LEWISTON, N.Y. – Junior David Parrottino scored two goals to lead Canisius to a 5-2 victory over rival Niagara in Atlantic Hockey Conference action Tuesday at Dwyer Arena.
Sophomore Cameron Heath and freshmen Nick Hutchison and Jesse Pereira also found the back of the net for the Griffs (14-10-5, 13-4-4 AHC), who extended their winning streak to six games and their unbeaten streak to eight with the win. The victory also moved Canisius into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Hockey standings, two points ahead of idle Air Force.
Hutchison staked Canisius to a 1-0 advantage exactly two minutes into the contest as he beat Niagara netminder Jackson Teichroeb with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle for his 10th goal of the season.
The Purple Eagles countered the Griffs early strike just moments later, scoring twice in a 1:38 span midway through the first to take a 2-1 lead. Kris Spriggs tied the game at 1-1 at the 5:56 mark, beating Canisius goaltender Charles Williams to the glove side during an offensive zone faceoff before Sam Rennaker put Niagara in front, 2-1, placing a backdoor feed from Stephen Pietrobon into the open cage.
Parrottino brought Canisius level a little more than five minutes later when he deflected a sophomore Alex Jaeckle pass past Teichroeb from the middle of the slot to tie the game at 2-2.
Heath put the Griffs back in front, 3-2, at the 15:10 mark of the second period when his pass into the slot deflected off a Niagara defender and past Teichroeb for his fourth goal of the season.
Parrottino gave Canisius some breathing room with just under four minutes remaining in the third period, finishing off an odd-man rush with sophomore Dylan McLaughlin to make it a 4-2 contest. An empty-net tally from Pereira with 45 seconds to play determined the final margin.
Wiliams made 23 saves in goal for Canisius while Teichroeb turned aside 27 shots between the pipes for Niagara (3-22-3, 3-17-2 AHC.
Head Coach Dave Smith’s Postgame Comments
“It was a very difficult game in a lot of aspects because both teams battled hard. After we scored the first goal, I really thought Niagara had a strong push and we were not prepared. We had to recover and grind it out, just keep chipping away and putting pucks into areas that were good for us.
“I think it’s a mindset. We scored a really nice power play goal and our guys relaxed. I thought all night we were cheating, we were not checking as well as we could, and when we started doing that, that’s where the notion of having to grind it out comes into play. As we checked better, as we put pucks deeper, as we focused on the process, we started to play a lot better.
“Penalty kill was huge for us tonight. Forcing them to go 0-for-7 on the power play, to me, was the difference in the game. Every night we’re trying to do the right things. When you do the right things, and everybody’s focused on that, good things can happen.”
- Canisius picked up its fourth straight win against Niagara as it moved to 16-17-4 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.
- Canisius improved to 12-0-0 this season when scoring the first goal of the contest.
- The Griffs moved to 11-0-2 in 2016-17 when scoring three or more goals in a game. Canisius has scored three or more goals in each of its last six games played, dating back to Jan. 20 at RIT.
- The win on Tuesday gives Canisius both the longest active winning (6) and unbeaten (8) streaks in all of Division I men’s college ice hockey.
- Freshman Nick Hutchison recorded his team-leading sixth power play goal of the season with his first period tally.
- Sophomore Dylan McLaughlin extended his point-scoring streak to eight games with his two assists. He has recorded 15 points (6g, 9a) during the streak that has featured multiple-point performances in each of the Griffs’ last six contests.
- Junior David Parrottino stretched his point-scoring streak to three games with his two goals Tuesday. He also posted his fourth multiple-point game of the season and third in the last five games.
- Junior Ryan Schmelzer notched an assist on Parrottino’s third-period tally to stretch his point-scoring streak to six games. Schmezler has tallied 10 points (4g, 6a) during that span.
- Sophomore Ian Edmondson recorded multiple points in a game for the first time in his career with his two-assist effort on Tuesday.
- Canisius hosts Army West Point for an Atlantic Hockey series this weekend at HARBORCENTER.
- The Griffs and Black Knights open their two-game set Feb. 3 with a 7:35 p.m. contest before the two teams wrap up their slate with a 4:05 p.m. matinee the following day.
- Both games will be shown regionally on the Time Warner Cable Sports Network