West Springfield, Mass. – The Canisius College hockey team won its fourth-straight road game on Friday night, earning a 4-1 victory at AIC. With the win, Canisius improves to 10-13-2 and 9-7-2 in Atlantic Hockey play, while the Yellow Jackets drop to 6-18-1 and 5-12-1 against league foes.
Junior Cody Freeman led the Griffs with two goals on the night, while classmates Mitch McCrank and Braeden Rigney both added a tally.
Senior Tony Capobianco recorded 23 saves to earn the win in net.
The teams battled for a scoreless first 36-plus minutes before Freeman broke the game open with two goals just 97 seconds apart. The junior forward opened the scoring with 3:28 remaining in the second when he knocked in a rebound off a shot from junior defender Logan Roe. Senior Kyle Gibbons also registered an assist on Freeman’s fourth goal of the season.
It took only 97 seconds for Freeman to give the Griffs a two-goal cushion. While on the power play, Gibbons had his shot deflected and fall right to Freeman in the slot. The junior then swatted the puck in for his fifth tally of the year. Senior defender Ben Danford also added an assist on the goal.
Canisius then quickly extended its lead in the third frame when McCrank scored on the power play 1:57 into the period. From behind the net, sophomore Ralph Cuddemi found freshman Shane Conacher on the opposite side. Conacher then passed back to McCrank in the slot and the junior finished with an open look for his second tally of the season
Rigney added to the Griffs advantage with his fifth goal of the season, scoring with 3:02 remaining. The junior skated down the ice and ripped a shot into the back of the net for the 4-0 lead. Freshman Josh Kielich and junior Doug Jessey both recorded an assist on the goal.
AIC finally got on the board with 51.9 seconds remaining when Mike Dietrich scored but it was too little, too late as the Griffs earned the 4-1 victory.
Canisius finished the game with a 34-24 advantage in shots, while going 2-for-4 on the power play. The Griffs also killed all four Yellow Jacket extra-man chances.
Hunter Leisner recorded 30 saves in defeat for AIC.
The schools wrap up the two-game series tomorrow afternoon with game time slated for 3:05 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius’ four-game road winning streak is the team’s longest since the 2000-01 season and one shy of the school record … With his two assists, Gibbons moved past Chris Duggan into fifth place in the school’s history with 116 career points. Duggan recorded 115 points from 1998 to 2002 … The assist for Kielich was the first point of his collegiate career … Canisius is unbeaten in its last 15 games against AIC (13-0-2) … The Griffs are a perfect 5-0-0 this season when outshooting their opponent.