When Shane Conacher arrived at Canisius, he was following in his older brother’s footsteps.
The Golden Griffins could have done without this particular parallel, at least when reviewing the starts of their careers.
Conacher suffered a facial injury in the first period of his first collegiate hockey game, a 6-4 loss at Niagara on Saturday. The forward, who collected an assist in that first period, will miss about six weeks.
Rewind to Cory Conacher’s freshman season. Before he became the Canisius’ all-time leading scorer at the Division I level, Cory injured his wrist in his first official week of collegiate practice. He missed the team’s first 17 games before notching two assists in his first game, a 4-3 win over Niagara on Dec. 30, 2007.
The Griffs are off this weekend, returning to action Oct. 25-26 when they travel to Colorado to play Air Force and Denver.
Niagara, which plays at Robert Morris on Saturday, dropped from No. 20 to those receiving votes in the latest USCHO.com poll. Canisius is also among those receiving votes.
Last weekend was a big one for Atlantic Hockey as Sacred Heart upset UMass-Lowell, 2-1, Friday night. The River Hawks were the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, but fell to No. 9 in this week’s poll.
Bentley also scored a big win, 6-4, over Nebraska-Omaha, a team also in the national poll receiving votes category.
Kuras captures honors
The swimming and diving season is under way and University at Buffalo senior Brittney Kuras is back in solid form. She won four individual events and was part of two winning relay teams at the Western New York Invitational last weekend. She earned Mid-American Conference Swimmer of the Week honors.
Kuras won the 50-yard freestyle, the 100 backstroke, the 100 free and the 100 fly. She was also part of the winning 200 medley relay team and anchored the 200 free relay. She has won the MAC’s Most Outstanding Swimmer for the last two seasons.
Medaille soccer on a roll
After a difficult non-conference schedule, the Medaille men’s soccer team has found its groove.
The Mavericks rattled off five straight wins heading into tonight’s match with D’Youville. With five straight wins, the Mavs are undefeated in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play and improved to 8-6-1 overall.
Meanwhile in Division III women’s soccer, D’Youville goalie Christina Ventresca (Niagara-Wheatfield) earned her second AMCC defensive player of the week honor.
Ventresca made eight saves in a pair of shutouts last week. Her seven shutouts on the season set a single-season record for the Spartans, who are 3-1-1 in conference play.
Big 4 Hoops social media
There’s a new player in the Twitterverse for local college basketball fans. To further brand Big 4 basketball, the schools announced a new Twitter feed, @Big4Hoops. The account will update men’s and women’s basketball from Buffalo, Canisius. Niagara and St. Bonaventure.