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by Joe Ray / Buffalo Sabres

CANISIUS GOLDEN GRIFFINS (6-6-5 overall, 5-4-4 Atlantic Hockey)

After Canisius swept the AIC Yellow Jackets on the road in October, the Griffs earned a win and a tie when AIC ventured north for last weekend’s series at HARBORCENTER. Canisius used an early lead to cruise to a 3-1 win on Friday. They fell behind 4-0 in the opening 14 minutes on Saturday, but Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week Ralph Cuddemi scored the game’s final three goals as Canisius rallied for a 4-4 tie.

Cuddemi leads the Griffs with nine goals, and he is the only player in the nation with two hat tricks this season.

On Friday, Canisius took advantage of a brief scoring burst to score all three of their goals in a span of 4:24. Chris Rumble opened the scoring with a power-play goal at the 15:55 mark of the first period. Nolan Sheeran scored in the final minute of the opening period, and Braeden Rigney kept the scoring rolling 19 seconds into the second period. Reilly Turner started in net and stopped 15 of 16 shots, surrendering the lone AIC goal with 10:12 left in regulation.

AIC asserted their presence early Saturday with four goals on their first 10 shots, forcing Turner out of the Canisius net just 13:42 into the game. After the goaltending change to Keegan Asmundson, Canisius completed their biggest comeback of the season.

Jeff Murray scored his first collegiate goal on a first-period power play before Cuddemi stole the show with the natural hat trick to tie the game midway through the third period. During the final two periods of regulation, Canisius outshot AIC by a whopping 33-12 margin.

Following the gargantuan effort to climb back from a four-goal deficit, Canisius could not muster a shot in overtime. Asmundson stopped two AIC chances, and the Griffs skated to their fifth tie of the season. Asmundson was perfect in relief of Turner, denying all 17 shots he faced.

The Griffs’ schedule is complete for 2014 with the fall semester coming to a close. Canisius reconvenes January 2 for a road series at Maine.

NIAGARA PURPLE EAGLES (3-11-0 overall, 3-7-0 Atlantic Hockey)
The Purple Eagles put their three-game winning streak on the line against Holy Cross. Despite having the week prior off to prepare for the home series, Niagara was swept by the Crusaders, losing 4-1 on Friday and 4-2 Saturday.

Niagara fell into an early deficit in Friday’s contest, surrendering two goals in the opening 11 minutes. Derian Plouffe scored in the second period for the Purple Eagles to cut the Holy Cross lead in half, but the Crusaders added two third-period power play goals to pull away. Jackson Teichroeb made 26 stops in the team’s first loss since November 7.

After falling behind 1-0 early again on Saturday, Hugo Turcotte scored his second shorthanded goal of the year to tie the game. Holy Cross would add three more power play goals over the final two periods to secure the weekend sweep. Robert Angiolella scored his fifth of the season with two seconds left to keep pace with Turcotte for the team lead in goals.

Niagara looks to close the semester on a high note with a home-and-home series this weekend against RIT.

Upcoming Games

  • Friday, December 12 @ RIT (7:05 p.m.)
  • Saturday, December 13 vs. RIT (7:05 p.m., Dwyer Arena)

RIT TIGERS (4-8-2 overall, 3-5-2 Atlantic Hockey)
Following a 2-0 loss to Yale on November 29, the Tigers enjoyed their first weekend off this season. Up next for RIT is a weekend set with Niagara, before resuming their season January 2 at the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis, MN.

RIT will have a pair of opportunities this weekend to post their first ever regular season win against Niagara. The Tigers are 0-10-7 in the regular season against Niagara since entering NCAA Division I in 2005, although RIT was victorious over Niagara in the 2012 Atlantic Hockey semifinal game.

Upcoming Games

  • Friday, December 12 vs. Niagara (7:05 p.m., Gene Polisseni Center)
  • Saturday, December 13 @ Niagara (7:05 p.m.)

BUFFALO STATE BENGALS (2-6-2 overall, 2-4-2 SUNYAC)
While the Bengals opened their weekend getting shut out 3-0 Friday in Brockport, they were able to close out their seven-game road trip on a high note by picking up a 3-2 overtime victory over Geneseo on Saturday.

Buffalo State’s scoreless effort, despite 33 shots on goal, in the loss to Brockport was their third straight shutout loss and sixth straight loss overall. Ian Sylves made 34 saves in the loss, but his team repaid him with some offense the next night.

After falling behind 64 seconds into Saturday’s game at Geneseo, Taylor Price evened the score at 4:57 of the first period for the Bengals. Ryan Salkeld gave Buffalo State a 2-1 lead at 17:26 of the first, but Geneseo would tie it at 2-2 late in the second.

On their third shot of the extra period, freshman Zach Niemenen scored his first goal as a Bengal to send Buffalo State home with their first win since November 1. Making his fifth straight start, Sylves stopped 34 shots to earn the victory.

Upcoming Game

  • Saturday, December 13 vs. Johnson and Wales (4 p.m., Buffalo State Ice Arena)
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