The Canisius College hockey team earned its first victory of the 2012-13 campaign with a 3-1 win against Alaska Fairbanks at the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage. With the win, Canisius improves to 1-1-0 on the season, while the CCHA’s Nanooks drop to 0-1-1.
Redshirt freshman Keegan Asmundson (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) led the Griffs to the victory, recording 33 saves in his collegiate debut.
“We did a good job today building on our positives from last night,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “We were really strong in the first two periods and it was a total team effort from the goaltending on out. Keegan did a really good job for us and congratulations go out to him on his first career victory and a near shutout.”
Senior captains Torrey Lindsay (Grosse Isle, Manitoba) and Preston Shupe (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) plus sophomore Matthew Grazen (East Amherst, N.Y.) all tallied goals in the winning effort with Asmundson backstopping the team’s defense to victory.
The Griffs wasted no time finding the scoreboard in their second contest of the weekend when Lindsay netted the team’s first goal of the 2012-13 campaign 3:03 into the game. Freshman Matthew Backhouse (Thompson, Manitoba) sent a shot toward goal from the blue line and the co-captain redirected the puck into the back of the net for the early 1-0 advantage. Along with Backhouse, classmateStephen Miller (Boxborough, Mass.) also registered an assist on the goal, marking the first career points for the rookies.
Canisius extended its advantage to two with 6:09 remaining in the opening frame. At the boards by the right face-off circle, junior defender Ben Danford (Stillwater, Minn.) found Shupe open in the slot. The team’s captain made a move to beat the UAF netminder and finished for the 2-0 advantage.
The Griffs continued their strong play in the second period, stretching their advantage to three when Grazen netted his first of the season. On a rush on a 4-on-4 situation, the sophomore sent a shot toward goal but the UAF netminder turned it away. Sophomore defender Doug Jessey (Langdon, Alberta) corralled the loose puck at the blue line and sent it right back to his classmate. Grazen then finished from close range for the 3-0 advantage 7:21 into the frame.
Overall, Canisius outshot the Nanooks, 16-8, in the second frame – controlling possession with Asmundson dominating the defensive end for the Griffs.
The rookie netminder continued his strong play throughout the third frame, recording 15 saves to finish with 33 in his debut. Only a review with 4.3 seconds remaining cost the redshirt freshman a shutout with Tyler Morley being credited with the tally.
Overall, the Nanooks finished the contest with a 34-25 advantage in shots on the night. Neither team scored on the power play with the Griffs going 0-for-5 with the extra man and successfully killing all six Alaska power plays.
John Keeney recorded 22 saves in the losing effort for the Nanooks.