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Canisius hockey falls to Niagara in series opener, 5-2

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Hutchison_Nick action vs AIC 11_2_18
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Dylan Mills tallied two goals, including the game-winner, to lead Niagara to a 5-2 victory over Canisius in Atlantic Hockey Association action Thursday at KeyBank Rink at Harborcenter.
 
Noah Delmas, Ludwing Stenlund and Johnny Curran also scored for the Purple Eagles, who halted a 12-game losing skid against the Golden Griffins with Thursday's victory.
 
Sophomore Austin Alger and junior Nick Hutchison accounted for the two goal for Canisius (4-6-0, 3-5-0 AHA).
 
Mills and Delmas staked Niagara to a 2-0 lead a little more than three minutes into the contest as Mills opened the scoring just 1:14 in with a deflection of a slap shot from defenseman Chris Harpur before Delmas found the net less than two minutes later when he beat Canisius junior netminder Blake Weyrick on a breakaway while the Purple Eagles were on the power play.
 
Canisius responded midway through the frame, using a pair of tallies just 24 seconds apart to tie the game at 2-2.
 
Alger got the Griffs on the board with 15:23 gone in the period when he jammed home a rebound while Canisius was on the power play to trim the deficit to 2-1.
 
Hutchison brought Canisius level on the next shift, burying a no-look pass by freshman Lee Lapid into the upper right-hand corner of the net from the middle of the slot to knot the score at 2-2.
 
Mills restored the Purple Eagles lead 1:42 into the second period when he deflected a point shot from Jack Zielinski to make it a 3-2 contest.
 
Stenlund doubled the Niagara margin to 4-2 with a power-play goal at 13:04 mark of the third, wiring a wrist shot off the crossbar and in during a zone entry for his third of the season.  
 
Curran closed out the scoring with an empty-net tally in the final minute of regulation.
 
Brian Wilson stopped 29 shots between the pipes for Niagara while Weyrick made 29 saves in goal for Canisius.
 
Head Coach Trevor Large's Postgame Comments
"It was a quick start from them. I really liked our response to tie it up at 2-2 going into the second period. Then they get another early goal in the second, which is something we need to remedy. It felt like we were coming in the third, but some undisciplined penalties forced us to play shorthanded and it was too much for us to handle tonight.
 
"It's a no-excuses mentality. It's been a little bit of an irregular schedule lately in terms of when we play, but for our guys it doesn't matter when we play, who we play or where we play. We need to be ready and I believe we will be on Saturday."
 
Game Notes
• Thursday's game served as the 51st meeting between Canisius and Niagara. The win by the Purple Eagles trimmed the Canisius advantage in the all-time series to 25-22-4.
• Niagara held a 34-31 advantage in shot for the contest, highlighted by a 15-8 margin in the third period.
• The power-play goal Delmas was the first surrendered by Canisius in 25 shorthanded situations against, a stretch dating back six games to its contest against Air Force on Oct. 19.
• The Griffs recorded a power-play goal for the eighth time in 10 games this season as they were 1-for-4 with the man advantage on Thursday.
• Senior Dylan McLaughlin extended his team-leading point total to 14 with his assist on Alger's first-period tally.
• Freshman Kevin Obssuth picked up his first career assist with a secondary helper on Hutchison's first-period goal.
 
Up Next
• The teams conclude their home-and-home series Saturday with a 7 p.m. contest at Dwyer Rink in Lewiston, N.Y.