The Canisius College hockey team and Bentley fought to a 2-2 draw on Sunday afternoon at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. The Griffs are now 8-12-2 on the season and 7-6-2 in Atlantic Hockey play, while the Falcons stand at 12-8-3 and 10-3-3 against league foes.
“It was a close game from start to finish,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “Our team really played hard and in the right areas – getting good goaltending and a better effort from our special teams. When two good teams play properly, there is a fine line between winning, losing and a tie like today. We got better from yesterday, played hard as a team and really worked hard for that one point.”
Senior Patrick Sullivan and junior Tyler Wiseman both scored for the Griffs in the tie.
Junior Tony Capobianco recorded 34 saves in net.
Canisius opened the scoring when Sullivan netted his seventh goal of the campaign. On a rush, the senior chipped the puck to himself off the boards when entering the Bentley zone. He then scored glove side from the left face-off circle for the early 1-0 lead. Senior Kyle Gibbons and sophomore Chris Rumble both posted assists on the goal 14:27 into the contest.
The Griffs then stretched their lead to two tallies when Wiseman scored his fourth goal of the season. With Canisius a man down, Wiseman forced a Bentley turnover at the blue line and then skated in on a breakaway. The junior then beat the Falcons netiminder high and glove-side for the unassisted short-handed goal at the 5:01 mark of the second.
Bentley, however, answered back and rallied for the draw. The Falcons cut their deficit in half when Jared Rickord finished a 2-on-1 break with 8:16 remaining in the second. Bentley then squared the game with 14:12 left in regulation when Brett Gensler scored a power-play goal.
Capobianco was then key in preserving the 2-2 draw for Canisius. The senior recorded five saves in the extra session, which included a nice stop with an open look on a rebound, to help the Griffs earn a point in the contest.
Bentley finished the game with a slight advantage in shots, 36-34. The Falcons were also 1-for-2 on the power play, while Canisius didn’t convert in one extra-man chance.
The Griffs are back in Atlantic Hockey action on Thursday with a home game against first-place Mercyhurst. Canisius, which handed the Lakers their only loss of the conference season this year, welcomes Mercyhurst to the Buffalo State Sports Arena for a 7:05 p.m. start.
Game Notes: Wiseman is now tied for first nationally (with seven other players) with three short-handed goals … Canisius blocked 18 shots in the win, the most for the team since the third game of the season in a 4-1 win at nationally-ranked Denver … Canisius is now 6-3-1 this season when holding a two-goal lead during a game … Sophomore Ralph Cuddemi had his career-best five-game run with a point snapped … The Griffs now hold a slight advantage in the all-time series against the Falcons with a 24-23-4 mark, including a 23-22-4 record in Division I meetings.