Canisius (12-19-3, 11-13-3 AHA) vs. Sacred Heart (12-22-0, 11-16-0 AHA)
Dates: Friday, March 7 - Sunday, March 9
Times: 7:05 p.m.
Location: Buffalo, N.Y. | Buffalo State Sports Arena
TV/Webcast: America One Network
Live Audio: GoGriffs.com
DI Series History: Canisius leads, 22-18-5
The Canisius College hockey team opens defense of its Atlantic Hockey title with a first-round series against Sacred Heart. The schools will play a best 2-of-3 series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if necessary) at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. All three games are slated for 7:05 p.m.
SCOUTING THE GRIFFS
• Canisius (12-19-3, 11-13-3 AHA) was swept for the first time last weekend and finished in seventh place in the league standings.
• Senior Kyle Gibbons leads Canisius with 30 points, 13 goals and eight power-play tallies this season.
• Senior Tony Capobianco owns a 2.98 goals against average and .909 save percentage in 23 starts this season with an 8-12-2 record.
AHA FIRST ROUND PREVIEW
• The seventh-seeded Griffs are hosting 10th-seeded Sacred Heart in the Atlantic Hockey First Round for a best 2-of-3 series.
• The schools split a two-game series in Buffalo earlier in the season.
• The advancing team will be reseeded for another best 2-of-3 series next week. Canisius can play #2 Bentley, #3 Air Force or #4 Connecticut.
FAMILIAR PATH AS GRIFFS LOOK TO DEFEND CROWN
• Some might be disappointed with a seven seed for the AHA Tournament but this season is looking a lot like last year.
• The Griffs also earned the seven seed en route to their first title last year. Canisius swept Bentley and Air Force and then earned wins against Niagara and Mercyhurst in Rochester to win the title.
CAPOBIANCO CHASING A PAIR OF SCHOOL RECORDS
• Senior Tony Capobianco is nearing a pair of school records.
• Capobianco has totaled 2,812 saves in his career. He is just 17 stops shy of the school record.
• Included in his 2,812 saves are an AHA Tournament record 235 saves during last season’s title run.
• The senior also recorded his sixth career shutout on Feb. 14 and is now tied for the most in the program’s Division I history.
CANISIUS POSTSEASON HISTORY
• The Griffs are in their 16th season competing at the Division I level, having compiled a 15-18 postseason mark during that span, including a 12-13 record in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament.
• Canisius won the program’s first conference title last season (as the seven seed) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.
• The Griffs are 4-3 all-time as the higher-seeded school, which includes a two-game sweep of Bentley last season in the first round.
CANISIUS - SACRED HEART SERIES HISTORY
• In 45 meetings between the two schools, Canisius holds a slight advantage in the series, 22-18-5.
• The teams split a pair of games earlier this year when both schools rallied from a two-goal deficit to win. In the opener, Canisius earned a 5-4 victory after trailing, 4-2, in the third period. The Griffs then scored two early goals in the finale only to see the Pioneers net the final three in a 3-2 victory.
• Canisius has controlled the series since both freshmen classes first arrived on campus. In the last four seasons, the Griffs own a 6-1-1 record against the Pioneers.
• The schools are meeting for the second time in the postseason. In the 2002 MAAC Quarterfinals, Sacred Heart earned a 3-2 overtime victory against the Griffs in Milford.
ABOUT THE PIONEERS
• Sacred Heart won six of its final 10 games of the season after starting the year just 5-12-0 in league play. Overall, the Pioneers are 12-22-0 with an 11-16-0 mark against Atlantic Hockey foes.
• Freshman Justin Danforth leads the Pioneers with 29 points this season and a team-best 24 assists. Drew George ranks second on the squad with 25 points, including a team-best 12 goals.
• Alex Vazzano has played a majority of minutes in goal, posting a 7-17-0 record with a 3.64 goals against average and .897 save percentage.
Hockey Hosts Sacred Heart in AHA First Round
Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics