BUFFALO, N.Y. — Defenseman Carl Hudson scored two goals and the Canisius Golden Griffins beat AIC, 3-1, Saturday night at the Amherst Pepsi Center, sweeping the weekend series.
After last nights loss, AIC head coach Gary Wright knew his team would have to be better on special teams and stop Canisius from getting in behind his team. But the Griffins would go 3-7 on the power play and create multiple odd-man rushes past the defense, including on the penalty-kill.
Its disappointing for us, Wright said. Were struggling on specialty teams all around. I thought 5-on-5 we were fairly effective but our special teams situation has to change and we are trying to do it.
Jason Weeks scored his 10th goal of the season for the Griffins at 6:48 of the first period on the power play. A shot from the right point by Cory Conacher got through with two Canisius forwards in front of AIC goalie Dan Ramirez. Weeks was able to get his stick on the incoming shot and deflect it in.
Vincent Scarsella also received an assist on the play.
Minutes later, the Griffins were forced to kill a five minute major. Defenseman Scott Jenks got called for checking-from-behind for a hit in the Canisius zone along the half-boards. He also received a game misconduct. Just 45 seconds later the Griffins got called for a second penalty to give the Yellow Jackets a two-man advantage when Dave Cianfrini was sent off for cross-checking. An AIC penalty would create a 4-on-3 situation for 55 seconds before the teams skated 4-on-4.
Hudson tallied his 11th goal of the season on this 4-on-4 at 13:24 when Jason Weeks spun around in front of the AIC net to keep control of the puck. He passed to Cory Conacher and his shot from the right of the net rebounded to the left side. Hudson skated into the puck and shelved it past Ramirez.
AIC would get on the board on the power play just over a minute later. Loewen stopped a Chris Campanale shot with his pads but as he tried to cover the puck, Dean Yakura took it and slammed in his first of the season.
Hudson added his second of the night on the power play at the 13:14 mark of the second period. Conacher battled for the puck in the far corner boards, skated to the slot, and outwaited the rushing defender. He then sent a cross-ice pass to an open Hudson at the top of the left circle for the defensemans 12th of the season.
Its always good to score goals but its even better to get the sweep this weekend, Hudson said. We played great. We stayed on an even keel all week. Its good to get the two points.
Wes Love and Eric Rex would also score in the third period to bring the Griffins lead to 5-1. Tom Fenton then replaced Ramirez in net but less than five minutes later Jake Anderson entered the game and played the final 8:32.
We need to continue to do the things that are necessary for good teams and we need to keep doing them consistently, Canisius head coach Dave Smith said. And thats what the season provides is an opportunity to keep practicing at that very consistent level at all aspects of our game.
Weeks, Conacher and Scarsella all had three point nights for the Griffins. Loewen started his second game of the weekend and recorded 29 saves in the win.
The Griffins improve to 13-11-6 overall and 11-9-4 in Atlantic Hockey. The loss leaves the Yellow Jackets with a 4-24-1 overall record and 4-19-0 in conference play.