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Wilson's 35 saves not enough as NU falls 4-1 at Ohio State


COLUMBUS, Ohio – One night after a heartbreaking last-second loss to the ninth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, the Niagara Purple Eagles hockey team came up on the short end of a 4-1 loss to close the weekend. A stellar 35-save effort from goaltender Brian Wilson was not enough for the Purple Eagles as junior Nick Farmer picked up the lone goal, his fifth of the season.
Niagara (9-9-1, 8-4-1 AHC) now turns back to Dwyer Arena for a stretch of three home games in five days. Currently tied for second place in Atlantic Hockey, the Purple Eagles are in conference play the rest of the regular season, starting Jan. 5, 2018 against the fifth-place RIT Tigers at 7:05 p.m.
Game Summary

  • Final Score: No. 9/9 Ohio State 4, Niagara 1
  • Niagara Goal Scorers: Nick Farmer
  • Niagara Assists: Keegan Harper, Tanner Lomsnes
  • In Goal: Brian Wilson (7-8-1) – 4 GA, 35 SV
  • Power Plays: Niagara – 0-for-4 (5 SOG); Ohio State – 2-for-5 (7 SOG)
  • Records: Niagara – 9-9-1; Ohio State – 12-4-4
  • Location: Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
  • Attendance: 4,218

Game Recap

  • Ohio State opened the scoring right away, with defenseman Matt Miller getting his second goal in as many nights against Niagara's Brian Wilson to take a 1-0 lead one minute in to the game. Matthew Weis cashed in on a power-play chance at the 7:02 mark to double the Buckeyes' lead.
  • With 8:51 left in the first, Niagara gained a five-minute power play after Justin Kendall took an elbow to the head from Ohio State's Sasha Larocque. Part of the power play was wiped out by a cross-checking penalty to Niagara's James Roll, but the Buckeyes killed off the entire penalty with goaltender Tommy Nappier making three stops.
  • In the closing minute of the first period, Nick Farmer got the Purple Eagles on the board. Tanner Lomsnes worked the puck out of a scrum along the right wing boards to Keegan Harper at the point. Harper's shot was blocked, but Farmer corralled the loose puck and spun around to put a wrist shot on goal that found its way in on the blocker side.
  • Ohio State outshot Niagara 16-4 in the middle stanza, with Wilson making 15 saves in goal for the Purple Eagles, many of the highlight variety. Weis found his second power-play goal of the night to push the Buckeyes' lead to 3-1 after 40 minutes of play.
  • Early in the third period, Ohio State's Ronnie Hein muscled his way past the Niagara defense and found John Wiitala in front for the Buckeyes' fourth goal, extending the lead at the 2:15 mark.
  • Niagara's best chance of the third came on the power play with seven minutes to go as Justin Kendall found Derek Brown in the low slot for a one-time shot that was blocked away by Nappier. Ohio State held on late to claim the 4-1 win.
Coach's Corner

  • Head coach Jason Lammers: "I continue to be impressed by our team's resiliency, they kept pushing themselves against a tough opponent this weekend. Heading back into conference play, we have to keep working at our process and growing and learning every day. Offensively, we had our chances including a long power play early, and we have to continue to get better at converting those opportunities."
Inside the Numbers

  • Goaltender Brian Wilson finished the weekend with a 35-save outing in the loss; it was his second-most saves as a Purple Eagle, trailing only a 40-save victory at Air Force on Dec. 1.
  • Keegan Harper (seven games), Nick Farmer (three games), and Tanner Lomsnes (three games) snapped their scoring droughts on Farmer's first-period goal, his first since Dec. 2 at Air Force.
  • Niagara gave up multiple power-play goals in a game for just the third time in 19 games this season as Ohio State went 2-for-4 with the man advantage; the Purple Eagles entered Saturday's matchup with the NCAA's fourth-best penalty kill percentage.
  • Niagara's offense was stymied by 22 blocked shots by the Buckeyes, the most by a Niagara opponent in a game this season. Noah Delmas led Niagara with two blocked shots as the Purple Eagles ended the game with nine as a team.
  • Ohio State held the advantages in shots on goal (39-28) and faceoffs (28-26). Farmer led the way for Niagara in both categories, tying the single-game high for the Purple Eagles with six shots on goal, and leading the team going 9-for-15 in the faceoff circle.
Up Next

  • Niagara returns to the friendly confines of Dwyer Arena next weekend to start a slate of three home games in five days. Returning to Atlantic Hockey play, the Purple Eagles have 7:05 p.m. contests with RIT on Friday, Jan. 5 and Saturday, Jan. 6 before taking on the Robert Morris Colonials at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
  • Tickets all still available for all three contests. For ticket information, call (716) 286-TIXX (8499), email tickets@niagara.edu, or visit www.PurpleEagles.com/Tickets. Niagara students receive free admission to all games with a valid student ID.