The Canisius College hockey opened Atlantic Hockey play with a 1-1 tie against Air Force on Thursday night. The Griffs are now 1-3-1 on the season, while the Falcons are 0-2-3.
“It was a total team effort from us today,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “We had a lot of good offensive chances tonight but their goalie played well. I like our game from our goaltending on out and I’m real happy with our physical play and strong skating.”
Junior Taylor Law scored the Griffs’ lone goal of the night with junior netminder Tony Capobianco anchoring the Canisius defense with 17 saves.
Air Force netted the game’s first goal, scoring 11:01 into the contest. After a Canisius turnover in its own zone, Cole Gunner gained possession behind the net and found Kyle DeLaurell open in the slot. DeLaurell then finished high for the 1-0 Falcons advantage.
Law would equalize for the Griffs, tallying his first goal of the season with 4:02 remaining in the second frame. Sophomore Braeden Rigney fired a shot on net from the blue line and junior Ryan Bohrer tipped the rebound back to Law. The junior then buried his attempt to knot the contest at one.
Minutes later, the Griffs were whistled for a five-minute major penalty but the Canisius defense stepped up big. On a power play that spanned the end of the second frame and the start of the third, Air Force was held scoreless and could only muster three shots on net during the five-minute stretch.
With the game deadlocked at one, the Griffs had the better of the chances in the third and overtime periods. Sophomore Mitch McCrank fired a shot on net from an open position in the right face-off circle with just under five minutes remaining in regulation but Air Force’s Jason Torf kept the game tied with a right-pad save. In the extra session, sophomore Tyler Wiseman tipped a shot on net but Torf was there once again to earn the tie for the Falcons, recording his 30th and final save of the night.
Canisius finished the game with a 31-18 advantage in shots. Neither team scored on the power play with the Griffs going 0-for-2 with the extra-man advantage and killing all three Air Force power plays.
The Griffs return to non-conference play on Sunday, playing at nationally-ranked Minnesota. Canisius and the second-ranked Gophers are set to meet at 2:07 p.m. ET.
Game Notes: Canisius outshot a team for the first time this season … The Griffs are ranked 11th nationally with a scoring defense of 1.80 and with a penalty kill of 92.3 … Thursday’s game marks the seventh tie in the 19-game series between the two schools … In the last four seasons, the series is tied at 3-3-5 … Ten of the last 12 games in the series have been decided by one or fewer goals (not including empty-net tallies) … Each of the one-game series between the teams have resulted in a draw … Canisius is 3-5-2 all-time in Atlantic Hockey openers.