Home College NU, RIT Play to 2-2 Tie

NU, RIT Play to 2-2 Tie

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The No. 16 Niagara hockey team closed out the first semester with a 2-2 draw against Atlantic Hockey opponent RIT on Wednesday evening at Dwyer Arena.

For the second straight game, the Purple Eagles (10-2-4; 9-0-1 AHA) came back from two goals down, but had to settle for the tie, extending its unbeaten streak to a nation-best 12 games.

“We just stuck with it again tonight,” head coach David Burkholder said.  “I think the shot chart will say that we were doing what we wanted to do, but I don’t think we made it very difficult on the RIT goalie.  We didn’t spend enough time at the top of the crease, but overall it was two very even teams that played toe-to-toe in the final round.  It was a couple of breakdowns on our part and RIT scored two goals.  Other than that it was a pretty good effort from our guys.”

The victory also extended Niagara’s current home ice unbeaten streak to 13 games, dating back to the Purple Eagles 3-3 draw against Air Force on Feb. 11, 2012.

“We kept the home-game unbeaten streak alive and we’re unbeaten in league play at Christmas,” added Burkholder.  “We have a lot to be happy and thankful for heading into the second half of the season.”

The Tigers (4-8-4; 3-5-3 AHA) jumped out to a two-goal lead halfway through the contest off a pair of tallies from Ben Lynch.

RIT capitalized on a Purple Eagle defensive mistake while on the man-disadvantage just under the 10 minute mark of the first period to make it 1-0.  With 14 seconds remaining on the Niagara powerplay, Dan Schuler forced the turnover, slipping a feed to Lynch who skated in on goaltender Carsen Chubak and roofed his fifth goal of the year under the crossbar.

The Purple Eagles would have to battle back from a two-goal deficit as Lynch gave RIT the 2-0 lead at the 13:30 mark of the second stanza.  Lynch’s second goal came on the rush off a blast from the slot that beat Chubak over the shoulder.

Isaac Kohls jump started the Purple Eagle offense with 7:57 remaining in the second period off assists from Hugo Turcotte and Ryan Rashid   Turcotte raced in to the right of RIT goalie Josh Watson and faked a shot before finding Kohls at the top of the blue paint for the easy tap in.  The goal was the right winger’s third of the season.

With just under five minutes remaining in the period, Patrick Divjak knotted the game at two apiece with his second tally of the year.  A wrister from Jason Beattie could not be controlled by Watson and the rebound jumped out to Divjak who ripped one top-shelf.

After a scoreless third period, the teams skated into overtime, but neither could find the game-winning tally.  The game wrapped up with Niagara outshooting RIT by a 46-21 margin.

Chubak made 19 stops in goal for the Purps, improving his record to 10-1-4.

The Purple Eagles will take two weeks off for the holidays before returning to action on Saturday, Dec. 29, at Bowling Green in a non-conference battle against the Falcons.

 

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Janet has been covering women's hockey for over 35 years. Along with a 38 year career in Public Relations and over 40 years photographing sports, she found a passion in women's hockey. Her initial story was on the founding of the Niagara University D1 program, she expanded to collegiate and youth and was active in the founding and promoting of the WNY Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Federation. When Professional Women's Hockey hit the ice she was there, one of the first to release the story in WNY. Along with her husband, Randy, people comment that if there's hockey, the Schultz's are there!