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Canisius hockey opens AHA playoffs Friday

The Canisius Golden Griffins are hoping to return to the Atlantic Hockey Tournament championship for the first time since 2014.
Canisius opens the tournament with a first-round matchup against Bentley that begins tonight at 7:05 p.m. in Waltham, MA.
The best-of-three series will take place this weekend, with all games hosted at Bentley. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and if necessary there will be a 4:05 p.m. start time on Sunday.
The ninth-seeded Golden Griffins and eighth-seeded Falcons tied in their two prior matchups this season but Canisius picked up the extra point in both contests by way of a shootout in one and three-on-three overtime in the other.
Bentley is riding a seven-game unbeaten streak against Canisius.
But in postseason play, the Golden Griffins have shown recent success in the AHA tournament.
Since 2013, Canisius is 20-11 in it and have advanced to championship weekend in five of the past seven seasons. They took tournament runner-up Niagara to three-games in their first-round series last year.
Canisius finished its regular season with a sweep of Mercyhurst, 3-2 and 6-0.
Despite a 9-13-6 regular season record, Canisius has two of the top scorers in Atlantic Hockey at their disposal.
Senior forward Matt Hoover finished conference play with 29 points, second in the league. Linemate and fellow senior Nick Hutchison finished second in goals during conference play with 15.
While seniors lead the offense there is a freshman between the pipes.
Goalie Jacob Barczewski has started 18 of the Griffs’ last 20 games, compiling a .914 save percentage and 2.52 goals against average.
Fellow AHA member Niagara will begin postseason play March 13-15 in the AHA quarterfinals following their postseason bye.

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