Canisius holds the distinction of being the only Atlantic Hockey Association program to win a playoff series on the road in 29 attempts. The Golden Griffins are one win away from doing it twice and put themselves in that position in stunning fashion.
Kyle Gibbons’ power-play goal with 9.1 seconds left broke a 3-3 tie as the Griffs beat two-time defending Atlantic Hockey champion Air Force, 4-3, in Cadet Ice Arena on Friday night. Gibbons’ goal came 59 seconds after the host Falcons had scored a short-handed, extra-attacker goal to tie things on Tony Thomas’ tip-in past Tony Capobianco.
“Heart-felt victory,” Griffs coach Dave Smith said. “Maturity has been really important. They get a huge momentum goal, we never stopped or felt sorry for ourselves.”
Patrick Sullivan scored twice for Canisius, which never trailed against an Air Force program that’s won five of the past six playoff titles. Ryan Bohrer also scored for the Griffs (16-18-5). Capobianco finished with 40 saves.
Air Force (17-12-7) outshot the Griffs, 43-26.
Game Two is tonight at 9.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Melissa Graham (Mount Mercy), a senior at SUNY Geneseo, was named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America Team.
Graham, the SUNYAC Player of the Year, led the Knights in scoring (12.1 points per), assists (3.0) and steals (1.3), while averaging 8.1 rebounds per game and blocking 28 shots.
SWIMMING AND DIVING: Shawn Hoffman placed 16th in the men’s 1-meter diving, while University at Buffalo teammates Rachel Eckert and Ava Giachino each placed 10th and 13th, respectively, in the women’s 3-meter diving at the NCAA Zone A Division championships in Christianburg, Va.