was strong. I’m really happy with the game.
“We challenged our group after yesterday’s game. We challenged them to check better, to play stronger in all three zones defensively, and I really felt we did that. AIC is a good team that made it hard for us last night. I think they got our full attention tonight and I really like the way we played.”
- Canisius improved to 36-14-7 against AIC in the Division I era of the series with the victory. The Griffs are now 19-2-5 against the Yellow Jackets since the start of the 2008-09 season.
- The Griffs moved to 11-0-0 in 2016-17 when scoring the first goal of the game.
- Canisius is now 10-0-2 this season when scoring three or more goals in a game.
- The victory moved Canisius to 5-1-1 in its last seven road games after beginning the campaign 2-6-0 in games away from home.
- The Griffs extended their unbeaten streak to seven games, the longest such unbeaten stretch for the program since going undefeated in seven consecutive games in January 2015.
- Canisius scored twice on the power play during Saturday’s contest, improving to 10-of-28 (35.7%) with the man advantage over the last seven contests.
- Sophomore Dylan McLaughlin matched his season high with three points, equaling his total from the Griffs’ 4-3 against Bentley on Dec. 2. McLaughlin also extended his point-scoring streak to seven games, a new personal best.
- Junior Ryan Schmelzer turned his sixth multiple point contest of the season with his two assists on Saturday. Schmelzer has recorded a point in each of the Griffs’ last five contests.
- Sophomore Alex Jaeckle posted multiple points in a game for the first time in his career with his two-point effort Saturday. His goal proved to be the game-winning tally, the first of his career.
- Junior David Parrottino recorded a point for the third straight contest, finishing with a pair of assists.
- Canisius closes out the month of January Tuesday with a midweek contest at rival Niagara.
- Puck drop for the contest at Dwyer Arena is set for 7:05 p.m.
- The game will be shown regionally on the Time Warner Cable Sports Network.