The third and final installment of the Canisius-Niagara hockey rivalry will take place tonight.
The Golden Griffins and Purple Eagles move about 30 minutes south, to the Buffalo State Sports Arena, for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff (Radio 1340 AM) in their last meeting of the regular season in Atlantic Hockey.
The two teams battled to a 4-4 tie Thursday night on the Purple Eagles’ home ice at Dwyer Arena.
Canisius fought back from a two-goal, third-period deficit to earn the tie, with senior Ben Danford scoring the tying goal with 6:42 remaining in the game. Fellow senior Kyle Gibbons also scored for the Golden Griffins. He now ranks fifth nationally with eight power-play goals this season and is also tied for fourth in the program’s Division I history with 119 career points, matching David Deeves (1998-02).
The Golden Griffins, however, have been unable to top Niagara this season, going 0-1-1 in the first two meetings. The Golden Griffins finished the game with a 44-29 advantage in shots.
“This was playoff hockey,” Niagara coach Dave Burkholder said after Thursday’s game. “There was a lot of good, but it was unfortunate that we couldn’t finish off what I thought was a good effort. We did enough to win and just couldn’t get it done.”
Niagara freshman goaltender Jackson Teichroeb made 40 saves Thursday, following a weekend in which he made 59 saves as the Purple Eagles went 1-1 in two games at Sacred Heart. That earned him Travel Team USA Atlantic Hockey Association Rookie of the Week honors.
Junior Keegan Asmundson finished with 25 saves for Canisius on Thursday.
Entering Friday’s Atlantic hockey games, the Purple Eagles (8-15-4 overall, 8-8-4 Atlantic Hockey) were a point behind Canisius (10-14-3, 9-8-3) for sixth place in the conference standings.
Canisius leads the Battle of the Bridge series, an all-sports competition between the two rivals, 8.5-7.5.