by Amy Moritz
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.
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.