The Canisius College hockey team opened the 2013-14 campaign with a dominating 7-1 exhibition victory over Brock University on Sunday afternoon.
“Our puck movement was excellent most of the game today and it led to a good team attack and good team speed,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “Our depth was also key as everybody did a good job of getting involved and contributing to the win.”
Sophomore Ralph Cuddemi led the Griffs with four goals on the afternoon. Seniors Ryan Bohrer and Kyle Gibbons and junior Cody Freeman each added a tally for Canisius.
All three Griff goaltenders also saw action in the win. Senior Tony Capobianco posted four saves in the start with junior Keegan Asmundson stopping seven shots and sophomore Adam Harris posting eight saves.
The team’s leading scorer from a year ago, Gibbons picked up right where he left off last season by scoring the game’s first goal. On a 3-on-2 rush, senior Patrick Sullivan found his classmate open to his left and Gibbons finished with an open look with 2:51 left in the first.
Cuddemi then tallied a natural hat trick in the second frame to blow the game open. The sophomore scored his first goal with 10:31 left in the period, scoring on a wrist shot on a 2-on-1 break for the 2-0 lead. Cuddemi then added his second goal just 2:10 later, beating the Badgers goaltender five-hole from the slot while on a power play. Finally, the sophomore completed his hat trick 2:51 later when he finished another 2-on-1 rush for a 4-0 Canisius lead.
Overall, Cuddemi scored three goals in 5:01 to turn a 1-0 Canisius lead into a 4-0 advantage.
Bohrer finished the scoring in the second frame when he tipped a shot in from sophomore defender Chris Rumble. The goal with 2:29 remaining in the period gave the Griffs a 5-0 lead and marked Rumble’s third assist of the game.
Freeman continued the Griffs’ domination in the third period, scoring just 18 seconds into the frame on the power play. The junior snuck the puck past the Badgers goalkeeper near post for the 6-0 advantage.
Cuddemi then finished the scoring for the Griffs with his fourth tally of the day. With a two-man advantage on a power play, Cuddemi sent a wrist shot into the back of the net for a 7-0 lead.
The Badgers finally got on the scoreboard with 8:07 remaining in the third when Thomas Stajan netted a goal but it was too late as the Griffs earned the 7-1 victory.
Canisius finished the game with a 39-20 advantage in shots, which included a 22-7 advantage in the second period. The Griffs also converted 3-of-6 power plays, while killing all three Badger extra-man advantages.
The Griffs open the regular season and the defense of their 2013 Atlantic Hockey Championship on Saturday with a contest at rival Niagara. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. in Lewiston, N.Y.