Date: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Time: 7:05 p.m.
Location: Lewiston, N.Y. | Dwyer Arena
TV/Webcast: America One Network
Live Audio: GoGriffs.com
DI Series History: Niagara leads, 14-9-2
Last Meeting: Canisius 5, Niagara 3 (2013 AHA Semifinal)
Last 10 Games: Niagara leads, 5-4-1
In a matchup of the 2013 Atlantic Hockey Tournament Champion and the 2013 Atlantic Hockey Regular-Season Champion, Canisius travels to face rival Niagara in its season opener on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
SCOUTING THE GRIFFS
• Canisius won the 2013 Atlantic Hockey Tournament last season and advanced to its first NCAA Tournament. The Griffs finished the year with a 19-19-5 overall record.
• The Griffs return 10 of its top 12 scorers, led by senior Kyle Gibbons. Gibbons finished 12th nationally last year with 43 points.
• Canisius also returns five starting defensemen from last year’s playoff run and a record-setting goalie in Tony Capobianco.
• Capobianco set school marks in saves (1,256), save percentage (.929), shutouts (four) and wins (18) last season.
BATTLE OF THE BRIDGE RIVALRY
• Saturday’s game is not only worth two points in the AHA standings but also one point in the Battle of the Bridge series.
• The Battle of the Bridge series is an all-sports competition between the two rival schools.
• Niagara currently leads the 2013-14 series, 2-1. Each hockey game this season is worth one point in the standings.
• Canisius has won the competition 6-of-8 years, including the last three.
CANISIUS IN SEASON OPENERS
• The Griffs are set to begin their 34th season of play and their 16th year at the Division I level on Saturday.
• Canisius is 10-19-4 all-time in season openers and 4-9-2 at the Division I level.
• Coach Dave Smith owns a 3-5-0 mark in openers at Canisius.
• The Griffs have lost their last two openers, including a 2-0 loss at Alaska-Anchorage last year.
CANISIUS - NIAGARA SERIES HISTORY
• In a rivalry that began in 1997, Niagara holds an 18-10-2 advantage in the all-time series, including a 14-9-2 edge in Division I meetings.
• Since the Purple Eagles joined Atlantic Hockey prior to the 2010-11 season, Niagara holds a 6-4-1 edge in the series.
• The schools have met in the postseason in two of the three years since the Purple Eagles joined the league with Canisius claiming both contests, including a 5-3 semifinal victory last year en route to the program’s first title.
• Overall the schools split four games last season.
ABOUT THE PURPLE EAGLES
• Niagara opened the season last weekend and was swept at home to Clarkson.
• The Purple Eagles were outscored, 4-1, in the two meetings with Clarkson.
• Mike Conderman scored the lone Niagara goal.
• Adrian Ignagni stopped 27-of-29 shots with Jackson Teichroeb stopping 39-of-41 shots in net.
GRIFFS VERSUS NATIONALLY-RANKED TEAMS
• Niagara enters the weekend ranked 20th nationally in the USCHO.com national poll, giving the Griffs a chance to improve on their all-time record against ranked schools.
• Canisius is 5-23-2 all-time against nationally-ranked schools since moving to Division I in 1998.
• Last season, the Griffs went 2-5-0 against the country’s top 20 teams, including a 2-1-0 mark versus Niagara when the Purple Eagles were nationally ranked.
CANISIUS IN THE RANKINGS
• Canisius has also received some love in the rankings this year and is currently receiving votes in both national polls.
• The Griffs, who finished 19th in the final USCHO.com poll (the highest ranking in school history), received 12 points in the first poll. Canisius also received one vote in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll – a first in the school’s history.