February 11, 2014 - 12:38 PM
February 9, 2014 - 7:55 PM
Iona 101, Canisius 91
How Iona Won: The Gaels made it seven straight victories and avenged an earlier loss to the Griffs by playing their fast-paced, free-wheeling style to near perfection. They had David Laury work the inside early and pounded the Griffs from long range in the second half. It's as good an inside-outside mix as there is in the league and when the ball movement's brisk, as it was Sunday, the defending MAAC champs are an awfully tough out.
Turning Point: The Griffs were up five with just under 13 minutes left but Iona burst for eight straight points, six of them on threes by Isaiah Williams. Two ties later the Gaels went ahead for good on a layup by Williams.
Player of the Game: The Gaels lost guard MoMo Jones, the MAAC Player of the Year, to graduation last season. But who notices when his replacement, sophomore guard A.J. English, goes off for a career-high 32. English was Iona's glue in the first half, scoring 18 points, before the offense really got rolling.
Player of the Game, Losing Effort: Canisius got the norm from Billy Baron (23 points) and have seen Chris Perez (24 points) have games like this before. The unknown was freshman forward Phil Valenti filling in for the injured Chris Manhertz. Valenti exceled in his first start: 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists, no turnovers. Griffs could cause some matchup problems by giving him some minutes at the 3 spot. He has the athleticism.
Stat Check: Iona backup center David Laury defied the odds by going 9 of 11 at the foul line. He's a 53 percent free throw shooter.
What It Means: Iona's in the MAAC driver's seat, two games up with six to play. Canisius fell into a tie for second with Manhattan, which owns the tie-breaker advantage. It'll be a three-way tie for second if Quinnipiac beats visiting Marist Monday night.
In the House: They filled the KAC for the third time in the last four games. Apparently Jim Baron's pleas didn't fall on deaf ears.
Next Up: The Griffs head over the bridge for a Valentine's Night encounter with Niagara. The Griffs won the first meeting 87-74 but the Purple Eagles are sure to be focused and angry after suffering excrutiating one-point losses this weekend to Iona and Manhattan. It's a 9 p.m. start on ESPNU.
-- Bob DiCesare
February 8, 2014 - 1:46 PM
February 7, 2014 - 5:41 PM
February 7, 2014 - 9:28 AM
by Amy Moritz
Did you catch your breath after last night's Canisius-Niagara game? Because we just did. With a little bit of perspective here's a brief look back at last night's 4-4 tie in Dwyer with an eye toward's Saturday's rematch at 7 p.m. at Buffalo State Ice Arena.
Special teams: The Griffs went 1-for-4 on the power play with Kyle Gibbons opening the scoring. And that was it for PP goals. The penalty kill was solid for both teams as was the discipline in staying out of the box. Niagara went 0-for2 on the man-advantage. The sloppiest play came in the second period with a quick series of penalties and 4-on-4 opportunities, but there didn't seem to be a whole lot of game-changing plays occurring on special teams last night.
Next shift: After that power play goal from Gibbons, it took just 57 seconds for Niagara to tie the game. The Purple Eagles have been able strike back quickly, especially in the second half of this season, which makes them a dangerous team. Canisius has had difficulty locking down in the few shifts immediately after scoring a goal. And thus, the 1-1 score was written.
Speaking of Gibbons: He is now seven goals shy of Cory Conacher's all-time mark at Canisius. And speaking of Conacher, younger brother Shame had the second assist on Gibbons' goal. There is all kinds of symmetry going on with this storyline.
Who's in net? After Thursday's game, Dave Burkholder said Adrian Ignagni would get the start for Niagara on Saturday. Burkholder seemed very displeased with the final two goals scored by Canisius, one on a rush by Doug Jessey (wasn't everyone thinking he was going to pass that puck?) and another off a faceoff draw by Ben Danford (who now has 11 career points against the Purps).
A loss and a win: Burkholder said Thursday's 4-4 tie "felt like a loss." Meanwhile, Canisius kept its composure and battled back to score twice and earn the point on the road. What does this mean for Saturday? Niagara has had some fantastic bounce-back games after disappointing losses and the Griffs have responded to wins with less than stellar performances.
Players to watch: Niagara's top line of Ryan Rashid, Hugo Turcotte and Isaac Kohls has been carrying the Purps offensively. They need scoring from other places, but those three guys are fun to watch and Turcotte was buzzing on Thursday.
Also buzzing: Shane Conacher for Canisius. He was all over the puck and had several good scoring opportunities. He hasn't scored since nabbing a goal in a 6-2 loss at Vermont on Dec. 29. And the way he's playing now, he's due for a goal.
For your viewing pleasure: This week's Canisius hockey Campus Chronicles courtesy of the video work of sophomore Chris Rumble. My favorite parts include a discussion on expired yogurt and the fact that Shane Conacher is wearing an Ottawa Senators hat.
Search Campus Watch
About Campus Watch
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.
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.
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.
- Live blog: Sacred Heart at Canisius, Atlantic Hockey Playoffs, 7 p.m.
- Capobianco sets Canisius records, shutout for Teichroeb, and Cribs: The Canisius Hockey Edition
- Live blog at 9 p.m.: Niagara men vs. Quinnipiac in MAAC quarter-finals
- Live blog at 2:30 p.m. Bowling Green at UB basketball
- Live blog at 2:30 p.m.: Canisius vs. Sienna in MAAC quarter-finals
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012