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Canisius hockey returns to action at No. 5 Cornell


No. 20 Canisius begins the second half of its regular season Saturday with a non-conference contest at No. 5 Cornell.

Puck drop for the matchup of nationally-ranked opponents is set for 4 p.m. at Lynah Rink in Ithaca.
Scouting Canisius
• The nationally-ranked Golden Griffins (10-5-1) return to action following their traditional end-of-semester break looking to build upon a stretch that has seen Canisius post a 7-1-0 record over its last eight contests.
• Sophomore Dylan McLaughlin leads the Atlantic Hockey Conference in scoring with 25 points (11g, 14a). McLaughlin enters the weekend riding an 11-game point-scoring streak that has seen him amass 19 points (9g, 10a) in that stretch.
• Junior Ryan Schmelzer ranks second on the team in goals (9), assists (11) and points (20). Schmelzer sits just four points away from becoming the 11th player in the Division I era of the program to reach the 100-point plateau.
• Sophomore Nick Hutchison (6g, 6a) is third on the game in scoring. Hutchison is tied for the national lead with four game-winning goals this season.
• Sophomore Daniel Urbani has started the last eight games between the pipes for Canisius, recording a 2.49 goals against average and a .922 save percentage in that span.  
• The power play continues to be effective as the Griffs are 18-of-68 (.265) with the man advantage thus far this season, ranking fourth nationally in that category. Canisius has recorded a power-play goal in 13 of 16 games played in 2017-18.  
• Canisius starts the second half of the season ranked fourth in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 3.69 goals per game. The Griffs have recorded two or more goals in 14 of 16 games played in 2017-18.

Canisius Sweeps Rival Niagara in Home-and-Home Series
• Canisius closed out the first half of the regular season with a sweep of a home-and-home series against No. 20 Niagara Dec. 8-9.
• The series opener saw the Golden Griffins rally from a 2-1 deficit with three goals in the third period to post a 4-2 victory at Dwyer Arena. In the series finale, Canisius exploded for five first-period goals as part of an 8-2 victory at HARBORCENTER.
• With the sweep, the Griffs improved to 3-2 this season against nationally-ranked competition.
• The eight goals in the series finale were also the most for Canisius in a single game since an 8-2 victory at Army West Point on Dec. 6, 2013.
• Junior Dylan McLaughlin (3g, 1a) and sophomore Nick Hutchison (2g, 2a) powered the potent Canisius attack that saw 16 different players register at least one point during the series.
• Hutchison recorded the game-winning goal in the series opener, moving him into a tie for first place nationally with four-game winning goals.
• Senior Ryan Schmelzer tallied three points (2g, 1a) during the series, moving him four points away from becoming just the 11th player in the Division I history of the program to reach the 100-point plateau.
• Sophomore Daniel Urbani got the start in goal in both games for the Griffs, stopping 58-of-62 shots faced during the two-game set.
Scouting the Big Red
• No. 5 Cornell heads into the second half of the regular season with a 10-2-0 overall and a 5-1-0 record in ECAC action. The Big Red is playing its first game since splitting a two-game series at Miami (OH) Dec. 1-2 (1-2, 4-0).
• Senior Trevor Yates leads Cornell in scoring with 13 points on the strength of a team-high eight goals.
• Three players – junior Anthony Angello, sophomore Jeff Malott and freshman Morgan Barron – are tied for second in scoring with three goals and six assists.
• The Big Red rank fourth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing an average of just 1.83 goals per contest. Cornell has allowed one goal or fewer in six of 12 games this season.
• Freshman Matthew Galajda has seen a majority of time between the pipes for the the Big Red, starting 11-of-12 games played this season. Galajda boasts a 2.10 goals against average and a .909 save percentage in 598:51 of action.
Canisius-Cornell Series Notes
Saturday's contest serves as just the second meeting between Canisius and Cornell.
The Big Red won the only previous matchup between the two programs, posting a 3-0 victory at Lynah Rink on Nov. 27, 2004.
Griffs Versus Ranked Opponents
• Saturday's contest at No. 5 Cornell serves as another opportunity for Canisius to make a splash on the national stage.
• Canisius holds an all-time record of 9-38-4 against nationally-ranked schools since moving to the Division I ranks in 1998.
• The Griffs are 3-2 this season against ranked opposition this season, splitting an Atlantic Hockey Conference series against then-No. 18 Air Force at HARBORCENTER in late October, falling to No. 3 Clarkson, 5-1, on home ice Dec. 2, and sweeping a home-and-home series with No. 20 Niagara Dec. 8-9.
Canisius Returns to National Rankings
• For the second consecutive season and the third time in program history, Canisius finds itself in the national rankings as the Griffs checked in at No. 20 at the latest USCHO.com poll released on Dec. 11.
• Canisius was ranked for the first time in school history at No. 20 after winning the 2013 Atlantic Hockey Tournament in March of that year. The Griffs were tabbed No. 19 in the final poll of the 2013 season the following month.
• Last season, The Griffs were slotted in at No. 20 in the March 13 edition of the weekly rankings after extending their program-record unbeaten streak to 17 games with a sweep of rival Niagara in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey Conference Tournament.

Up Next
• Canisius completes its home-and-home series against No. 4 Clarkson Jan. 2 with a 7:05 p.m. contest at Cheel Arena.