Shootout
By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘canisius’
Posted: January 25th, 2014

The Canisius men’s hockey team erased a two-goal deficit with five straight goals – two in the second period and three more less than six minutes apart early in the third – to hand the Mercyhurst its first Atlantic Hockey Association loss in two months and first defeat overall in eight games, 7-4, tonight at Mercyhurst Ice Center. Mercyhurst (14-10-4, 12-2-3 AHA) was unbeaten in its previous 13 conference games. Canisius (9-13-2, 8-7-2) has handed the Lakers both of their AHA losses this season.
But the Lakers may have a bigger loss to worry about – the second-period injury to starting G Jimmy Sarjeant. He stopped 15-of-16 shots before exiting the game. No word on his condition at this time. Backup G Jordan Tibbett allowed five goals on 17 shots, along with an empty-netter, to fall to 0-6-0 on the season.

Posted: January 23rd, 2014

Mercyhurst (13-9-4, 11-1-3 AHA) at Canisius (8-12-2, 7-6-2)
When: Today, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Buffalo State Sports Arena – Buffalo, N.Y.
On the air: www.americaonesports.com (live stream), www.gogriffs.com (real-time audio & statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst looks to hold onto their two-point lead in the Atlantic Hockey Association standings by avenging their only conference loss of the season. The Lakers lost 4-3 at Canisius on Nov. 9. … The Lakers have built a 12-game unbeaten streak (9-0-3) in AHA play since that defeat. They are unbeaten in their past six games overall (4-0-2). … The Lakers and Golden Griffins complete the home-and-home series Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Mercyhurst Ice Center. … The Lakers’ 11-1-3 start to the conference season is tied for second best in program history. … Mercyhurst settled for two ties with Connecticut at home last weekend. The Lakers squandered a 2-1 third-period lead in a 2-2 tie Friday, and a 3-0 second-period lead in a 3-3 tie Saturday. … The Lakers are the only NCAA Division I school with five players over the 20-point mark – junior F Matt Zay (33), senior F Daniel O’Donoghue (30), junior F Ryan Misiak (27), senior D Nick Jones (20) and redshirt junior F Kyle Just (20). Junior F Daniel Bahntge is next on the list with 18 points. … The Lakers are eighth nationally with 3.46 goals scored per game. … Junior G Jimmy Sarjeant has allowed nine goals on 227 shots in January (.960 save percentage). … Defending AHA champion Canisius is fifth in the standings, nine points behind the Lakers. … The Golden Griffins have been up and down all season, with two separate winning or unbeaten streaks of three games or more and three separate losing or unbeaten streaks of three games or more. They are winless in their past three games, which were all played at home. … Senior F Kyle Gibbons leads the team with nine goals and 20 points. … Sophomore F Ralph Cuddemi, a former Erie Otters draft pick, stands second with seven goals and 15 points in 22 games after totaling four goals and 10 points in 37 games as a freshman. … Senior G Tony Capobianco, a key figure in the team’s title run last spring, has struggled to a 4-6-2 record, 3.21 goals-against average and .906 save percentage this season.

- Victor Fernandes

*** Check out head coach Rick Gotkin’s preview of tonight’s AHA game against Canisius here

Posted: November 9th, 2013

Mercyhurst (3-5-1, 2-0-0 AHA) at Canisius (1-5-0, 0-3-0)
When: Today, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Buffalo State Sports Arena, Buffalo
On the air: www.americaonesports.com (live stream), www.gogriffs.com (real-time statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst has rebounded from a slow start in non-conference play with two straight wins to open Atlantic Hockey Association play and a three-game unbeaten streak. … The Lakers edged Rochester Institute of Technology 3-2 on Friday night at Mercyhurst Ice Center after losing nine of their previous 11 meetings with the Tigers. Now they face a Canisius team that has given the Lakers tough battles in recent years. The Golden Griffins ended Mercyhurst’s season a year ago with a 7-2 win in the AHA title game. … Junior G Jimmy Sarjeant, the conference’s reigning goaltender of the week, has started the past six games in place of redshirt junior Jordan Tibbett, who began the season as the starter. Meanwhile, Canisius senior G Tony Capobianco, arguably the conference’s top goaltender a season ago who anchored last year’s title run, has lost playing time to junior Keegan Asmundson. … Canisius has lost three straight games, including Friday’s 6-1 road loss to Robert Morris, since winning at nationally ranked Denver on Oct. 28. … The Golden Griffins have scored 13 goals in six games. … Sophomore F Ralph Cuddemi, a former Erie Otters draft pick, has two goals and four points this season. … Freshman F Shane Conacher is the younger brother of Cory Conacher, a former Canisius standout who now plays in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators. … The Golden Griffins are playing their final season at Buffalo State Sports Arena. The new downtown HARBORcenter is slated to open next September.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: November 1st, 2013

Air Force
Record: 4-2-0, 2-0-0 AHA
Top players: Jr. F Chad Demers (2 goals, 7 assists, 9 points), Jr. F Cole Gunner (5-3-8), Sr. G Jason Torf (4-2-0, 2.87 goals-against average, .897 save percentage), Jr. D Alex Halloran (0-4-4)
What to watch: The Falcons are known for discipline, teamwork and toughness. They have a talented team too, led by Demers and Gunner up front and a veteran in Torf anchoring the defense. They also know how to win, given their five conference championships in the past seven years (2007-09, 2011-12).

American International
Record: 1-1, 1-0 AHA
Top players: Sr. F Blake Peake (1-1-2), Jr. F Nathan Sliwinski (1-1-2), Jr. F Jason Popek (1-1-2), Jr. F Brandon Fagerheim (1-1-2)
What to watch: The Yellow Jackets are known for being perennial doormats in the conference. But they also are known for giving teams with more skill – teams like Mercyhurst – difficult battles on most nights. AIC beat Sacred Heart 4-1 in its AHA opener last weekend.

Army
Record: 0-2-0, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: Jr. G Rob Tadazak (0-2-0, 3.02, .921), So. F Willie Faust (1-1-2), Jr, D Mac Lalor (1-0-1), Fr. F C.J. Reuschlein (1-0-1)
What to watch for: The Black Knights returned 10 of their top 11 scorers from a season, with leading scorer Andy Starczewski (11-15-26) being the only departure. Now they need to learn how to win. They have won 10 conference games – and 11 games overall – the past two seasons, and they’re still searching for their first win of the season.

Bentley
Record: 1-5-0, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: Sr. F Brett Gensler (2-1-3), Jr. D Steve Weinstein (0-5-5), Fr. F Max French (2-2-4) Jr. F Alex Grieve (3-1-4), Sr. G Branden Komm (1-5-0, 3.20, .913)
What to watch: The Falcons have gotten off to a slow start. But they still have Gensler, one of the nation’s top players, and French, the reigning conference player of the month, as well as the experience of a challenging non-conference schedule (Harvard, Maine, Merrimack, Nebraska-Omaha and 2013 national finalist Quinnipiac).

Canisius
Record: 1-2-0, 0-2-0 AHA
Top players: Sr. D Ben Danford (0-5-5), Soph. F Ralph Cuddemi (2-3-5, former Erie Otters draft pick), Sr. F Kyle Gibbons (2-1-3), Sr. G Tony Capobianco (0-2-0, 4.06, .896)
What to watch: Don’t let the early-season record fool you. The Golden Griffins followed conference losses to Niagara and Air Force with a win at then-No. 17 Denver last weekend before heading to Oxford, Ohio, this weekend to face No. 6 Miami (Ohio). And don’t be fooled by Capobianco’s slow start in net. He’s a big reason why Canisius won the AHA title as a 7th seed a season ago.

Connecticut
Record: 0-2-1, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: Sr. G Matt Grogan (0-2-1, 3.27, .922), Sr. F Jordan Sims (2-1-3), Sr. F Billy Latta (1-1-2), Jr. D Jacob Poe (0-2-2)
What to watch: The Huskies head to the Hockey East Association next season. But for now, they are looking for their first AHA title since 2000. Grogan will be a key to UConn having a memorable final year.

Holy Cross
Record: 0-5-0, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: So. D Jake Bolton (1-2-3), Sr. F Shayne Stockton (1-1-2), Sr. F Adam Schmidt (1-1-2), Jr. G Matt Ginn (0-5-0, 3.64, .904)
What to watch: The Crusaders are struggling to score goals, with two goals or fewer in their first five games and eight in all. But 19th-year head coach Paul Pearl, who has 283 career wins, knows how to get this team to reach its potential.

Mercyhurst
Record: 1-5-1, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: Jr. F Matthew Zay (3-4-7), Sr. F Daniel O’Donoghue (3-3-6), Jr. F Ryan Misiak (2-2-4), Sr. D Nick Jones (1-3-4), Jr. F Nardo Nagtzaam (0-0-0 in 2 games)
What to watch: The Lakers entered this season with the potential to win their first conference championship since 2005. Although they begin AHA play this weekend having struggled on offense and with injuries, the talent-laden Lakers are still contenders.

Niagara
Record: 1-4-1, 1-1-1 AHA
Top players: Jr. F Mike Conderman (3-1-4), Sr. D Kevin Ryan (1-3-4), Sr. F Ryan Rashid (2-1-3), Fr. C Brock Edwards (1-2-3)
What to watch: The Purple Eagles may not run out to a big lead in the conference for the second straight season. But they are still strong enough to add a postseason title to the regular-season crown they won a season ago.

Robert Morris
Record: 0-4-1, 0-0-1 AHA
Top players: Jr. F Cody Wydo (3-1-4), Jr. F Scott Jacklin (1-3-4), So. F Zac Lynch (1-3-4), So F David Friedmann (1-2-3)
What to watch: The Colonials finished winless in October for the first time in program history. But four of their games have been decided by two goals or fewer goals. And head coach Derek Schooley has enough experience to turn this team around.

Rochester Institute of Technology
Record: 0-3-2, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: Sr. F Michael Colavecchia (4-2-6), Sr. F Ben Lynch (3-1-4), Sr. D Nolan Descouteaux (1-3-4), Jr. F Matt Garbowsky (1-3-4), Jr. G Jordan Ruby (0-3-2, 3.89, .882)
What to watch: The Tigers have a history of strong offensive players, stalwarts in net and – most importantly, of winning. They have enough offensive threats and Ruby in goal. So don’t be surprised when the Tigers start winning in AHA play.

Sacred Heart
Record: 2-3-0, 1-1-0
Top players: Jr. F Drew George (3-1-4), Fr. F Justin Danforth (0-3-3), Jr. D Will Raynor (1-1-2), So G Alex Vazzano (2-2-0, 3.25, .902)
What to watch: The Pioneers already have matched their win total from a season ago. So they have shown early that this team is moving in the right direction.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: October 1st, 2013

The Mercyhurst men’s team appears on the honorable mention list of USCHO.com’s preseason Division I poll. The Lakers received 10 votes to finish tied for 31st on the list. Massachusetts-Lowell tops the list with 19 first-place votes and 844 points, followed by Miami (Ohio) with 14 first-place votes and 837 points.
Niagara, who won the Atlantic Hockey Association’s regular-season championship and reached the NCAA tournament a season ago, starts the season 20th on the list with 94 points. Air Force (14 points), Canisius (12), Rochester Institute of Technology (5) and Robert Morris (2) also received votes.
Mercyhursts opens the season Tuesday at 7 p.m. with an exhibition game against the University of Guelph at Mercyhurst Ice Center. They begin the regular season Oct. 11 in Minneapolis against fifth-ranked Minnesota in the Ice Breaker tournament. They could face No. 13 New Hampshire the following night. In all, the Lakers will play 25-of-37 games against ranked teams. In other news, senior defenseman Nick Jones will serve as captain while senior forward Daniel O’Donoghue and junior forward Matthew Zay were named alternate captains.

Posted: September 17th, 2013

The Mercyhurst University men’s hockey team was picked to finish a close second in the Atlantic Hockey Association’s preseason coaches poll, which was released today. The Lakers, which finished 19-17-5 and one game shy of claiming a conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth a season ago, received four first-place votes – the most by any school – and 98 total voting points. They were tied with Air Force, four points behind front-running Niagara.
The Purple Eagles received three first-place votes and 102 points after finishing 23-10-5 and reaching the NCAA playoffs for the first time as an AHA member.
Air Force earned two first-place votes. Canisius, which beat Mercyhurst to win its first conference title and earn its first NCAA playoff spot, had three first-place votes and 92 points to finish fourth. Rochester Institute of Technology rounded out the top five with 81 points. Mercyhurst opens the season Oct. 8 with an exhibition game against the University of Guelph. The regular-season opener is Oct. 11 against Minnesota in Minneapolis.

2013-14 AHA coaches poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)
No. School Points

1. Niagara (3) 102
T2. Mercyhurst (4) 98
T2. Air Force (2) 98
4. Canisius (3) 92
5. RIT 81
6. Connecticut 79
7. Robert Morris 66
8. Holy Cross 59
9. Bentley 53
10. Army 28
11. AIC 22
12. Sacred Heart 16

Posted: March 28th, 2013

Vic’s picks
Victor Fernandes unveils his predictions for the NCAA Division I tournament:

East Regional
at Dunkin’ Donuts Center – Providence, R.I.
Semifinals – Saturday

No. 4 Canisius def. No. 1 Quinnipiac
No. 2 Boston College def. No. 3 Union
Championship game – Sunday
No. 2 Boston College def. No. 4 Canisius

Northeast Regional
at Verizon Wireless Arena – Manchester, N.H.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 4 Wisconsin def. No. 1 UMass-Lowell
No. 3 Denver def. No. 2 New Hampshire
Championship game – Saturday
No. 4 Wisconsin def. No. 3 Denver

Midwest Regional
at Huntington Center – Toledo, Ohio
Semifinals – Saturday

No. 4 St. Cloud State def. No. 1 Notre Dame
No. 2 Miami, Ohio def. No. 3 Minnesota State-Mankato
Championship game – Sunday
No. 4 St. Cloud State def. No. 2 Miami, Ohio

West Regional
at Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, Mich.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 1 Minnesota def. No. 4 Yale
No. 2 North Dakota def. No. 3 Niagara
Championship game – Saturday
No. 1 Minnesota def. No. 2 North Dakota

Men’s Frozen Four
at CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh
Semifinals – April 11

No. 2 Boston College def. No. 4 St. Cloud State
No. 1 Minnesota def. No. 4 Wisconsin
Championship game – April 13
No. 2 Boston College def. No. 1 Minnesota

NCAA Division I Tournament schedule
East Regional
at Dunkin’ Donuts Center – Providence, R.I.
Semifinals – Saturday

No. 1 Quinnipiac (27-7-5) vs. No. 4 Canisius (19-18-5), 5:30 p.m. ESPN3
No. 2 Boston College (22-11-4) vs. No. 3 Union (21-12-5), 9 p.m. ESPNU
Championship game – Sunday
Semifinal winners, 6:30 p.m. ESPNU

Northeast Regional
at Verizon Wireless Arena – Manchester, N.H.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 1 UMass-Lowell (26-10-2) vs. No. 4 Wisconsin (22-12-7), 4:30 p.m. ESPN3
No. 2 New Hampshire (19-11-7) vs. No. 3 Denver (20-13-5), 8 p.m. ESPNU
Championship game – Saturday
Semifinal winners, 6:30 p.m. ESPNU

Midwest Regional
at Huntington Center – Toledo, Ohio
Semifinals – Saturday

No. 1 Notre Dame (25-12-3) vs. No. 4 St. Cloud State (23-15-1), 1:30 p.m. ESPN3
No. 2 Miami, Ohio (24-11-5) vs. Minnesota State-Mankato (24-13-3), 5 p.m. ESPN3
Championship game – Sunday
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m. ESPNU

West Regional
at Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, Mich.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 1 Minnesota (26-8-5) vs. No. 4 Yale (18-12-3), 2 p.m. ESPNU
No. 2 North Dakota (21-12-7) vs. No. 3 Niagara (23-9-5), 5:30 p.m. ESPNU
Championship game – Saturday
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m. ESPNU

Men’s Frozen Four
at CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh
Semifinals – April 11

East Regional champion vs. Midwest Regional champion, 4:30 p.m. ESPN2
Northeast Regional champion vs. West Regional champion, 8 p.m. ESPN2
Championship game – April 13
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m. ESPN

Posted: March 23rd, 2013

Follow live updates from the Atlantic Hockey Association championship game between Mercyhurst and Canisius at on Twitter at www.twitter.com/goeriehockey … game time is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Posted: March 22nd, 2013

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Mercyhurst men’s hockey team can focus on playing for the Atlantic Hockey Association championship now.
All week long, the Lakers and coach Rick Gotkin wouldn’t look past Friday night’s semifinal matchup against Connecticut. That mindset worked, as Mercyhurst scored four unanswered goals to overcome the Huskies’ early lead on the way to a 4-1 win in front of 1,095 fans at Blue Cross Arena.
The sixth-seeded Lakers (19-16-5) face seventh-seeded Canisius (18-18-5) in today’s 7:05 p.m. championship game at Blue Cross Arena for a chance to earn Mercyhurst’s first AHA title and automatic bid into the NCAA Division I tournament since 2005. The Golden Griffins shocked top-seeded and 15th-ranked Niagara 5-3 in the opening semifinal, one week after upsetting two-time defending champion Air Force in the quarterfinals.
Paul Chiasson scored two goals for Mercyhurst, while Ryan Misiak and Zac Frischmon added one apiece.

Atlantic Hockey Association final four schedule
at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 7 Canisius 5, No. 1 Niagara 3
No. 6 Mercyhurst 4, No. 4 Connecticut 1
Championship game – Saturday
Canisius (18-18-5) vs. Mercyhurst (19-16-5), 7:05 p.m.
Note: Champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I tournament.

SUMMARY

Mercyhurst 4, Connecticut 1
Mercyhurst 0 2 2 — 4
Connecticut 1 0 0 — 1
1st Period —
1. Connecticut, Trevor Gerling 12 (Sharib, Pauly), 7:36. Penalties — DeWald (M) boarding, 15:02; Blakey (M) slashing, 15:23.
2nd Period — 2. Mercyhurst, Zac Frischmon 4 (unassisted), 9:15. 3. Mercyhurst, Paul Chiasson 14 (Jones, DeWald), 15:59. Penalties — Latta (C) slashing, 5:13; Poe (C) holding, 6:58; Harris (C) hooking, 11:56; Shiplo (M) slashing, 13:03.
3rd Period — 4. Mercyhurst, Ryan Misiak 18 (Just, Shiplo), 13:19 (pp). 5. Mercyhurst, Chiasson 15 (Tibbett), 18:06 (en). Penalties — Bouchard (C) slashing, 11:34.
Shots on goal — Mercyhurst, 9-10-14—33; Connecticut, 12-12-8—32.
Goaltenders — Mercyhurst, Jordan Tibbett 7-6-1 (32 shots, 31 saves); Connecticut, Matt Grogan 14-4-3 (32 shots, 29 saves).
Power plays — Mercyhurst (1-4), Connecticut (0-3).
Attendance — 1,095.

Posted: March 21st, 2013

No. 6 Mercyhurst (18-16-5) vs. No. 4 Connecticut (19-13-4)
When: Friday, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.
On the air: www.americaonesports.com (live stream), WMCE-FM/88.5 & wmce.mercyhurst.edu (radio), www.atlantichockeyonline.com (live scores)
Up next: Championship game (Saturday, 7:05 p.m. at Blue Cross Arena)*
What to expect: Mercyhurst has reached the Atlantic Hockey Association semifinals for the second straight season. The Lakers lost to eventual champion Air Force 5-2 in this round a season ago. … The Lakers rebounded from an eight-game winless streak with a sweep of 11th-seeded Army at Mercyhurst Ice Center two weeks ago and a series win at No. 3 Holy Cross last weekend. … Mercyhurst hasn’t reached the title game since consecutive trips in 2008 and 2009 (lost to Air Force both times). … The Lakers haven’t won an AHA championship since beating Quinnipiac 3-2 in the 2005 title game. They also beat Quinnipiac 6-5 to capture the 2001 title, when the league was known as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. … Mercyhurst and UConn split their two-game, regular-season series in Storrs, Conn., with the Lakers losing 5-4 Jan. 18 and winning 5-0 the following night. … The Lakers lead the all-time series 32-13-3. Yet they have lost three straight and four of six games against the Huskies in the postseason, including a UConn sweep in the 2011 AHA quarterfinals. … With top-seeded and 15th-ranked Niagara (23-8-5) facing seventh-seeded Canisius (17-18-5) in the other semifinal, the conference will have a champion from a school other than Air Force and Rochester Institute of Technology for the first time since Holy Cross in 2006. Air Force, which lost to Canisius in the quarterfinals, had won five of the last six titles (2007-09, 2011-12). RIT, which lost to Niagara in the quarterfinals, won in 2010 on the way to the first NCAA Division I Frozen Four appearance for the Tigers and the AHA. … Senior F Grant Blakey has five goals and seven points in the Lakers’ five playoff games. … UConn senior G Matt Grogan has a 14-3-3 record, 1.88 goals-against average and .939 save percentage since taking over as starter midway through the season. He was the Huskies’ only player to earn all-conference honors (third team). Mercyhurst features three all-stars – junior D Nick Jones (first team), sophomore F Ryan Misiak (second) and sophomore F Matthew Zay (third). … Niagara has never reached the title game. Canisius hasn’t reached the final since 1999 (lost 4-3 to Holy Cross). … Niagara junior G Carson Chubak leads the nation with six shutouts and ranks among the top five in winning percentage (.773), goals-against average (1.81) and save percentage (.941). He’s one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which honors the nation’s top men’s hockey player. … Freshman F Ralph Cuddemi, a former Erie Otters draft pick, has two goals and seven points in 34 games for Canisius.
* If the Lakers win tonight

- Victor Fernandes

Atlantic Hockey Association final four schedule
at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 1 Niagara (23-8-5) vs. No. 7 Canisius (17-18-5), 4:05 p.m.
No. 4 Connecticut (19-13-4) vs. No. 6 Mercyhurst (18-16-5), 7:05 p.m.
Championship game – Saturday
Semifinal winners, 7:05 p.m.
Note: Champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I tournament.

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