The Canisius College hockey team continues Atlantic Hockey play this weekend with a game against Battle of the Bridge rival Niagara. The Griffs and Purple Eagles are set to meet on Friday at the Buffalo State Sports Arena at 7:05 p.m.
BATTLE OF THE BRIDGE RIVALRY
• Friday’s game will not only be worth two points in the AHA standings but also a point in the Battle of the Bridge series.
• The Battle of the Bridge series is an all-sports competition between the two rival schools.
• In its seventh year of the series, the schools are currently tied during the 2012-13 year at seven points apiece. Each hockey game this season is worth one point in the standings.
• Canisius has won five of the seven years, including the last two.
• The Griffs got a quick offensive spark in Saturday’s game at RIT, leading to a season high in goals.
• Kyle Gibbons scored just 12 seconds into the game against the Tigers, the fastest goal for Canisius to start a contest in school history.
• The previous standard was 17 seconds, set by Rob Martin against Holy Cross on Nov. 3, 2001.
• The early goal led to six tallies, double the team’s previous high of three during the 2012-13 campaign.
• Canisius has been at its best in the first period this season, outscoring teams, 5-4 (compared to being outscored 12-6 in the second and 6-5 in the third period).
SULLIVAN LEADS GRIFFS TO RARE ROCHESTER WIN
• It was junior Patrick Sullivan who did most of the offensive damage for the Griffs in the team’s 6-3 victory at RIT.
• Sullivan posted the first multi-point game of his career on Saturday. He netted two goals (including a third-period unassisted tally that broke a 3-3 tie and proved to be the game winner) to go along with one assist in the win.
• Sullivan entered the game with 19 career points (9g, 10a) in 75 games.
• The win was the first for Canisius at RIT since 2007, ending a seven-game losing streak at RIT and an eight-game skid in Rochester.
A PROVEN WINNER IN SULLIVAN
• If the Griffs are in a tie game in the third period and are looking for a late tally, there is no reason to look further than Patrick Sullivan.
• Since late November last year, Sullivan has three third-period game-winning goals when the game was tied. It is the most in a single year since Cory Conacher also netted three during the 2009-10 season.
• The junior has also posted assists on three game-winning tallies during the same time span meaning Sullivan has either scored or set up six of the team’s last 12 game winners (50 percent).
CANISIUS – NIAGARA SERIES HISTORY
• In a rivalry that began in 1997, Niagara holds a 16-8-2 advantage in the all-time series, including a 12-7-2 edge in Division I meetings.
• Since the Purple Eagles joined Atlantic Hockey prior to the 2010-11 season, the home team has struggled in the series with a 1-5-1 record.
• Last season, Niagara won 5-of-6 points against the Griffs. The Purple Eagles swept a series in February after the teams skated to a draw in November.
• The Griffs’ last win in the series came during the 2011 Atlantic Hockey First Round, earning a 6-3 victory in Lewiston to advance to the league’s quarterfinals.
ABOUT THE PURPLE EAGLES
• Niagara enters the weekend with a 6-2-3 record and is in first place of the Atlantic Hockey standings with a perfect 5-0-0 league mark.
• The Purple Eagles have excelled defensively this season, especially in conference play. In five Atlantic Hockey contests, the Purple Eagles have allowed a total of two goals with three shutouts.
• Carsen Chubak has led Niagara this year, posting a 1.09 goals against average and .966 save percentage with a 6-1-3 record.
• On the offensive end, Giancarlo Iuorio leads the Purple Eagles with 13 points on eight goals and five assists. Ryan Muprhy is second with 10 points (4g, 6a), while Kevin Ryan has posted a team-best nine assists.