NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY- The Canisius Golden Griffins scored five times and extended their unbeaten streak to 14 games with a 5-2 win over the Niagara University Purple Eagles on Friday night. Canisius sweeps the season series with Niagara, 4-0. Head Coach Dave Burkeholder was disappointed, but proud of his team’s effort against their formidable rivals.
“They’re a good team, there’s no question about it,” said Burkholder. “We battled our butts off, I’m pretty proud that we at least didn’t quit.”
The lopsided final score did not demonstrate how close the game was. The Golden Griffins outshot the Purple Eagles by only one, 32-31, but unlike Niagara, they were able to consistently find the back of the net. Backup goaltender Guillame Therien got the start for the Purple Eagles in place of Jackson Tiechrobe. The Griffs proved to be too much for the Quebecois sophomore, who faced 17 shots and was pulled at 6:37 of the second. Tiechrobe was a perfect 16-16 in relief.
The Golden Griffins got tallies from Felix Chamberland (2), Dylan McLaughlin, Casey Jerry and Nick Hutchison. Stephen Pietrobon scored both of the Purple Eagles’ goals.
Canisius’ Hobey Baker finalist Charles Williams was stellar once again in net, stopping 27 of the 28 shots Niagara peppered him with. Canisius Head Coach Dave Smith let backup Simon Holfey play the last three minutes of the third, a move that Burkeholder called unnecessary. Holfey allowed one goal on the two shots he faced.
The closeness of the game resulted in high tensions on the ice, which led to both teams being assessed a major penalty and game misconduct. Canisius’ David Bennett was called for elbowing and Niagara’s TJ Sarcona was tossed for hitting from behind. Both teams also had a goal disallowed in the first period.
The Purple Eagles will close out their season next weekend with back-to-back contests against the Robert Morris Colonials. One game will be at Dwyer Arena, the other will be outdoors at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Heinz Field, more information to come.