LEWISTON, N.Y. – Sophomore Felix Chamberland scored twice to lead Canisius to a 5-2 victory over rival Niagara in Atlantic Hockey Conference action Friday at Dwyer Arena.
Sophomore Dylan McLaughlin and freshmen Nick Hutchison and Casey Jerry also scored for the Griffs (18-10-7, 17-4-6 AHC), who completed both a series and season sweep of the Purple Eagles to extend the nation’s longest active unbeaten streak to 14 games with the victory. The win also kept Canisius in first place in the Atlantic Hockey standings, three points ahead of second place Air Force.
Stephen Pietrobon accounted for both tallies for Niagara (3-26-3, 3-21-2 AHC).
McLaughlin staked Canisius to a 1-0 lead a little more than six minutes into the contest, putting home a rebound on a shot from junior David Parrottino.
Hutchison doubled the Griffs margin to 2-0 less than four minutes later, taking advantage of a line change to get behind the Niagara defense and beat Purple Eagles keeper Guillaume Therien with a wrist shot blocker side for his 11th of the campaign.
Pietrobon cut the Canisius advantage in half, 2-1, at the 15:30 mark of the first, firing a loose puck into the cage during a scramble while the Purple Eagles had the man advantage.
The Griffs scored three times in the opening 6:37 of the second period to build a 5-1 cushion and take control of the game. Chamberland opened the sequence with a power play goal 1:43 into the frame before adding his second of the period with 4:48 elapsed to stretch the Griffs’ cushion to 4-1. Jerry scored on the break during a 4-on-4 situation at the 6:37 mark to cap the outburst and make it 5-1.
Pietrobon closed out the scoring with less than three minutes remaining in the third, jamming home a loose puck for his second goal of the evening.
Therien got the start between the pipes for Niagara and made 12 saves before being replaced by Jackson Teichreob in the middle of the second period.
Head Coach Dave Smith’s Postgame Comments
“I thought we had a lot of confidence tonight with the puck. Maybe sometimes too much and we got a little risky at times, but we went to the net really hard, we played with a lot of pace and we were able to capitalize on a lot of our rushes.
“Our guys are playing very confidently right now. It’s not just crashing the net. It’s no secret, but when five guys are committed to playing together and letting the puck do the work, you can generate some chances and tonight we were able to capitalize on those chances.”
- Canisius picked up its sixth straight victory against Niagara dating back to last season as it moved to 18-17-4 against the Purple Eagles in the Division I era of the series. The Griffs also improved to 8-7-3 against Niagara at Dwyer Arena.
- The win extended Canisius’ unbeaten streak to 14 games, giving the Griffs the second-longest stretch without a loss for any Division I program this season. Denver holds the nation’s longest stretch without a loss this season, going 15 games between setbacks (Oct. 14-Dec. 10).
- The contest was part of the annual Battle of the Bridge series between the two schools. The victory gives Canisius an 19-7 lead in the series this season and means the Griffs claim the Canal Cup for the eighth straight season.
- Canisius was 2-for-9 on the power play as it recorded a man advantage tally for the 12th time in the last 13 games. Niagara was 1-for-4 on the power play.
- Senior Charles Williams recorded his 18th victory of the season in goal for Canisius, matching Tony Capobianco (2012-13) for the program’s season mark in that category.
- Sophomore Dylan McLaughlin recorded a goal and an assist to post his ninth multiple point game of the season. The Griffs are 9-0-0 this season when McLaughlin notches two or more points in a game.
- Sophomore Felix Chamberland posted his second multiple goal contest of the season with his two-goal effort on Friday.
- Sophomore Ian Edmondson recorded multiple assists in a game for the second time this season with his two-assist effort on Friday.
- Freshman Nick Hutchison set a new season high with his three-point effort on Friday. The contest was also his fifth multiple-point contest of the season. Hutchison also tallied his team-leading seventh power play goal of the season with his first-period tally.
- Canisius closes out the regular season Feb. 23 with a 7:05 p.m. contest against Mercyhurst at KeyBank Rink in HARBORCENTER.
- The contest serves as the program’s senior night, with the team honoring its seniors prior to faceoff.
- It is also Cory Conacher bobblehead night, with the first 500 fans in attendance receiving a bobblehead of the former Canisius standout.
- For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com or call 716-888-TIXX.