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Niagara ties Holy Cross; game Canisius falls at North Dakota

For about 20 minutes the Canisius College hockey team could dream of an upset over North Dakota Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D.

Freshman Nick Hutchison’s power-play goal with 4:46 left in the first period gave the Griffs a 1-0 lead that lasted until the second period. Then the defending NCAA champions took charge for a 4-1 victory.

At Dwyer Arena in Lewiston, Niagara gave up a tying goal against an extra attacker with 1:20 left in regulation, then killed a penalty in overtime to preserve a 4-4 tie with Holy Cross in the second game of their Atlantic Hockey series on Alumni Weekend.

North Dakota’s Ludvig Hoff scored on the power play with 3:07 left in the second period to tie Canisius, and Tucker Poolman’s tally with just 42 seconds left in the period put North Dakota in front to stay. Shane Gersich and Austin Poganski scored in the third period the winners.

Canisius goalie Charles Williams, a senior transfer from Ferris State, made 41 saves in his first start. Cam Johnson of the Fighting Hawks had only 10 stops.

In its tie with Holy Cross, Niagara (0-1-1) took a 4-3 lead on an unassisted goal by freshman Kris Spriggs with 13:15 left in the third period. However, the Crusaders pulled goalie Paul Berrafato in favor of the extra skater and Michael Laffin tallied at 18:20 to tie it.

With 10 seconds left in regulation, Niagara’s Stephen Pietrobon took a cross-checking penalty, but the Purple Eagles killed it off.

T.C. Moore who had three goals in an 8-2 win over Niagara on Friday, had another hat trick in the first period on Saturday. Moore’s third goal with 19 seconds left in the period put Holy Cross in front, 3-2, after Nick Farmer and Sean King (power play) had scored for Niagara.

Johnny Curran scored for Niagara at 1:53 of the third period and it stayed 3-3 until Spriggs’ goal in the third.

Sophomore goalie Joe O’Brien of Niagara had 25 saves. Berrafato made 35 stops for Holy Cross.

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