Canisius College finally broke through Army’s defense and the goaltending of Parker Gahagen on Saturday, but it was too little and too late.
The Black Knights built commanding leads before Nick Hutchison scored a pair of power-play goals for the Griffs in a 5-2 triumph at West Point’s Tate Rink.
First-place Army (6-3-1 overall) improved to 6-2 in Atlantic Hockey to take a five-point lead over the Griffs (4-7-1, 3-2-1 AH) in the league standings.
Gahagen, the Williamsville North grad who shut out Canisius on Friday, made 32 saves in the victory, 16 in the opening period.
Charles Williams started in goal for Canisius. However, after he gave up a pair of goals on 11 shots in the first, he was relieved by Daniel Urbani, who went the rest of the way with 15 saves and three goals allowed.
First-period goals by Dominic Franco and Conor Andrie gave Army a 2-0 lead. The Cadets increased the margin to 4-0 in the second on tallies by Tipper Higgins and Dalton MacAfee.
Hutchinson scored on the power play at 15:17 of the second with assists from Geoff Fortman and Matt Stief, but Taylor Maruya got that one back for Army in the third.
Hutchison scored his second with assists from Jimmy Mazza and Stief with 1:09 left in the third period.
Army had a 44-25 advantage in faceoffs.
Canisius was 2 for 7 on the power play and had eight shots with the man advantage. Army was 0-4 with just seven shots with the man advantage.
Ryan Schmelzer had nine of the 34 shots on net by Canisius, and Jesse Pereira had six.
Hutchison’s goals were the freshman center’s third and fourth of the season, all on the power play.
Canisius will begin a five-game homestand with games on Friday and Saturday against American International at Harbor Center. A home game against Mercyhurst on Nov. 25 and a two-game series with Bentley on Dec. 2-3 follow for coach Dave Smith’s team.