After a disappointing home record last year, the Wayne State Warriors (4-2-0) are off to a fine start this season after sweeping the Canisius Golden Griffins at the Compuware Sports Arena over the weekend.
The Warriors survived a furious rush by the Griffins in the opener, but still managed to hold on for a 3-2 win.
Wayne State got on the board first when freshman Derek Bachynski scored shorthanded at the two-minute mark for his first collegiate goal. Fellow freshman Stavros Paskaris smashed in a one-timer from close range just over four minutes later to give the home team a 2-0 lead.
The Warriors opened up a 3-0 lead, just seconds into the second period, when defenseman Steve Kovalchik riffled in a shot from the blueline on the power-play.
Soon after, Wayne State started a steady stream of players to the penalty box and the Griffins capitalized with two power-play goals by Andrew Dawe to cut the Warriors lead to 3-2.
The Griffs out gunned the Green and Gold 21-14 over the final two periods, but goaltender Will Hooper and the Warrior defense held out for their third win of the season.
Hooper finished the night with 23 saves for his second win of the year.
After blowing their two previous chances this season, the Warriors finally got over the hump and dropped the Griffins 3-1 on Halloween Sunday to earn their first sweep of the year.
John May started things off with a power-play goal at 13:56 of the first period and just over a minute and a half later, Derek Bachynski scored his second of the weekend to open up a 2-0 Warrior lead.
Not to be out done, Stavros Paskaris notched his second of the set at 15:01 of the second period to move Wayne State into a 3-0 lead.
Matt Kelly got the start in net for the Warriors and only a Joel Kitchen goal, 19-seconds into the third period would spoil his bid for a shutout. Kelly finished the night with 33 saves for his third win of the year.
The Warriors will begin a four-game road trip with a pair against Hockey East’s Providence Friars (3-2-0) at the Schneider Arena in Rhode Island next weekend. Then the Warriors will travel to Pittsburgh to open the CHA season with a pair of games against the Robert Morris Colonials.
-After going 1-11-1 in their opening season in Plymouth, the Warriors are already 3-1-0 at the Compuware Sports Arena this year.
-Wayne State sophomore Jason Bloomingburg is tied for sixth nationally with six goals in five games.
-The Warriors are tied first nationally with Minnesota-Duluth and Colgate with 4 shorthanded goals.
-Wayne State also ranks nationally as 13th in the country in team offense by scoring 3.83 goals per game, tied with Rensselaer for 15th in penalty killing at 87.3%, and 8th in penalty minutes with 26.17 per game.