LEWISTON -- Niagara took an early lead then lost it. The Purple Eagles battled back and regained the lead. Then lost it again. In the end they came away with a point in a 4-4 tie with RIT at Dwyer Arena Friday night.
The Purple Eagles have points in five straight games.
Stephen Pietrobon scored with 2:58 left in regulation to give Niagara a 4-3 lead but Chase Norrish scored with the extra attack for RIT with 47.8 seconds left to force overtime.
RIT had taken a 3-1 lead in the first period, but Niagara chipped away at the lead. TJ Sarcona fired in a low shot off a beautiful backhand pass from Johnny Curran to cut the lead to 3-2 in the second period.
Then in the third, Kevin Patterson scored the game-tying goal with 12:20 left in the third for the Purple Eagles.
With injuries forcing RIT to use third-string goaltender Nick Amato, a sophomore who plays on the school’s club team, the Tigers strategy was to pour on as much offensive zone pressure as possible. And they did, keeping the puck pressure on Niagara goaltender Jackson Teichroeb for the first five minutes of the game.
But once the Purple Eagles got their opportunity, they took advantage of it. With traffic in front, Matt Dineen scored on Niagara’s first shot of the game for a 1-0 lead at 6:36.
But that lead was short lived.
RIT scored three goals in a span of 4:08 to close out the opening period with a commanding 3-1 lead. The Tigers tied the game at later when Erik Brown put in a rebound that bounced off Teichroeb’s chest. Just 1:27 later the Tigers took the lead when Josh Mitchell went to his backhand and deked out Teichroeb something fierce. Liam Kerins then scored at 16:04 chasing Teichroeb from the net for the second time this season.
Goalie troubles: Teichroeb made nine saves and let in three goals in his 16:04 of action. It was the second this season the junior has been pulled. He was yanked on Jan. 29 against Army West Point when he gave up four goals against 16 saves in two periods of a 4-2 loss to the Black Knights. It was the seventh time this season coach Dave Burkholder has pulled his starting goaltender.
Special teams: The penalty kill was a strong point for Niagara, holding RIT to 0 for 5 on the power play. On the flip side, Niagara was 0 for 1 on the man advantage.
Records: Niagara moved to 5-15-5 in Atlantic Hockey and 5-20-6 overall. RIT went to 13-7-5 in conference play and 13-12-6 overall.
Alumni Hall of Fame: The 1999-2000 team will be inducted into the Niagara University Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday and several members were at Friday's game to drop the ceremonial first puck. That team won the inaugural College Hockey American championship and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Purple Eagles defeated New Hampshire int he West Regional First Round. That stands as the only NCAA tourney win in program history. "Going in the locker room you almost get a chill," alum Jay Kasperek said. "The stories that we have and how these guys have it good now, it feels good to build something that's still around."
Scratches: Niagara scratched forwards Dan Kolenda (injury), Robert Angiolella (injury), Luke Edwards (coach's decision) and Sean King (injury), defensemen Nick Cecere (coach's decision) and Matt Chiarantano (coach's decision) along with goalie Chris Paulin (coach's decision). RIT scratched forwards Andrew Miller, Dan Schuler and Mark Logan along with defenseman Brad Shumway.
Counting the house: There were 1,180 in Dwyer Arena Friday night.
Up next: The series shifts to Rochester on Saturday as the teams will meet at 7:05 p.m. at the Polisseni Center. Niagara closes out the regular season with two home games against Air Force Feb. 26-27. RIT will finsih with a home-and-home series with Mercyhurst that weekend.