The eye-catching turnaround for Niagara hockey under first-year coach Jason Lammers continues.
Coming off a 5-31-3 year, with three of those wins coming in the Atlantic Hockey Conference, Niagara’s 3-1 win at American International College Friday afternoon improved its record to 7-4-1 overall and 6-1-1 in league play.
The Purple Eagles sit two points in the AHC standings behind Army West Point, which lost to visiting Canisius in overtime Friday night, 4-3.
Niagara’s Ben Sokay scored first 11:49 into the game, and Derian Plouffe made it 2-0 with 8:57 gone in the third period. AIC (4-9-2, 3-6-2) scored 1:08 later to make it 2-1, but Eric Cooley added an empty-netter with 38 seconds left on the clock to seal the win.
Cooley also picked up an assist on Plouffe’s goal. The Purple Eagles were outshot, 28-24, but freshman goaltender Brian Wilson made 27 saves, 23 of which came in the final two periods.
The teams wrap up their Thanksgiving weekend series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
Canisius’ Nick Hutchison scored the game-winner 1:33 into extra time to extend its win streak to four games.
The Griffs (7-4-1, 7-4) held 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads but Army (6-6-2, 6-6-2) battled back to tie it up each time.
Goals by Alex Jaeckle and Dylan McLaughlin gave Canisius a 2-1 lead after the first. Jack Stander scored on the power play to make it 3-2 in the second.
Ryan Schmelzer had two assists, and McLaughlin added an assist as well. Dan Urbani made 36 saves for the win.
Canisius and Army play again Saturday at 4:05 p.m.
Bulls suffocate Clemson
University at Buffalo’s women’s basketball team took care of its second Power 5 opponent in as many days with an impressive 61-41 win over Clemson in the championship game of the San Juan Shootout in Daytona Beach, Fla., and they did so without starting point guard Stephanie Reid.
The Bulls (4-0) used their suffocating defense to outscore the Tigers (4-2) in each quarter and hold them to 27.8 percent shooting from the field.
Cassie Oursler (Grand Island) scored a game-high 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Katherine Ups scored 10 points and Summer Hemphill (Cardinal O’Hara) pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Bulls play next on Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Arizona State Classic against the host Sun Devils.
Purple Eagles snap skid
Niagara snapped a three-game losing streak with a commanding 96-74 win against Alabama A&M Friday at the Gallagher Center as part of the Barclays Center Classic.
The Purple Eagles (2-3) never trailed and led all but 1:07 of the game. Four players scored in double figures, led by Matt Scott’s 28 points on 8-of-12 shooting and 11 for 14 from the free-throw line.
Khalil Dukes scored 23 points, while Kevin Larkin and James Towns each had 10. Niagara held a 42-30 rebounding edge and outscored the Bulldogs (0-5) on the fast break, 27-10.
Niagara hosts Texas Arlington (3-1) Saturday at 7 p.m.
Saturday’s Big 4 action
The Canisius men’s team is in Stockton, Calif. this weekend competing in the Men Against Breast Cancer Showcase. The Golden Griffins play Arkansas-Pine Bluff Saturday at 11:30 p.m. and wrap up the showcase against Pacific on Sunday at 6 p.m. Their next home game is Saturday, Dec. 2 against Dartmouth at 4 p.m.
The St. Bonaventure (3-2) women play UMBC (1-4) at 1 p.m. in Annapolis, Md. for the first day of the Navy Classic. The Bonnies have won two in a row coming in.
The Purple Eagles (0-4) women are still looking for their first win of the season. They play Louisiana-Lafayette (1-3) at 2 p.m. in Las Vegas for the first day of the South Point Shootout.