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Niagara beats Bentley; Canisius loses on road

Goals were plentiful at Dwyer Arena at Niagara University on Friday night.

The Purple Eagles opened their weekend series with Bentley by taking a 6-4 decision.

Derian Plouffe was the big story for Niagara. He finished with three goals and an assist to lead the way. Dan Kolenda, Sam Rennaker and T.J. Sarcona also scored for the Purple Eagles.

Max French led Bentley with two goals, while Kyle Schmidt and Derek Bacon also had goals for the Falcons.

It was only the second win of the season for Niagara, as the Eagles moved to 2-9-2 on the season and 2-4-1 in Atlantic Hockey play. Bentley slipped to 6-7-1 overall and 4-3-1 in conference play.

Plouffe scored both of Niagara’s goals in the first period to put his team in good position after 20 minutes with a 2-0 lead. Kolenda made up for Bacon’s goal in the second period, tallying with 9:38 left to put Niagara up, 3-1.

Plouffe completed his hat trick early in the third period, which gave Niagara a 4-1 lead. That would be enough, but both teams finished the period with three goals each.

Niagara finished with a 30-24 edge in shots.

The same two teams play Saturday night at Dwyer; starting time is 7:05 p.m.

Meanwhile, Canisius dropped a 3-2 decision at Air Force in Colorado Springs, Col. The Golden Griffins fell to 3-10-1 overall, 3-5-1 in Atlantic Hockey. Air Force improved to 6-7-2, 4-3-2 AH.

Tyler Ledford had the game-winning goal for Air Force with a little under five minutes to play, breaking a 2-2 tie. Cameron Heath and Shane Conacher scored for Canisius. The Falcons had a 42-13 edge in shots.

The same two teams play Saturday night at 9:05 p.m.