Niagara has always liked a challenge.
As if opening the men's hockey season with three tough road games -- traveling 3,950 miles to boot -- wasn't enough of a test, the Purple Eagles further pushed themselves with a demanding home opener Friday night against a nationally ranked opponent.
Niagara is still looking for its first win of the season but can build off the fact it didn't lose to No. 12 Union. Goalie Cody Campbell made 45 saves and Scott Arnold had two goals and an assist as the Purple Eagles battled the Dutchmen (1-0-3) to a 3-3 tie at Dwyer Arena.
Niagara came within 76 seconds of scoring the upset, but a lost faceoff in its own zone led to the game-tying goal by Union's Greg Coburn on a screen shot from the point.
The Purple Eagles (0-2-2) misfired on a couple chances in the closing seconds of regulation before hanging during an overtime period that seemed longer than five minutes.
Niagara is 3-1-3 in its last seven home openers, but in an odd twist has played teams to a tie in each of its last three Dwyer Arena season debuts.
Marc Zanette also scored for the Purple Eagles, a goal in which Campbell also earned an assist. NU held two one-goal leads in the game.
The Purple Eagles return to action next Friday at Dwyer Arena against No. 16 Colgate.
NU women triumph
The Niagara women's hockey team cruised to its third win in four games by earning a 5-1 win over nonconference host Yale in New Haven, Conn.
Kelsey Welch scored two goals, while Jessica Hitchcock, Kalli Funk and Daniela Dal Colle (assist) also scored for the Purple Eagles (3-5), who return to action at 3 p.m. today at Princeton.
Hitchcock has recorded four goals, three assists and 11 points in her last five games for Niagara.