Jan. 22, 2009

Courtesy of Canisius

Coming off a weekend sweep of nationally-ranked Air Force, the Griffs will look to continue their winning ways against local rival RIT. Canisius and the Tigers will battle on Thursday and Sunday at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. The Griffs won their last two games against No. 15 Air Force, while RIT has won nine-consecutive contests.

Thursday’s game begins at 7:05 p.m. and all fans in attendance will receive free Tim Hortons coffee and hot chocolate. Game time on Sunday is slated for 4:05 p.m. and the first 250 fans wearing gold will receive a free New Era Canisius College cap.

• Canisius is coming off perhaps its most impressive weekend in its Division I history. Canisius swept a pair of games at nationally-ranked Air Force, defeating the Falcons 5-4 and 4-2.
• The victories over Air Force marked the first wins against a nationally-ranked opponent in the Griffs’ Division I history. Canisius is now 2-13-1 all-time against ranked teams in the USCHO poll.
• The Griffs scored five goals in the series opener, the most allowed by the Falcons this season. Canisius followed with four goals in the finale for nine total goals in the series. Air Force entered the weekend ranked fourth nationally, allowing only 1.75 goals per game.
• Canisius also excelled on special teams during the weekend. Air Force, who entered with the nation’s top ranked power play unit (26.9 percent), converted just 10 percent of its extra-man opportunities, while Canisius was 3-of-13 (23.1 percent) plus a penalty-shot goal.

• The Griffs have benefited from strong play at the end of games this season.
• Against Air Force, Canisius made an improbable comeback for their first-ever victory over a ranked foe.
• Canisius scored three goals in a 67-second span during the last three minutes of regulation in the team’s 5-4 victory.
• It marked the first time in the program’s Division I history that Canisius won a game when trailing by two or more goals with less than 10 minutes in regulation.
• It was also the quickest the Griffs tallied three goals. Previously, the quickest that Canisius scored three times was 132 seconds against Bentley on Nov. 2, 2001.
• The Griffs victory against Air Force wasn’t the only time Canisius used late-game heroics to earn a victory.
• Against Clarkson, junior Jason Weeks scored with 13.8 seconds remaining in the game and senior Spencer Churchill tallied an overtime goal to give Canisius its first victory over an ECAC school. It was the first time in the program’s Division I history that Canisius won a game when trailing with less than a minute left in regulation.
• Canisius also defeated Connecticut in overtime on Nov. 16 when freshman Dave Kostuch scored 49 seconds in. The Griffs are 2-0-3 in the extra session this season.
• Weeks leads the Griffs with seven points (1g, 6a) in the last five minutes of regulation and overtime, while Kostuch has posted a team-best three goals

• In a series that dates back to the Griffs’ inaugural season of 1980-81, RIT holds a 36-10-1 all-time advantage over the Griffs. Canisius has played only one team more than RIT during the program’s history (Mercyhurst).
• Since the Tigers moved to Division I before the 2005-06 season, RIT owns a slight 6-4-0 advantage in the series.
• The teams split four games last season with each team winning both games in its home rink.
• Canisius defeated RIT, 6-2, last year in its home opener. The four-goal loss is the worst lost for the Tigers in their Atlantic Hockey history.
• Last season’s second game at RIT included 251 total penalty minutes between the two schools, the third-most in NCAA history. The Tigers won that game, 4-1.

• RIT enters the series in first place of the Atlantic Hockey standings with 27 points and winners of nine-consecutive games. The Tigers have not lost since a 2-0 defeat at Air Force on Dec. 5. Their nine-game winning streak is currently the longest in the nation.
• The Tigers are led offensively by senior Jesse Newman (7g, 15a) and junior Dan Ringwald (2g, 20a), who have both totaled 22 points this season.
• Ringwald ranks eighth nationally in points per game by a defenseman. He has posted 13 of his 22 points on the power play this season, which ranks third in Atlantic Hockey.
• Brennan Sarazin and Tyler Brenner are tied for third on the team with 21 points. Sarazin leads the Tigers with 12 goals, while Brenner has posted a team-leading five power play tallies and four game-winning scores.
• Junior Jared DeMichiel has anchored the RIT defense during the nine-game winning streak, posting a goals against average of 2.47 and a save percentage of .920 in six victories. For the season, DeMichiel has registered a goals against average of 2.58 and a save percentage of .912.
• Senior Louis Menard has also appeared in 11 games for the Tigers in net. He has posted a goals against average of 3.42 and a save percentage of .867.