Canisius takes its successful kids’ show on the road
blog by Ben Kirst • December 02, 2011 @ 7:00am
Hey, look who’s sitting in third place in the Atlantic Hockey Association—it’s the youngsters over at Canisius College. The Baby Griffs—sporting a lineup that includes 12 freshmen and eight sophomores—are 4-6-3 overall but have a 4-1-2 record in conference play and will enter a weekend road trip to Holy Cross behind first-place Air Force and Mercyhurst.
Canisius is enjoying the second-fastest conference start in school history thanks to some sharp goaltending by Dan Morrison and Tony Capobianco. The duo has backstopped the team to a 1.40 goals against average in AHA play, the best mark in the league, and shared Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Week accolades after combining to stop 77-of-79 shots in two victories over American International. Capobianco currently ranks fifth in the country and first among Atlantic Hockey goaltenders with a .942 save percentage, while Morrison leads all Atlantic Hockey goaltenders during league play with a 0.99 goals against average and .970 save percentage.
But it’s not all about net-minding! After losing a high-scoring senior class, the Griffs have found scoring from its Kyle Gibbons, Taylor Law and Matthew Grazen line. The trio has combined to score nine goals this season or 42.9 percent of the team’s total output. In addition, at least one of the linemates have scored or registered an assist on 15 of the team’s 21 goals this season (71.4 percent). Gibbons leads the Griffs with nine points this season, while he is also tied with Law for the team lead in goals (four).
Holy Cross is 5-7-0 on the season, which includes a 3-4-0 mark against Atlantic Hockey foes. The Crusaders split a pair of non-conference games last weekend, defeating Brown, 2-0, before falling to Clarkson, 5-0. Adam Schmidt and Andrew Cox lead the Crusaders with nine points this season. Schmidt has netted a team-best six goals, while Cox has recorded a team-best eight assists. Matt Ginn has started eight games in goal and owns a 3-5-0 record with a 3.72 goals against average and .874 save percentage. Amherst native Thomas Tysowsky started both games in net last weekend and has posted a 2-2-0 record, 3.31 goals against average and .890 save percentage.
Holy Cross was 3-1-1 against the Griffs last season, which included an Atlantic Hockey quarterfinal series that the Crusaders took two games to one. Overall, Holy Cross owns a 6-1-2 record against the Griffs in the nine meetings since the beginning of the 2008-09 campaign. Canisius owns a 5-15-5 all-time record at Holy Cross.