Canisius heads west to take on Air Force
By: Jay Ashdown
The Canisius hockey team heads out west this weekend to face Atlantic Hockey Association opponent Air Force in a two-game set. Air Force holds a 25–16–10 edge over Canisius in 51 previous meetings between the two programs, all of which have come since the Falcons joined the Atlantic Hockey Association in 2006-07.
Canisius boasts an 8–6–1 record to start the season, with a 5–3–0 record in conference. Air Force has struggled to start this season, as they come in at 4–9–1 on the season. The Falcons are also 2–5–1 in conference play this season, with their two wins coming over Bentley and Sacred Heart.
The Falcons are scoring 2.1 goals per game this season, and allowing 4.0 goals per game on average, so it’s not hard to see why Air Force is struggling. The special teams for Air Force has also been a major concern, as their powerplay converts at a pitiful 12.1%, and their penalty kill hasn’t been much better, killing off 73.5% of opponent power play opportunities.
The Falcons rely on Alex Schilling in net, a 6 feet 1 inch senior who has made 14 starts for Air Force this season. In those 14 games, Schilling has been abysmal, posting an .871% save percentage as well as a goals-against average of 4.02.
The plan for the Griffs is simple: they need to get off to better starts in their games this weekend, and they should be okay. The Griffs have the advantage offensively, defensively and they also have a major advantage in net. Despite this, the Griffs still need to play a strong six periods in order to get six points on the weekend. If the Griffs get off to a good start, stay disciplined and let Jacob Barczewski settle in, there’s no reason they can’t take this series.