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Canisius ties, Niagara loses in college hockey

Very little was settled on Friday night at the start of the weekend series between the hockey teams of Canisius and Holy Cross.

The teams skated to a 2-2 tie at the Hart Recreation Center in Worcester, Mass. It’s a welcome point for the Golden Griffins, who are 7-8-4 in conference play. They went into the game in seventh place in the conference, but only four points out of third. Holy Cross moved to 11-4-2 in Atlantic Hockey.

Elsewhere, Niagara lost to Air Force, 3-0, in Colorado Springs, Col.

The star of the Canisius-Holy Cross game was Simon Hofley, the freshman Canisius goaltender. He had a career-high 49 saves in keeping the Crusaders from taking the win. Twenty-five of those saves came in the first period alone. Canisius had 30 shots.

Scott Pooley scored for the Crusaders about halfway through the game to end the scoreless battle. But Canisius scored twice within 93 seconds to take the lead. Ralph Cuddemi had his 15th of the season, scoring on a rebound of a shot by Shane Conacher.

Jeff Murray then put the Golden Griffins ahead. But Castan Sommer scored late in the second period to tie the game, and no one scored in the third period and in overtime.

“After the first period, our pace and commitment to playing in their zone was much better and a key factor in tonight’s game,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “Nothing has been decided for the weekend and tomorrow night is another big game for us against a tough Holy Cross team.”

The teams play again in Worcester on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Niagara could only generate 14 shots on goalie Shane Starett, while Air Force had 45 shots on Eagles goalie Jackson Teichroeb.

Tyler Rostenkowski scored for the Falcons in the first period, and that was the only scoring until only 4 minutes, 21 seconds remained in the game. Air Force scored twice in the final minutes, including an empty-netter to wrap up the win.

Niagara fell to 3-17-3. The same two teams play on Saturday night.