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NU hockey takes 3 points in weekend series after 2-2 tie


NIAGARA UNIV. -- The Niagara Purple Eagles hockey team closed out its first home weekend of 2018 taking three of four points in conference play from the visiting RIT Tigers. Tanner Lomsnes and Niko Kovachis scored to put the Purple Eagles up 2-0 early in the first period, but RIT forced overtime with two goals in the final 4:54 of the game, including the game-tying goal with 11 seconds to play. Derian Plouffe picked up two assists to cap a four-point weekend for Niagara, and Brian Wilson made 29 saves in goal.
Game Summary
  • Final Score: RIT 2, Niagara 2 (OT)
  • Niagara Goal Scorers: Niko Kovachis, Tanner Lomsnes
  • Niagara Assists: Justin Kendall, Derian Plouffe (2), Ben Sokay
  • In Goal: Brian Wilson (8-8-2) – 2 GA, 29 SV
  • Power Plays: Niagara – 1-for-4 (5 SOG); RIT – 1-for-4 (5 SOG)
  • Records: Niagara – 10-9-2 (9-4-2 AHC); RIT – 8-8-2 (7-4-1 AHC)
  • Location: Dwyer Arena – Niagara University, New York
  • Attendance: 697

Game Recap
  • Both goaltenders held their opponents off the scoreboard in the first period, with Brian Wilson making seven saves for the Purple Eagles and Logan Drackett picking up nine for the Tigers.
  • Niagara found the back of the net on an early second-period power play to open the scoring. Ben Sokay fed a pass across the slot to Derian Plouffe, whose shot was stopped by Drackett. Perched in front of the net, Tanner Lomsnes poked home the rebound for his fifth power-play goal of the season.
  • Wilson came up with a number of big saves for the Purple Eagles, tallying 19 through 40 minutes and helping the Purple Eagles hold the 1-0 lead at the second intermission.
  • Niagara doubled its lead just 1:41 into the third period. Plouffe won a defensive-zone draw back to Niko Kovachis, who started the rush up the right wing. Off a give-and-go with Justin Kendall, Kovachis sped behind the RIT defense and picked the top corner past Drackett.
  • Not to be outdone, RIT fought back and broke Wilson's shutout bid with 4:54 left in regulation as Erik Brown extended his Tigers-best goal total to 12 off a feed from Matt Abt.
  • The Tigers pulled Drackett with 90 seconds to go and fended off multiple bids for an empty-net goal by the Purple Eagles. RIT set up for a 6-on-4 advantage with 18 seconds to go after a late penalty to Niagara, and Adam Brubacher's shot found its way through traffic and past Wilson to tie the game at two.
  • Both goaltenders remained perfect through overtime, with three saves for Drackett and two for Wilson, as Niagara closed the weekend with three out of four points in conference play after the 2-2 tie.
Coach's Corner
  • Head coach Jason Lammers: "I thought we actually played a better game tonight than we did last night, we just didn't get the product that we wanted. I'm real impressed with our guys, especially some of the things we've been through this week. We were harder here tonight, obviously would have liked a better result, but I liked our process a lot better."
Inside the Numbers
  • The Purple Eagles are now 5-3-2 at Dwyer Arena this season, including a 5-0-2 record in games decided by one goal or less.
  • Derian Plouffe led the Purple Eagles in scoring with two assists in addition to a game-high six shots on goal.
  • It was Plouffe's second-straight game with multiple points, and he now leads the Purple Eagles and ranks fourth in Atlantic Hockey with 25 points (13+12).
  • Keegan Harper had a game-high six blocked shots for Niagara, the most by any Purple Eagle in a game this season.
  • Ben Sokay tallied one point in both games against RIT this weekend, putting him one game away from matching a season-best three-game point streak. Justin Kendall also tallied one assist to give him a point in each game for the weekend.
  • Brian Wilson's 29 saves were tied for his third-most in a game this season. For the season, Wilson is 8-8-2 with a 2.74 goals-against average and .902 save percentage; in conference play, he is 8-4-2 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.
  • Both Niagara and RIT went 1-for-4 with five shots on goal with the man advantage.
Up Next
  • Niagara hosts the Robert Morris Colonials at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9 to close out the three-game home stand. Tickets are still available for Tuesday night's matchup. 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. Steve Warzala has the play-by-play call on WLVL 1340 AM.
  • The week rolls on as the Purple Eagles head to Erie for a two-game series at Mercyhurst. Both games on Friday, Jan. 12 and Saturday, Jan. 13 are slated for 7:05 p.m. starts. Paul Hamilton has radio play-by-play both nights on WLVL 1340 AM.