BUFFALO, N.Y. – Canisius’ Jimmy Mazza broke a tie in the third period as the Griffs defeated 18th-ranked Air Force, 3-2, in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game, Saturday, Oct. 28, at the HarborCenter in Buffalo. The teams split the two-game series.
Canisius (2-2-1 overall and 2-2 AHC) jumped on the board early, outshooting the Falcons 4-0 in the first four minutes. Canisius senior Dylan McLaughlin took a shot that was saved, but Jeff Murray put back the rebound for a 1-0 lead at 3:16. Air Force came back to tie the game at the 11:58 mark. Brady Tomlak set up Kyle Mackey who scored his first of the season. Matt Serratore also assisted on the play.
Midway through the period, McLaughlin, Canisius’ leading scorer, had two break-away opportunities. The first one resulted in a penalty shot that was saved by Billy Christopoulos. Then just about two minutes later, McLaughlin had another clean breakaway that was again saved by Christopoulos. Later in the period, McLaughlin scored on the power play with a wrister from the right circle for a 2-1 lead.
Early in the third period, the Falcons again tied the game. Sophomore Matt Pulver forced a turnover and then skated the puck deep in to the zone. His back-hander from the right circle went over the pad of the goaltender and hit off the inside of the post at 4:40. Pulver’s second of the season, and second of the weekend, tied the game at 2-2. Midway through the period, the Falcons were on the power play but the Griffs had an offensive zone faceoff. Ryan Schmelzer won the draw and Mazza’s short-handed shot from the left point gave the Griffs a 3-2 lead at 6:18. The Falcons pulled the goalie with 1:10 remaining and had two shot attempts, but were unable to tie the game.
Air Force (5-2-1 overall and 1-1-0 AHC) outshot Canisius, 26-25, in the game. Canisius was 1-for-3 on the power play while Air Force was 0-for-5. Christopoulos made 22 saves while Simon Hofley made 24 for the Griffs.
Air Force returns home for a two-game series against the Army West Point Black Knights, Friday-Saturday, Nov. 3-4, at the Cadet Ice Arena.