Second-seeded Canisius is set to meet third-seeded RIT with a trip to the AHC Championship on the line. The long-time rivals meet on Friday 60 minutes after the first semifinal in Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena.
SCOUTING THE GRIFFS
• After matching the best finish in program history, the second-seeded Griffs (18-11-7, 15-7-6 AHC) swept a quarterfinal series versus Sacred Heart last weekend, winning 2-0 and 2-1 games.
• Ralph Cuddemi leads Canisius with 38 points and 22 goals with Shane Conacher right behind with 36 points, including a team-best 26 assists.
• Keegan Asmundson has anchored a strong Canisius defense with a 1.96 goals against average and .930 save percentage.
AHC QUARTERFINAL REVIEW
• The Griffs advanced to the AHC Semifinals after a sweep against eighth-seeded Sacred Heart during the quarterfinals.
• The defense anchored the wins, allowing only one goal in the two games behind AHC Goaltender of the Week Keegan Asmundson.
• Offensively, four Griffs recorded multiple points in the sweep.
• The top three seeds swept their series with only fifth-seeded Mercyhurst winning on the road (in three games at No. 4 Bentley).
WHAT’S ON THE LINE
• The winner of the semi will advance to Saturday’s AHC Championship
• The advancing team plays the winner of the Robert Morris and Mercyhurst for the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
• Canisius also has a chance to advance to its third-straight AHC title game, tying the conference record and becoming just the third school in history to do so (Air Force – 2007-09; RIT – 2010-12).
TRIO EARNS ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS
• Three Griffs collected all-conference honors this season, matching the program record (also in 2009-10).
• Junior Chris Rumble earned first-team accolades, becoming the first Canisius defender since 1998-99 to accomplish the feat.
• Senior goalie Keegan Asmundson and junior forward Ralph Cuddemi also collected second-team All-Atlantic Hockey honors.
• Asmundson is the first Griff goalie to earn All-AHC since 2004-05.
CANISIUS – RIT SERIES HISTORY
• In a series that dates back to the Griffs’ inaugural season of 1980-81, RIT holds a 49-15-2 advantage in 66 all-time meetings between the two schools.
• Canisius has played only Mercyhurst more than the Tigers during the program’s history.
• Since RIT moved to Division I for the 2005-06 season, the Tigers own a 19-9-1 edge in the series.
• The series has been nearly even the last three years but streaky. Canisius holds a 4-3-1 advantage against the Tigers during that span but after winning four-straight games versus the Tigers, RIT is 3-0-1 against the Griffs in the last four meetings.
• RIT claimed 3-of-4 points at Canisius earlier in the season. The Tigers scored a late goal in the opener to force a 3-3 draw before earning a 3-0 victory in the finale.
CANISIUS VS. RIT IN THE POSTSEASON
• The two schools have a long postseason history.
• The Tigers claimed the only victory when the schools met in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament, earning a 4-0 win in the 2010 semifinals en route to the league title.
• The rivals also met five times in the ECAC West Tournament with RIT holding a 4-1 advantage. Canisius won in the 1987 quarterfinals but the Tigers claimed victories four-straight years from 1994 to 1997 – the final three all coming in overtime (including the 1996 championship game).
ABOUT THE TIGERS
• RIT has won five-straight games and enters the semifinals with a 17-14-5 record. The Tigers used a late surge during the regular season to finish third in the Atlantic Hockey standings (14-9-5).
• Matt Garbowsky leads the team with 50 points and 26 goals. He ranks fourth nationally in points and second in the country in goals. Linemates Josh Mitchell (14-33–47) and Brad McGowan (20-21–41) have also eclipsed the 40-point mark this season for the Tigers.
• Jordan Ruby and Mike Rotolo have split time in net. Ruby is 8-7-4 with a 2.23 goals against average and .918 save percentage, while Rotolo is 9-6-1 with a 2.51 gaa and .908 save percentage.