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Niagara hockey work their way to split with Robert Morris

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

cooley
PITTSBURGH, P.A. -- The Niagara men's hockey team kept Robert Morris at arm's length on Saturday night to even the two-game series with the Colonials. Niagara got two point nights from Eric CooleyJustin Kendalland Alex Truscott (1 G, 1 A each) on the way to a 4-2 victory.
 
Game Recap

  • Working off the game's first penalty, Brian Wilson made his first big save of the night with the Colonials pressing hard. Michael Louria wriggled free in front of the net, but Wilson stretched his left pad to deny the shot with 5:39 elapsed in the first period.
  • With 11:20 on the clock, the Purple Eagles began cycling the puck around the Colonials' net. Eric Cooley had a couple good looks but couldn't get the whole blade on the puck for a stronger shot on his second attempt.
  • With Robert Morris a man down, the Colonials picked off the puck in their defensive zone and broke free for a 2-on-1 break. Wilson snared the glove-side shot with ease to neutralize the threat.
  • Alex Truscott broke the deadlock with 14:31 gone in the opening frame. The freshman was the lone Purple Eagle at Robert Morris' blue line in the midst of the team's line change and was able to poke the puck free from the defender. Truscott turned him around and found time to rip it by the goaltender before the defense closed the gap.
  • Pittsburgh native Eric Cooley earned his first goal of the season in front of the hometown crowd early in the second. A slip during a torrid sprint by Justin Kendall sent him into the boards, but as he got back up he found himself with the puck and threw it in front of the net, right on Cooley's tape. The sophomore had no hesitation, letting the shot go that put the Purple Eagles ahead, 2-0, with just 1:05 gone in the period.
  • Following a forced turnover by Kris Spriggs, the Purple Eagles swarmed the Colonials' net looking for loose change. The crease was full of bodies, and a lot of desperate hacking from both sides led to pushing and shoving after the goaltender reeled in the puck. Niagara was credited with six shot on goal during the fracas.
  • After Robert Morris got on the board ahead of the second intermission, Ryan Cox scored his first collegiate goal with 5:05 gone in the third to put the Purple Eagles back up by two. A leading pass was sent through from the Niagara blue line, through the trusses above the ice and fell in a cluster of skaters at the top of the Colonials' crease. After a few bounces, Cox was able to control it and pop it in for the score.
 
Beyond The Boxscore

  • Cox became the sixth Niagara rookie to score his first goal at the college level this season. Eight of the team's 18 goals (44 percent) and 12 of the team's 27 assists (44 percent) this season have come courtesy of the team's freshmen.
 
Up Next

  • After playing six straight games on the road, the Purple Eagles will return to the friendly confines of Dwyer Arena to play three of their next four at home. The stint will start on Friday, Nov. 9 when the team opens up a two-game series with the Holy Cross Crusaders at 7 p.m.