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03-24-2013, 07:25 AM
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Griffs rout Mercyhurst, roll into NCAAs.
Amy Moritz - Sports Reporter - Buffalo News Newspaper/Buffalo - Saturday, March 23.

ROCHESTER, NY — With each win, they kept gaining confidence. And with each step of confidence, they kept winning. The Canisius hockey team continued its improbable run Saturday night. The seventh-seeded Golden Griffins left Rochester with the Atlantic Hockey championship trophy and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They earned that with a 7-2 win over Mercyhurst in front of 887 at Blue Cross Arena. The Griffs (19-18-5) will find out their NCAA fate at 9:00 pm ET today during the selection show on ESPNU.

It’s been quite a turnaround for Canisius, which looked like a team limping to the end of the season in February when it lost five straight. But even on the losing streak, few things changed for the Griffs. There were tweaks with lines and combinations. There were small adjustments made to practices. But the work and the focus remained consistent. Finally in the last regular-season series against RIT, it started to show. The Griffs have rolled from there, having won eight straight games and earning their first NCAA hockey bid ever.

While Canisius gets the automatic bid, rival Niagara will receive an at-large invitation to the NCAA field of 16. The Purple Eagles’ PairWise ranking Saturday night was high enough to qualify them for the tournament. It’s the first time Atlantic Hockey has placed two teams in the field. Canisius defeated Niagara, 5-3, Friday afternoon in a semifinal game at Blue Cross Arena.

Griffs land knockout punch, beat Niagara to reach Atlantic Hockey final - Niagara must hope for at-large bid.
Amy Moritz - Sports Reporter - Buffalo News Newspaper/ - Friday, March 22.

ROCHESTER, NY. — He came to the podium wearing a yellow hard hat. It’s a tradition for the Canisius hockey team, a post-game award given to the player deemed the hardest worker of the night by his teammates. Sophomore Tyler Wiseman had never worn the hard hat. He came into Friday’s Atlantic Hockey semifinal with just nine points. But in one of the biggest games in recent program history, Wiseman scored twice and set-up the game-winning goal as the Golden Griffins knocked out top-seeded and nationally ranked Niagara, 5-3, at Blue Cross Arena.

The Griffs will face Mercyhurst, which defeated Connecticut, 4-1, in the second semifinal, in the Atlantic Hockey Championship tonight
(7:00 pm ET - TV: LIVE - TWSC Buffalo - Channel 25 or 52). It was the seventh straight win for Canisius, its longest winning streak in the Division I era. The Griffs improved to 18-18-5 as their five-game losing streak in February seems like a distant memory.

Canisius cruises to AHA title, NCAA berth -
Kevin Oklobzija - Staff Writer - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper - - Saturday, March 23.

ROCHESTER, NY - Like the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers before them, the Canisius College Golden Griffins consider their just-won berth in the NCAA tournament a major stepping stone for their hockey program. The Griffins earned the school’s first trip to the big dance on ice by throttling Mercyhurst 7-2 in the Atlantic Hockey Association championship game on Saturday night.

“We don’t know where it’s going to end, but I think all of us have a vision on how special Canisius hockey can be in the future,” coach Dave Smith said.

When RIT won the AHA, the Tigers didn’t stop rolling. They upended Denver and New Hampshire en route to the East Regional championship and a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four. From it came the momentum for fundraising on a new rink, and the Gene Polisseni Center is under construction now on the RIT campus.

“They’ve got a new rink, it’s turned their program around,” said Canisius junior right winger Kyle Gibbons, who on Saturday scored the first two goals and assisted on the last two in winning tournament MVP honors. “I hope we can have a run like that,” Gibbons said. “I’m super excited, but we’ve still got a long road.”

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