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Griffs’ win earns split of series with Air Force

A Shane Conacher goal snapped a 2-2 tie and Ralph Cuddemi added his second of the game for insurance in a 4-2 Canisius College victory over Air Force Academy Saturday night. The outcome resulted in a split of the two-game Atlantic Hockey Association weekend series in Colorado.

Cuddemi’s power-play goal with 25 seconds left in the second period had given the Griffs a 2-1 lead. Conacher (a goal and two assists) and Ryan Schmelzer (three assists) each had three-point games. Canisius improved to 4-10-1 overall and 4-5-1 in the league. Air Force is 6-8-2, 4-4-2 AHA.

After a scoreless first period, Ben Carey of the Falcons scored 40 seconds into the second. Canisius came back late in the period, however, for a 2-1 lead. Jack Stander scored his first of the season for the Griffs at 14:19 with assists by Dylan McLaughlin and Felix Chamberland.

Matt Serratore tied it for Air Force at 9:03 of the third with Kyle Haak assisting. Conacher struck for the game-winner 39 seconds later.

Canisius goalie Reilly Turner had a strong game, making 42 saves. Air Force’s Shane Starrett was called on for 20 stops. Also, the Griffs killed off four Air Force power plays. Canisius was 1-3 with the man advantage.

Turner was especially busy during two Air Force power plays in the third period after Jimmy Mazza went off twice for minor penalties. Turner was called upon for three saves and two more Falcons shots were blocked by Griff defenders on the first. Turner made six saves during the second short-handed situation. Air Force pulled Starrett with 4:39 left but could not cut into the two-goal Canisius lead.

Next for Canisius series against Robert Morris at 7 p.m. Saturday in Pittsburgh and 7 p.m. next Sunday at HarborCenter.