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03-23-2013, 12:46 AM
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Griffs Advance to AHA Championship with 5-3 Win - Canisius College Athletics - - Friday, March 22.

Rochester, NY – The Canisius College hockey team advanced to its first Atlantic Hockey Championship with a 5-3 win over top-seeded and local rival Niagara on Friday afternoon. The Griffs extended the nation’s longest winning streak to seven games–a new program record–and improved to 18-18-5 overall. The 15th-ranked Purple Eagles drop to 23-9-5 with the loss.

“It was great team effort against a very good Niagara team, who is having a special season,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “I’m really proud of the effort from everybody and the support in the stands from Canisius fans was outstanding.

Sophomore Tyler Wiseman led the Griffs with by matching a career-high with two tallies. Juniors Ben Danford and Duncan McKellar and sophomore Cody Freeman also added a goal for the Griffs. Junior Tony Capobianco anchored the Canisius defense with 41 saves and in the process set the Atlantic Hockey Tournament record for saves in a single championship with 201.

The Griffs now await their opponent for the title game, which will be held on Saturday at 7:05 pm ET in Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena. Fourth-seeded Connecticut and sixth-seeded Mercyhurst squared off in the second semifinal which starts at 7:00 pm ET.

Boxscore -

Niagara's AHA Playoff Run Ends in 5-3 Loss to Canisius - Niagara University Athletics - - Friday, March 22.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The No. 14/15 Niagara hockey team battled back from a goal down twice, but it was not enough as the Purple Eagles’ Atlantic Hockey playoff run ended in the semifinal round with a 5-3 loss to Canisius in an intense, high-scoring contest Friday afternoon in Rochester, N.Y.

The Purple Eagles’ NCAA tournament hopes are on hold after suffering their second consecutive AHA semifinal defeat, now waiting for Sunday’s NCAA selection show (LS: TV: LIVE - 9:00 pm ET on ESPNU) to determine whether the team will earn an at-large bid. Niagara has made three previous NCAA appearances while a member of College Hockey America, and would be the first AHA team in conference history to receive an at at-large bid.

Niagara would tie the contest twice in the second after falling behind a goal, but the Griffins pulled away with the game with an early third period tally that would give the Griffins a two-goal advantage and one NU could not dig themselves out of.

"Canisius was the better team tonight," head coach David Burkholder said. "They were very good defensively. We couldn't get through their neutral zone trap. Everyone coming in thought it would be a low scoring game, but they showed a little more grit and more passion than we did and now we're going home."

Boxscore -

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