Canisius College hockey couldn’t earn bragging rights in a matchup between the No. 1 and 2 ranked teams in the Atlantic Hockey preseason poll Friday night in HarborCenter.
The Golden Griffins, predicted to finish second, fell to league favorites Air Force, 7-3, in Canisius’ home opener.
The Falcons won the conference last season and made it all the way to the regional final before falling to the eventual champions, Minnesota-Duluth.
However, Air Force started the year on the wrong foot, losing to Denver and Colorado College on a western road trip.
The team’s first win of the season was largely due to Eric Feno, who notched a hat trick Friday.
Feno scored the equalizer after Canisius’ Matt Hoover opened the scoring for the Golden Griffins 1:09 into the game.
Dylan McLaughlin gave Canisius the lead back late in the first period, but the Falcons ran away with the game with a four-goal run in the second and third.
Air Force has now won five of its last six meetings with Canisius.
Canisius and Air Force will wrap up their two-game series today at 7:35 p.m. The Griffs play their first non-conference game of the season next Saturday at Clarkson.