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Canisius finds its "hard to play against" gear

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz

Canisius coach Dave Smith has been saying for the past few weeks he wants his Golden Griffins hockey team to be hard to play against.

This weekend at Denver, the Griffs finally found that "hard to play against" gear as they knocked off the Pioneers, then ranked No. 17, now knocked out of the USCHO.com top 20.

After the game, Denver coach Jim Montgomery talked with Smith.

"He said, 'You guys are really hard to play against.' I said thank you but on the inside I was thinking that's because we played the way we're capable of playing," Smith said.

But what does being hard to play against mean for Canisius? What does that look like?

Canisius senior forward Kyle Gibbons breaks it down:

"I think there’s three key things -- hard work, physicality and aggressiveness," senior forward Kyle GIbbons said. "So in other words, you’re in on the forecheck, you finish your hit. Your guy passes the puck in the D zone, you don’t let him get to the net, you finish your check. Don’t let him beat you to the net. Don’t get beat to the puck in the open zone. Don’t get beat to the puck anywhere on the ice.

"If a guy’s skating hard at you on the forecheck, the less time you’re going to have, so it’s harder for you to make a play. If you're constantly getting hit and hit and hit, next time you go make a play, maybe you turn it over.

"It's working as a team, too. You work together, forwards, D and goalies and put it all together. It’s harder to play against six guys as a unit or 20 guys as a team as oppose to four or five guys who might be doing their own thing."

The Griffs get another key test this weekend when the play at No. 6 Miami (Ohio) on Frdiay and Saturday.

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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare | [email protected]


Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic began his journalism career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for The Buffalo News since 2001. A proud father of four children, he enjoys reading in his spare time.

@RodneyMcKissic | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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