After leading the Canisius College hockey team to the program’s first Atlantic Hockey Championship and first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, junior Kyle Gibbons, junior Tony Capobianco and freshman Ralph Cuddemi were all honored by the league on Tuesday.
Gibbons collected Atlantic Hockey Player of the Month honors for March and April after leading all players in the country with 18 points and 2.00 points per game. Capobianco earned the league’s Goaltender of the Month after posting an 8-1-0 record with a 2.56 goals against average and .937 save percentage, while Cuddemi was named the league’s Rookie of the Month after recording five points, two goals and three assists.
Gibbons earned Atlantic Hockey Tournament MVP accolades after leading Canisius to its first championship during the month. The junior recorded his national-leading 18 points in March on six goals and 12 assists. He registered at least one point in all nine games during the month, including six contests of multiple points.
The Westlake, Ohio native scored or recorded an assist on five of the team’s eight game-winning goals during the month. One of Gibbons’ biggest tallies was scoring with 9.1 seconds remaining in regulation against Air Force, helping the Griffs take game one of the quarterfinal series against the two-time defending champions. He then recorded six points during championship weekend, including a career-best four points in the title game against Mercyhurst. Gibbons finished the run with a goal in the NCAA East Regional Semifinal against top-ranked Quinnipiac.
Gibbons finished his junior campaign ranked first in Atlantic Hockey with 43 points and 21 goals, while placing second with 22 assists. His 43 points and 21 goals this season both rank third in the program’s history.
Capobianco anchored the Griffs’ championship run from the goaltending position. The junior led all players in the country with 344 saves during the month, averaging 38.2 stops per game. Capobianco was at his best during the Atlantic Hockey Tournament, posting a perfect 6-0-0 record, while recording a tournament-record 235 saves (39.2 saves per game). Overall, he registered a 1.99 goals against average and .951 save percentage en route to the championship, earning all-tournament team accolades.
The junior excelled for the Griffs throughout the 2012-13 campaign, finishing with four single-season records at Canisius. Capobianco ranks first in the program’s history in saves (1,256), save percentage (.929), wins (18) and shutouts (four). He also ranked first nationally with his 1,256 saves, which are the 12th-most in NCAA history and the most since the 1988-89 season.
Cuddemi played his best hockey of the season during the Griffs’ postseason run. Highlighting the five-point month was the first multi-goal game of his career in the Atlantic Hockey Championship, scoring two tallies in a 7-2 win against Mercyhurst. Cuddemi also recorded an assist on the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament goal against Quinnipiac in the NCAA East Regional Semifinal.
The Concord, Ontario native finished his rookie campaign with 10 points on four goals and six assists.
After completing one of its most successful seasons in school history, Canisius finished the campaign ranked 19th in the final USCHO.com national poll – the program’s highest ever placement in the national rankings.