BUFFALO – Canisius battled back from a 2-0 deficit to record a 2-2 tie with Army West Point in Atlantic Hockey Conference action Saturday at KeyBank Rink in HARBORCENTER.
Junior Jeff Murray and sophomore Dylan McLaughlin scored for the Griffs (15-10-6, 14-4-5 AHC), who extended the nation’s longest active unbeaten streak to 10 games with the draw. Dominic Franco and Alex Wilkinson found the back of the net for the Black Knights (12-11-4, 11-9-2 AHC).
Wilkinson gave Army a 1-0 lead at the 15:35 mark of the first period when his centering pass from the right sidewall deflected off a Canisius player and into the net.
Franco doubled the Black Knights cushion to 2-0 just 37 seconds into the second period, beating Griffs netminder Charles Williams with a wrist shot blocker side during a 2-on-1 break.
McLaughlin trimmed the Canisius deficit in half with 24 seconds to play in the middle frame, firing home a rebound from the top of the crease to make it a 2-1 contest.
Murray brought the Griffs level less than five minutes into the third, using a backdoor feed from sophomore Cameron Heath to beat Army goaltender Parker Gahagen for his third of the campaign.
In a matchup of two of the top goaltenders in the nation, Williams turned aside 29 shots for Canisius while Gahagen stopped 40 shots for Army.
Head Coach Dave Smith Postgame Comments
“It was another physical game and it was a different game than last night in the way it was called as they let a lot of stuff go. Both teams played very hard. Great comeback by our guys tonight.
“I liked our game from start to finish. We got a little loose at times; not getting pucks behind their defensemen in the second period and they were able to capitalize on a 2-on-1. I liked a lot of things about our game tonight, we were just unable to find that extra point.”
“Every night is a grind in Atlantic Hockey and this weekend was no exception. Army is a good team. Our guys were prepared; I thought our guys played well. You always want to get two points every night and to get thee-of-four points in a series, you take it and you move on. We’re never completely happy with a tie; our guys want to win. But, you’ve got to give Army credit for playing well tonight. It was an even game. It’s fitting it ended in a tie.”
- Canisius improved to 22-20-6 against Army in the Division I era of the series. The Griffs also moved to 15-7-3 at home all time against the Black Knights.
- Canisius improved to 5-2-5 at HARBORCENTER this season with Saturday’s tie. The Griffs are undefeated in their last four games at home.
- The Griffs were 1-for-4 on the power play Saturday, marking the ninth straight contest that Canisius has scored with the man advantage. The Griffs are 12-of-43 on the power play in that time frame.
- Army was 0-for-4 on the power play Saturday as Canisius has now killed off 21 consecutive shorthanded situations.
- Canisius recorded a season-high 42 shot attempts during Saturday’s contest. The Griffs reached the 40-shot plateau in a game for the third time this season.
- Sophomore Dylan McLaughlin scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season during Saturday’s contest. Nine of his 11 goals this season have come in Canisius’ last 16 games.
- Junior Ryan Schmelzer recorded an assist on McLaughlin’s second period tally to extend his point-scoring streak to eight games. Schmelzer has amassed 12 points (5g, 7a) in that stretch.
- Junior Jeff Murray scored for the second time in four games with his game-tying tally. He also recorded a point for the third time in five games.
- Senior Geoff Fortman reached the double-digit plateau for points in a season for the first time in his career with an assist on Murray’s third-period tally. The assist was his ninth of the season, tying him with sophomores Cameron Heath, who also recorded an assist on the goal, and Ian Edmondson for the team lead in assists amongst defensemen.
- Canisius takes to the road Feb. 10-11 for a two-game series at Atlantic Hockey foe Sacred Heart.
- The Griffs and the Pioneers open their series Feb. 10 with a 7:05 p.m. contest before wrapping up the weekend with a 2:05 p.m. matinee the following day.
- Both games will be played at Webster Bank Arena in nearby Bridgeport, Conn.