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Niagara hockey skates past Army, 3-1

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

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WEST POINT, N.Y. -- The Niagara men's hockey team won its third straight game, 3-1, over the Army Black Knights on Friday night. The Purple Eagles (7-5-1, 7-3-1 AHA) got 27 saves from Brian Wilson, who is now unbeaten in his last six starts (5-0-1).
 
Game Recap

  • With 1:47 gone in the first period, Brian Wilsonmade the game's first big stop. The Black Knights found themselves with a 2-on-1 right in front of the Niagara goaltender, but Wilson tracked the puck across the crease to keep the game scoreless.
  • 8:20 in, the Black Knights clanked a shot off the iron. The rebound came out in front and deflected off Jared Brandt and back towards the goalmouth, but just wide, ensuring the contest would remain knotted at 0-0.
  •  On a routine play behind the Army net, Nic Mucci got his stick on a pass between a pair of Black Knights. His touch floated the puck into the crease, but the Army netminder put his skate to the post before it had a chance to sneak in.
  • In a frantically-paced second period, Justin Kendall was fed a long pass that allowed him to get a step on the Army defense. Kendall skated in and got the puck away but put the shot in the chest of the goalie.
  • On a counter by the Niagara offense, Alex Truscott reeled in the puck after Johnny Curranwas knocked off his feet. Truscott let the shot go, getting it through traffic but hammered it off the crossbar.
  • With 9:02 on the clock in the second, Ryan Cox broke the deadlock when he crashed the Black Knights' net. As Cox skated up the middle, Curran was trailing from his left and laced a great feed straight onto Cox's tape, allowing the freshman to roof his second goal of the year.
  • After Army was whistled for a penalty with just over a minute left in the middle period, Dylan Mills doubled Niagara's lead when he found the loose puck in the blue paint and slid it home with 59.4 ticks before the intermission.
  • Niko Kovachis put Niagara up 3-0 with a shorthanded, empty-net goal from beyond center ice with 1:42 to play. It was Kovachis' first of the season and the team's second shorthanded goal on the year.
 
Beyond The Boxscore

  • Niagara has now gone unbeaten in its last six games (5-0-1), the program's longest streak since it won eight straight games between November 2 and December 1, 2012.
  • The Purple Eagles won two of their three battles between the Black Knights' heady power play and Niagara's unwavering penalty kill. Army entered the weekend with the fourth-ranked power play unit in the country, converting 18 of its 64 (.281) chances in 13 games. The Purple Eagles, meanwhile, came in tied for fifth in the country by killing off 45 of their 51 (.882) man-down situations.
  • After starting the season 3-42 (.071) on the power play, the Purple Eagles are 5-12 (.417) with the man advantage in their past three outings.
  • With his late tally, Kovachis became the 20th Purple Eagle to notch a goal this season. Niagara continues to lead the nation with more goal scorers on its roster than any other team.
 
Up Next

  • The Black Knights and Purple Eagles will continue the series tomorrow with a 4 p.m. puck drop from Tate Rink.