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NEWCOMER ROBERT MORRIS BEATS CANISIUS

Canisius knew it would be a trivia answer in Robert Morris' new men's hockey history.

The Griffs just didn't want to be this particular answer.

Canisius became the first win in program history for Robert Morris as the Colonials earned a 3-1 win in front of a crowd of 800 at the Buffalo State Ice Arena Friday night.

It was the first collegiate game for Robert Morris, which added men's hockey to its Division I offerings this season.

"We competed hard," said Colonials coach Derek Schooley, whose team outshot the Griffs, 21-16, through the first two periods. "We did all the little things like blocking shots. It was a great road win and we're really excited."

Tied at 1-1 after two periods, Robert Morris took a 2-1 lead on a power play goal by defenseman Jeff Gilbert, who beat Griffs goaltender Bryan Worosz between his legs, from the left faceoff circle.

In fact, it was the special teams units which got most of the ice time, thanks to the new spirit of college hockey officiating with an emphasis on obstruction calls. While the Griffs finished 1 for 9 on the power play, they squandered a few chances, especially in the second period when 2:19 worth of power play (including 1:41 of five-on-three) generated no shots on goal.

"We all know that in college hockey this year, special teams are going to be key," Canisius coach Brian Cavanaugh said. "We work on them every day. Our penalty kill did a great job. . . . On our power play, we have to generate more chances and I think we had a lot of great opportunities in the first and third period that we didn't cash in."

The Griffs couldn't cash in because of Robert Morris freshman goalie Christian Boucher. He finished the game with 29 saves but came up with a series of clutch saves in the third period, particularly the final eight minutes of the game when the Griffs attempted to tie the game.

"You have to give credit to their goalie. He stood on his head," said Griffs' senior forward Fred Coccimiglio.

Canisius took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when Coccimiglio scored his first goal of the season, punching in the puck during a goalmouth scramble on a Griffs' power play. Ryan Corcoran and Mike Roberto were credited with assists.

Robert Morris evened the game about three minutes into the second when freshman defenseman Bill Menozzi scored the first goal in Colonials program history, walking in from the face off circle to beat Worosz, who had 27 saves, between his legs. Gilbert added an empty-net goal with two seconds left.

The two teams will meet tonight in Pittsburgh to complete the home-and-home series.
e-mail: amoritz@buffnews.com

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