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Canisius rides hot power play to win over Robert Morris

After three goals in four games, the Canisius College Golden Griffins were looking for an offensive breakout.

They got it in a big way Friday night.

The Griffs scored five power play goals, including a hat trick from sophomore Felix Chamberland, and picked up a 6-3 win over Robert Morris at HarborCenter Friday night.

It goes down as one of the best power play performances for the Griffs in the Division I era. The stats break down like this:

* The five power play goals rank second most in Griffs Division I era history behind six scored in a 7-3 win over Bentley on Nov. 12, 2005.

* Chamberland became the second player to score three power play goals in one game for the Griffs. Carl Hudson did it in a 5-5 tie against Sacred Heart Jan. 23, 2010.

* Chamberland is also the first player to score a power play hat trick in the NCAA since Dec. 11, 2010 when Daniel Carr scored three power play goals for Union against Army West Point.

In the final stat line, the Griffs went 5 for 8 on the power play after starting the season 1 for 16 in their first four games.

"When you’re power play is not producing you want to go back to the basics and just get shots on net, move the puck, shoot it and then retrieve it," Chamberland said. "I mean every team wants to do that whether you’re the Pittsburgh Penguins and you have Sidney Crosby in your lineup, you still "try to get shots on net. We have a lot of skill on our power play and I think today we just woke up."

Canisius head coach Dave Smith described the power play as "patience, pucks to the net, five-man attack." And for Chamberland, he saw an opportunity for hard work in practice being rewarded in a game situation.

"This is going to sound like a coach answer but we keep stats in practice. Who’s shooting. Who’s scoring. And in practice Felix is dominating," Smith said. "To see that carry over into a game should be rewarding for him because his effort tin practice is translating to the game and we’re seeing improvement all the time. Tha’ts the way it’s supposed to work – practice well, play well. You need a lot of things to go your way but he’s been working at his game. He has a gift to score goals but he’s working hard at it. He’s working hard at all parts of the game."

The last time Chamberland scored three times in a game?

"In junior two years ago," the sophomore said. So it wasn't that long ago, right?

"I mean it’s long if you want to be a goal scorer," Chamberland said. "You want to score a hat trick every game. But it feels good, especially on the power play you want to get the special units going. After first two weeks we only got one power play goal so we’re really happy with the results today."

Chamberland opened the scoring at 8:29 of the first to give Canisius a 1-0 lead. Brady Ferguson tied the game for Robert Morris less than three minutes later but Canisius responded on its next power play opportunity on a goal from Nick Hutchison to regain a 2-1 lead.

Canisius goaltender Charles Williams then stopped Matthew Graham on a penalty shot after he was hauled down by David Bennett on a breakaway. The save preserved a 2-1 lead after the first period.

The Griffs then broke the game open with a pair of power play goals in the second, one from Chamberland and one from freshman Matt Steif, his first career goal. Matt Hoover scored the only even strength goal for the Griffs, his first career goal, 35 seconds into the third. Chamberland added his third power play tally at 3:04 as Canisius built a 6-1 lead.

Robert Morris got goals from Graham and Ben Robillard in the third period, but Williams picked up the win making 27 saves.

Canisius (2-3-0) and Robert Morris (1-2-0) play again at 7:35 p.m. Saturday in HarborCenter.

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