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Canisius hockey plays host to Sacred Heart on Thanksgiving weekend

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

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Games 12-13
Canisius (4-7-0, 3-6-0 AHA) vs. Sacred Heart (2-6-1, 2-4-0 AHA)

Date: Friday, Nov. 23 | Saturday, Nov. 24
Times: 1:05 p.m. | 1:05 p.m.
Location: KeyBank Rink at Harborcenter | Buffalo, N.Y.
Live Stats: SIDEARM Stats 
TV/Webcast: Atlantichockey.tv
Tickets: Ticketmaster.com
Game Notes: Canisius (PDF) | Sacred Heart
 
The Canisius hockey team hosts Sacred Heart in an Atlantic Hockey Association series this weekend at KeyBank Rink at Harborcenter.
 
The Golden Griffins and Pioneers open their two-game series Friday before concluding their set the following day. Start time for both contests is set for 1:05 p.m.
 
Autograph Session, Open Skate to Take Place This Weekend
• Canisius will host a free autograph session with the team in the seventh floor concourse following Friday's contest.
• There will also be an open skate at the conclusion of Saturday's contest with the team on the KeyBank Rink ice from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
• There will be free skate rentals for all those in attendance.
 
Scouting Canisius
• The Griffs eye a return to the win column after falling in both games of a home-and-home series with "Battle of the Bridge" rival Niagara last weekend.
• Senior Dylan McLaughlin remains the top offensive threat for Canisius, leading the team in goals (7), assists (9) and points (16). McLaughlin has recorded a point in eight of the Griffs' 11 games this season, including multiple-point outings in five of those games.
• Junior Nick Hutchison is second on the squad in goals (6) and tied for points (11). Hutchison has recorded a goal in three of Canisius' last four contests.
• Senior defenseman Jimmy Mazza is second on the team with nine assists and tied with Hutchison for second with 11 points. Mazza has recorded a point in eight of 10 games played this season.
• Canisius has found success on the power play this season as it is 12-for-58 with the man advantage (.207). The Griffs have recorded a power-play goal in nine of 11 games played this season.
 
Canisius Swept by Niagara in Battle of the Bridge Series
• Canisius suffered its first regular-season sweep at the hands of long-time rival Niagara last weekend, falling in the opening game at Harborcenter by a 5-2 margin before suffering a 9-6 setback in the finale two days later at Dwyer Arena.
• The sweep was the first by the Purple Eagles against the Griffs since the 2011-12 campaign.
• Game one saw Niagara break a 2-2 deadlock early in the second before adding a pair of goals late in the third to post a 5-2 victory.
• In the finale, the Purple Eagles exploded for five unanswered goals midway through the contest to build a comfortable cushion as it cruised to a 9-6 victory.
• Junior Nick Hutchison tallied two goals and two assists during the series, matching his career high by registering three points in the finale.
• Senior Dylan McLaughlin dished out three assists to take over the team lead in that category.
• Sophomore Austin Alger recorded the Griffs' opening goal in both games of the series, giving him three goals in Canisius' last four outings. Both of Alger's tallies came on the power play.
 
Scouting Sacred Heart
• Like Canisius, Sacred Heart enters the weekend looking to halt a losing skid that stands at three games after being swept at home last weekend by league-foe Mercyhurst.
• Sophomore's Matt Tugnutt (2g, 4a) and Marc Johnstone (1g, 5a) have led a Pioneer attack that has averaged just 1.9 goals per game in the early going.
• Junior's Jason Cotton and Austin McIlmurray have been the squad's top goal scorers in the early going, netting three goals each.
• Senior Brett Magnus has seen the majority of time in goal for the Pioneers, starting eight games between the pipes. Magnus holds a 3.19 goals against average and a .897 save percentage in 489 minutes of work this season.
 
Canisius-Sacred Heart Series Notes
• In 59 previous meetings between the two schools, Canisius holds a 29-23-7 advantage in the series with Sacred Heart.
• The Griffs have controlled the series as of late, posting a 13-6-3 record versus the Pioneers in the last 22 meetings.
• Last season, the teams split their lone regular-season matchup at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. Sacred Heart claimed the opener by a 6-2 margin before Canisius battled back to claim a 3-2 victory in the finale.
• Canisius holds a 17-8-1 overall record at home against Sacred Heart, but was swept in their most recent series in the Nickel City, dropping a pair of 4-3 decisions at Harborcenter back in February of 2016.
 
Up Next
• Canisius closes out the first half of its schedule next weekend when it travels to West Point for a two-game Atlantic Hockey series against Army.
• The Griffs and Black Knights open their series at Tate Rink Nov. 30 with a 7 p.m. contest before closing out the weekend set the following day with a 5 p.m. matinee.