Niagara honors Redenbach
Playing with heavy hearts, the Niagara men's hockey team knocked off Sacred Heart, 4-2, Friday night at Dwyer Arena. Prior to the game, the Purple Eagles retired No. 6 in honor of 15-year-old Meghan Redenbach, who died from cancer on Christmas Eve. The Roy-Hart sophomore had been an honorary member of the team the past two years while fighting the disease.
Friday, the Purple Eagles honored her properly with a solid all-around performance.
David Ross and Paul Zanette (two assists) each scored goals in the first period to give the Purple Eagles a cushion as Bryan Haczyk added another tally in the second to extend his point streak to 19 games. And less than three minutes into the third period, Haczyk scored a short-handed goal to put the game away. NU goalie Chris Noonan made 29 saves in net as a pair of late Sacred Heart goals nixed his shutout bid.
With the win, the Purple Eagles improve to 14-7-2 overall.
McGrane takes over at Canisius
After resurrecting one area college soccer team, Dermot McGrane will look to do it again.
The long-time Niagara men's soccer was named Canisius' coach Friday. The two-time MAAC Coach of the Year spent his last nine years at NU, becoming the winningest head coach in the team's history.
Now, he'll look to work his magic with the Golden Griffins.
"I am very impressed with the direction of the Golden Griffins' athletic department and feel privileged to become a part of it," McGrane said. "I look forward to building a championship program within the MAAC here at Canisius."
Prior to his arrival, Niagara had won only 27 games in 11 seasons. In his nine years at the school, the Purple Eagles won 61 games, including an appearance in the 2009 conference title game. McGrane was named the MAAC's top coach in 2005 and 2006.
"We are very excited to have Coach McGrane leading our men's soccer program," Canisius Athletic Director Bill Maher said. "Dermot has a proven track record as a successful Division I head coach and has done a wonderful job in recruiting and developing the young men in his program."
As Canisius' 14th head coach, McGrane will have work to do. Last year, the Golden Griffins were 3-13-1 overall and 3-6 in the MAAC. Canisius was shut out nine times in 2010. McGrane replaces Jim Hesch, who never had a winning season in nine years at the helm.
NU women score late
The Niagara women's hockey team edged Syracuse, 1-0, at Dwyer Arena to extend its unbeaten streak to five games. Sophomore Jenna Hendrikx scored the lone goal, while goaltender Jenni Bauer made 28 saves.
With less than one minute to go, freshman Jessica Hitchcock sent in a slap shot that Syracuse's goalie couldn't cover up. Hendrikx scored on the rebound and the Purple Eagles (7-12-4, 4-2-1) continued their midseason surge.
"We got off to a slow start, but we got better as the game progressed," NU coach Chris MacKenzie said. "Bauer was outstanding today once again and we got a nice goal from Hendrikx for the win."
The two teams will face off again today in Dwyer Arena at 2 p.m.