Dates: Feb. 15-16, 2013
Time: 9:05 p.m. ET
Location: USAF Academy, Colo.
Rink: Cadet Ice Arena
The Canisius College hockey team heads west for a crucial two-game series against Air Force during the weekend. The teams are set to meet on Friday and Saturday at 9:05 p.m. ET.
SCOUTING THE GRIFFS
• Canisius (11-14-5, 10-9-2 AHA) is currently tied for fourth in the conference standings and is one spot behind third-place Air Force.
• Last week, the Griffs split a pair of tight games with nationally-ranked Niagara, posting a 2-0 win on Thursday before a 2-0 loss on Saturday.
• Junior Kyle Gibbons had his nine-game point streak against No. 15 Niagara end, but still leads Canisius with 22 points and 14 goals.
• Junior Tony Capobianco has anchored the nation's sixth-ranked defense with a 2.11 goals against average and .932 save percentage.
DEFENSE AMONG THE NATION'S BEST
• The Griff defense has been the key for the team's success this season.
• Canisius has allowed only 65 goals in 30 games during the season.
• The Griffs currently rank sixth nationally and first in Atlantic Hockey with a scoring defense of 2.17 goals per game.
A TOP GOALIE IN CAPOBIANCO
• Junior Tony Capobianco has led the way for the Griffs on the defensive end and places among the best in Division I this season.
• Capobianco currently ranks 11th nationally with a .932 save percentage and 17th with a 2.11 goals against average.
• He is coming off one of his best weekends with a 0.50 goals against average and .987 save percentage against No. 15 Niagara, stopping 77-of-78 shots with only a deflection off a referee leading to a NU tally.
• One secret behind the team's defensive success is on the penalty kill.
• Canisius owns the nation's top penalty kill unit, successfully killing 91.0 percent of power plays this year (101-of-111).
• The penalty kill success shows a huge improvement from last year.
• During the 2011-12 campaign, Canisius killed only 77.7 percent of its opponents' power plays. The Griffs ranked 51st of 58 teams nationally.
• Special teams was the biggest downfall for the Griffs last year as the team was outscored by 33 goals (but only minus-13 even-strength). This year, Canisius is +10 on special teams.
FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU; FOOL ME TWICE ...
• Another strength this year for the Griffs on the penalty kill is the team's ability to limit the damage.
• Canisius has yet to allow two power-play goals in any single contest.
• The Griffs are one of two schools in the country not to surrender multiple power-play tallies this season (Minnesota is the other).
• Canisius allowed at least two extra-man tallies in 12-of-36 games during the 2011-12 campaign (or once every three contests).
CANISIUS - AIR FORCE SERIES HISTORY
• In one of the most evenly-contested series, Air Force holds a slight advantage against the Griffs, going 7-5-7 in 19 all-time meetings.
• Since the beginning of the 2008-09 campaign, the series is deadlocked at 3-3-5 with five of the last seven games going into overtime.
• Overall, 10 of the last 12 meetings between the two schools have either resulted in a tie, been decided by one goal or been decided by two goals with an empty-net tally.
• Canisius is one of only two Atlantic Hockey teams to own a winning record at Air Force (Mercyhurst is the other), with a 3-2-4 mark in Colorado. Since joining Atlantic Hockey, the Falcons are 65-21-11 (.727 winning percentage) against the rest of the league.
• The schools battled to a 1-1 draw in Buffalo earlier this season with Canisius holding a 31-18 advantage in shots.
ABOUT THE FALCONS
• Air Force enters the weekend in third place of the Atlantic Hockey standings with a 10-6-5 record and is 12-10-7 overall.
• The Falcons took 3-of-4 points at Mercyhurst last weekend. Overall, Air Force has lost only one of its last 10 games, going 6-1-3 during that span.
• Kyle De Laurell leads the team with 25 points and 13 goals this season. Cole Gunner ranks second with 24 points, including a team-best 18 assists.
• Jason Torf has started the last 28 games for the Falcons, posting a 2.34 goals against average and .922 save percentage.