Canisius has had no problem scoring goals and taking leads in its last three games. The problem has been holding on to those leads, taking two losses with one tie in that span.
Saturday night, the Golden Griffins reversed the trend, earning a 6-2 win over RIT for their first win of the season in front of 1,131 at Buffalo State Ice Arena.
"We're a very young team and when we would get the lead we were somewhat tentative," Canisius coach Dave Smith said. "We said tonight we were playing aggressive right from the get-go."
Senior David Kasch scored twice to bolster a Griffs attack that registered the most goals at home since scoring six against American International on Feb. 28, 2004.
"We really stuck to our game plan," Kasch said. "It also doesn't hurt to get a couple bounces. . . . We were getting the pucks in behind their defensemen and we used our speed well to create a couple of odd-man rushes and create turnovers. Tonight when we got those we just put them in the back of the net."
Senior goalie Bryce Luker got his first win as a Griff, making 36 saves. He had four wins in his first two years of college hockey at Michigan Tech before transferring to Canisius as a junior.
Luker made several key saves late in the first period when RIT enjoyed a 1:04 stretch with a two-man advantage followed by 2:56 of a one-man advantage.
"Bryce gave us momentum and with a young team they're very momentum driven and up and down," Smith said. "His confident play gave us momentum and we were able to feed off his big saves."
Canisius (1-4-2, 1-2-1 Atlantic Hockey) opened the scoring at 6:10 of the first period when Josh Heidinger tipped in a shot on the power play.
RIT (2-3, 1-1 AH) evened the game on the power play at 10:42 when Simon Lambert wrapped around the net, drawing Luker out of position and stuffing the puck in the other side.
Carl Hudson snapped the tie just 50 seconds into the second period. Kasch scored at 16:59 for a 3-1 lead then netted a goal just 59 seconds into the third making it 4-1.
Brent Alexin added a goal for RIT but Peter MacDougall and Vincent Scarsella each scored to preserve the Canisius lead.
Niagara women lose
Cornell scored four goals in the first 10 minutes of the game and went on to earn a 6-2 win over Niagara at Dwyer Arena.
Jill Zelonis started in goal for Niagara and gave up four goals on nine shots while playing just under 13 minutes of the first period. Nikki Rudy took over midway and made 17 saves while allowing two goals.
Ashley Riggs scored two power play goals for the Purple Eagles (3-2-1).
Niagara streak ends
Bemidji State ended Niagara's four-game winning streak, 3-0, on Saturday night in the second game of a two-game College Hockey America series in Minnesota, On Friday, freshman Bryan Haczyk scored short-handed, nine minutes into the third period for a 3-2 victory by the Purple Eagles.