by Amy Moritz
ROCHESTER -- For the third straight year, Niagara advanced to the Atlantic Hockey Final Four in Rochester.
For the third straight year, the Purple Eagles are headed home after the semifinals.
Niagara rallied late in the third period to force overtime but dropped a 5-4 decision to Robert Morris Friday at Blue Cross Arena.
Robert Morris had taken a 4-2 lead but a shot went off Patrick Divjak’s skate with 3:03 left in regulation then 47 seconds later Hugo Turcotte scored his second of the game.
The teams traded chances in overtime until Scott Jacklin put the puck past Jackson Teichroeb at 14:56 to give Robert Morris the win.
The loss ends Niagara’s season with a 15-20-5 season.
“The adversity was stacked up against us but our motto was you have to let your desire be stronger than any excuses you can have,” Niagara coach Dave Burkholder said. “I thought that won out for us for the most part. … Hindsight it’s a big deal to get here. As much as I hate saying goodbye to the seniors, they’ve left the program in a better spot than when they came in. There’s a lot of young kids who gained experience and that will make us better next year."
Robert Morris will meet Canisius in the championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday in Blue Cross Arena.