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College hockey: Schmelzer hero for Canisius; NU falls in heavyweight matchup

Ryan Schmelzer scored 22 seconds into overtime to give the Canisius hockey team a 5-4 win Friday night at RIT.

That kept the Griffs (12-9-2, 12-5 AHA) tied in first place in Atlantic Hockey with Holy Cross, which downed Niagara on Friday, 3-1.

Schmelzer (Williamsville East) had a night to remember. He became the 11th player in the program’s Division I history to reach 100 career points when he assisted on Dylan McLaughlin’s first-period goal. And when he capped a three-point night by tipping in a pass from McLaughlin shortly into the extra session, that gave him his 12th career game-winning goal, which tied him with Cory Conacher for the program record.

McLaughlin, who entered the weekend tied for second nationally with 34 points, scored two and set up two while Jeff Murray added a goal and two assists.

Canisius took a 3-1 lead with 12 minutes to go in the second period, but RIT stormed back with two goals in the next 43 seconds to tie the game.

Murray’s goal gave Canisius a lead with 6 minutes to play, but RIT’s Adam Brubacher forced overtime by scoring with just over 2 minutes to go. Final shots were 32-29 Canisius, with attempts favoring the Griffs, 64-48.

Niagara entered the weekend two points back of Canisius and Holy Cross atop the standings, but couldn’t keep up on the road.

Niagara trailed 1-0 after two periods and fell behind 2-0 in the third before Ben Sokay scored a power-play goal with six and a half minutes to go. Holy Cross added an empty-netter later to seal the victory. Niagara was outshot, 28-20.

The Purple Eagles fell to 10-13-2 overall and 9-8-2 in conference with the loss, but can make up the ground Saturday. They face Holy Cross (10-8-7, 9-4-6) again at 7:05 p.m. Canisius has another game at RIT at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, as well. Canisius heads to Bentley next weekend while Niagara hosts Air Force.

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