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COLLEGE HOCKEY REPORT

by Joe Ray / Buffalo Sabres
Cody Freeman (Photo Credit: GoGriffs.com)

CANISIUS GOLDEN GRIFFINS
After leading Canisius College to a sweep over conference foe AIC, senior Cody Freeman and freshman Nolan Sheeran collected Atlantic Hockey weekly honors.

Freeman was named Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week after totaling four points (3+1) in two games against the Yellow Jackets, including the game-winning goal in each game. Sheeran collected Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week accolades after a three-assist weekend in the sweep.

On Friday night, Canisius opened their series with a 3-1 victory over the Yellow Jackets. After two scoreless periods, Shane Conacher started the scoring with 9:34 left in regulation on the power play. Just 1:32 later, Freeman scored a goal that would kickoff his big weekend for the Griffs.

Matthew Grazen concluded the scoring with three minutes remaining to seal the win for Canisius. After two shaky appearances against Army, Keegan Asmundson rebounded against AIC, earning the game’s second star with a 25-save performance in the victory.

Canisius was able to post another two-goal decision on Saturday with a 4-2 win over AIC. The Griffs turned to Reilly Turner in net after he picked up his first collegiate win Oct. 17 at Army, and the freshman stepped up with 24 saves in the win.

Freeman stole the show for Canisius on Saturday. After setting up Ralph Cuddemi’s power-play goal in the second period, Freeman scored two goals in the first 5:24 of the third period, including one with the man advantage. Sheeran assisted on both of Freeman’s goals, and the former Buffalo Jr. Sabre is now Canisius’ second-leading scorer with six points (1+5) in five games.

After Bryant Christian brought AIC within one midway through the final period, the Griffs held strong and picked up an empty-net insurance goal from Tyler Wiseman.

Now sitting at 4-2, Canisius looks ahead to this weekend’s long-awaited move into HARBORCENTER. The Ohio State Buckeyes come to downtown Buffalo as the Griffs hope to continue their winning ways on their new home rink.

Upcoming Games
NIAGARA PURPLE EAGLES
Still seeking their first win of the season, Niagara entered a road series with a formidable Notre Dame team looking to get on track. The Purple Eagles struggled to match up with the Fighting Irish in both games and could not pick up a victory on either occasion.

Niagara dropped Friday’s opener by a score of 6-3, with Sabres prospect Connor Hurley picking up a pair of assists in Notre Dame’s four-goal first period.

The Purple Eagles dug deep to stay in the game, as Nick Cecere and Chris Lockner converted on two separate power-play opportunities to cut the Fighting Irish lead in half. Dan Kolenda added a goal for Niagara with less than seven minutes to play, but the Purple Eagles could not muster up enough offense to erase the early deficit. Adrian Ignagni finished the game with 30 saves on 35 shots faced.

In Saturday night’s game, Niagara failed to score a goal against another Buffalo Sabres prospect, as Notre Dame freshman goaltender Cal Petersen stopped all 23 shots sent his way in a 7-0 shutout.

Notre Dame broke out with a three-goal surge during a first-period span of 3:09 to once gain a sizeable lead through the opening 20 minutes. Hurley scored the second Fighting Irish goal of the night and added two assists.

After sitting out Friday night to rest an injury, Niagara assistant captain Isaac Kohls returned to the lineup Saturday and recorded two shots on goal. Ignagni compiled 32 saves in Saturday’s loss, which left Niagara winless in six games. The Purple Eagles’ next shot at their first win of the season will come at home this weekend against AIC.

Upcoming Games

  • Friday, October 31 vs. AIC (7 p.m., Dwyer Arena)
  • Saturday, November 1 vs. AIC (4 p.m., Dwyer Arena)
  • Friday, November 7 @ Bentley (7:05 p.m.)
  • Saturday, November 8 @ Bentley (7:05 p.m.)

RIT TIGERS
To open their Atlantic Hockey schedule, RIT traveled to Colorado for a weekend series with the Air Force Falcons. The Tigers split the two contests and now sit at 2-3-0 on the season.

RIT asserted their presence in a dominant win 5-1 on Friday. Brandon Thompson opened the scoring just under two minutes into the contest, and Matt Garbowsky added a goal of his own with two seconds left in the opening period.

Josh Mitchell scored on the power play in the second period, and Garrett McMullan and Andrew Miller added insurance goals in the third. Cheektowaga-native and RIT freshman Max Mikowski picked up his first collegiate point with an assist on McMullen’s goal.

Mike Rotolo was back in goal after facing Boston College on October 18, and made 20 saves to earn his first win of the season.

RIT and Air Force engaged in a back-and-forth battle Saturday night, with the Falcons coming out on top 4-3 in overtime. The Tigers held a 3-2 lead late in the third, but Air Force’s Chad Demers forced overtime with a tying goal with just 1:33 remaining. Scott Holm scored the OT game-winner at 3:50 of extra time for the Falcons.

Mitchell picked up his second power-play goal of the weekend in the loss, with Brad McGowan and Todd Skirving also scoring for RIT. Rotolo stopped 22 of 26 shots in the loss.

Upcoming Games

  • Friday, October 31 @ Robert Morris (7:05 p.m.)
  • Saturday, November 1 @ Robert Morris (7:05 p.m.)
  • Friday, November 7 vs. Holy Cross (7:05 p.m., Dwyer Arena)
  • Saturday, November 8 vs. Holy Cross (7:05 p.m., Dwyer Arena)
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