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[BN] Rinkside: Five things as Canisius travels to Army West Point

Canisius at Army West Point
Tate Rink, West Point
7:05 p.m., Friday and Saturday

1. It’s an early-season Atlantic Hockey battle. The sample size is still small, but after last weekend’s games, Army West Point was in first with eight points (4-2-0) with Canisius right behind with seven (3-0-1). There has been no early separation in the league with four points separating first from sixth.

2. It should be a goaltending battle. Canisius is anchored by senior transfer Charles Williams, who ranks fourth nationally with a .944 save percentage and is tied for fourth in shots he’s faced with 269. Army West Point has senior and Buffalo native Parker Gahagen, who ranks second in the nation in save percentage (.957) and fourth in goals against average (1.50). Gahagen also has two shutouts on the year.

3. There’s not much offense to go with that defense. Canisius is averaging just 1.70 goals per game, ranked 57th among the 60 Division I teams. Sophomore Felix Chamberland leads the Griffs with six points, four of them on the power play. Chamberland also leads the team with three goals. Sophomore defenseman Cameron Heath leads the team in assists with four and also paces the team with 19 blocks.

4. Splits for Army West Point. The Black Knights have split their last two weekends, both against conference foes, first at Robert Morris then last weekend against fellow service academy Air Force. The Black Knights are 4-3-1 overall and 4-2-0 in Atlantic Hockey.

5. Weekend sweep for Griffs. Canisius is coming off its first sweep of RIT since the 2012-13 season. The Griffs won in HarborCenter Friday night, 1-0, then won in Rochester on Saturday, 2-1. With a 3-0-1 league mark they are 4-5-1 overall.

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