Saturday was not a good day for the Western New York teams in the Atlantic Hockey Association. Both Canisius and Niagara lost decisively on home ice.
After opening its Atlantic Hockey schedule with a victory over Holy Cross on Friday at HarborCenter, Canisius couldn’t pull off the sweep Saturday.
The visiting Crusaders (1-4-0, 1-1-0 AHA) struck for three first-period goals, built a four-goal lead and went on to a 4-1 victory over the Golden Griffins (1-3-0, 1-1-0 AHA) before 906 at the downtown facility.
Sophomore Reilly Turner, who made 35 saves for the Griffs on Friday, didn’t make it to the second period Saturday. He gave up three goals on 13 shots in the opening period. Freshman Simon Hofley took over, his first collegiate appearance, and stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced over 40 minutes. Michael Laffin scored the first Holy Cross goal and assisted on the next two.
Ian Edmondson, a freshman, scored his first collegiate goal for Canisius at 11:35 of the second period with assists by Shane Conacher and Felix Chamberland.
The Griffs were outshot 13-6 in the first period. Holy Cross had only a 22-19 advantage the rest of the way as play evened out. The Crusaders were 1 for 4 on the power play, Canisius 0 for 1.
“We learned a lot of things about our team today, both good and bad,” said Canisius coach Dave Smith. “As a group we will work hard to get our effort and play in sync.”
In Lewiston, Niagara (0-3-1, 0-1-1 AHA) was drubbed by visiting Robert Morris, 8-2, after playing the Colonials to a 3-3 tie on Friday night.
The Purple Eagles had a 36-28 advantage in shots but put nothing by goalie Terry Shafer until after Robert Morris had built a 6-1 lead. Sam Rennaker scored a power-play goal for Niagara with Keegan Harper drawing the assist at 15:51 of the second period. Derian Plouffe scored the other Niagara goal at 9:21 of the third.
Robert Morris went 3 for 3 on the power play during its six-goal run, which included three goals by Greg Gibson, who has six on the season for the Colonials (2-0-2, 2-0-2 AHA).
RMU was 4 for 4 on the power play to Niagara’s 1 for 3. Joe O’Brien (two goals allowed) and Guillaume Therien (six allowed) split the goaltending for Niagara.