BUFFALO--Adrian College Men's Hockey used a balanced offense and jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead to cruise to a season-opening 5-1 victory Friday over Nichols in the first game of the Buffalo State Bengals Classic. The nationally-ranked Bulldogs will meet Manhattanville--a 5-2 winner over the host Bengals tonight--in Saturday's championship game at 7 p.m.
= Final Score: Adrian College 5, Nichols College 1
= Location: Buffalo State College Ice Arena; Buffalo, N.Y.
= Records: Adrian Bulldogs 1-0 overall (0-0 NCHA-South); Nichols Bison 0-1 overall (0-0 CCC)
= National Rankings: Adrian--#7 in United States College Hockey Online (155 points) preseason poll (Note: D3hockey.com has not yet published a 2019-20 preseason poll.)
= Junior goalie Cameron Gray, a transfer from NCAA Division I St. Lawrence University, grabbed his first collegiate win on 26 saves.
= Sophomore Sam Ruffin led Adrian in the face-off circle by winning 10 of 18 draws.
= Curtis Carlson scored the Bison's lone goal with Oliver Arnberg and Nicholas Mangone also getting on the scoresheet with the assists on the play.
= Vincent Crivello led all skaters with 16 face-off wins and 24 attempts.
= Brett Epp stopped 34 of 39 shots he faced.
HOW IT HAPPENED
= Adrian built a three-goal lead after 20 minutes behind goals by Luciani at 2:49 of the first period, followed by Ruffin and Bellant at 9:00 and 19:34, respectively. Ruffin scored the first of AC's three power-play goals on the day, while Bellant scored with the Bulldogs shorthanded.
= Moe extended Adrian's lead to 4-0 on a power play goal with 26 seconds left in the second period--the same time as Bellant's shorthanded tally in the first stanza.
= Buffalo State cut the lead to 4-1 off Carlson's stick at the 8:54 mark in the third period before senior defenseman Joey Colatarci countered exactly 2 minutes later with a power play marker to account for the final margin.
= Ten different Bulldogs recorded at least one point.
= Four Adrian newcomers accounted for six points including freshman Zachary Heintz (1a/Lone Star Brahmas, NAHL), Ruffin (1g/NCAA D-I University of Alaska Fairbanks), Luciani (1g-1a, Markham Royals, OJHL) and Bellant (1g-1a/NCAA D-I Michigan Tech). In addition, Gray made 26 stops in his Bulldogs debut.
= Adrian was 3-for-7 on the power play while killing off all six Nichols chances with the man-advantage.
= The Bulldogs outshot the Bison 39 to 27, including a 13-10 margin in the decisive first period.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= With the win, Adrian moves to 4-2 in overall season openers under Coach Adam Krug '12 who has won five of six "road" openers behind the bench.
= As a program, the Bulldogs are now 7-1-1 when opening the season on the road.
= Adrian also defeated Nichols in the schools' only previous meeting on Jan. 1, 2011, in Northfield, Vt. The 'Dogs prevailed 7-3.
= The Bison received two points in the 2019-20 USCHO.com preseason poll, while Adrian is tied for seventh with Augsburg.
= Senior Dino Balsamo was credited with the secondary assist on Colatarci's goal to conclude the scoring in the game, giving him 43 assists and 72 points for his career--figures that make him Adrian's all-time current leader. He is second among AC actives to classmate Matt McNair in games played, 82 to 84.
= Nichols is a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference.
= After this weekend, Adrian will open next weekend the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association circuit at Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wis. Friday's contest is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Eastern, followed by Saturday's series finale at 5 p.m. Eastern.
#TheBrotherhood #AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #BulldogProud #TraditionNeverDies