by Amy Moritz
For the second-straight year Canisius finds itself in the Atlantic Hockey Championship game and this season they did it in dramatic, dare we say epic, fashion. Here's what you need to know for tonight's final against Robert Morris.
Game time: 7:05 p.m. at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.
Tickets: Blue Cross Arena Box Office. Adults $16; Children (6-12) $6.75; Students $12.
About Robert Morris: The Colonials advanced to their first title game with a 5-4 overtime win over Niagara. They are speedy with offensive skill (particularly Cody Wydo) but the X-Factor has been freshman goaltender Dalton Izyk. Sophomore starter Terry Shafer left in the middle of the Colonials'' first-round Game 3 against Army. (The guess is an injury although Robert Morris hasn't said much about it.) Izyk came in and has been fantastic, going 4-0-0 in the playoffs. He has giving up just six goals over 141 shots with a 1.55 goals against average and a .957 save percentage. Note that four of those six goals came against Niagara on Friday night.
Regular season series: Robert Morris won the two games in Pittsburgh while Canisius won the game at Buffalo State. On Nov. 8, the Colonials took a 6-1 win over the Griffs in Pittsburgh. The teams then split a home-and-home in late February. Robert Morris won 4-1 and Canisius won 6-3.
Overtime with the Griffs: With their 5-4 double-overtime win against Mercyhurst in the semifinals, the Griffs have played three overtime games in this playoff run including a pair of double-overtime games. Last night's semifinal of 93 minutes, 30 seconds was the longest in Canisius program history.
Capobinaco with the save: Senior Tony Capobianco made 58 saves for the Griffs setting a playoff record for most saves in a playoff game. He withstood a Mercyhurst attack which threw 16 shots at him in the first overtime.
Ralph Cuddemi vs. Mercyhurst: With two goals against the Lakers last night, Cuddemi has scored four goals against Mercyhurst in two playoff games. What is it about playing the Lakers? "I guess I must not like the color green or something like that," the sophomore forward said. "I mean I wish I could play them every night but that’s not the way it works."
Highlights from the Griffs' semifinal win: