It was an unconventional night in local college hockey. Canisius was badly outshot and won, while Niagara had a big edge in shots but lost.
Charles Williams performed a little magic for the Golden Griffins in their 3-1 win at RIT. Williams finished with 45 saves in stealing a win for Canisius. Entering the game, Williams had the second-best save percentage in the country at .941, and it will only go up after that performance.
The Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Gabe Valenzuela. The margin stayed put for almost exactly a period, when Mike Sabatini got the equalizer. Ryan Schmelzer put Canisius ahead to stay about four minutes later, and Felix Chamberlain finished off the scoring with less than four minutes to go with a power-play score.
Canisius improved to 8-10-5, 7-7-4 in Atlantic Hockey.
Meanwhile, Niagara had a 45-31 advantage in shots, but dropped a 7-3 decision to American International in Dwyer Arena.
The Yellow Jackets had a one-goal lead after the first period, but then piled up four goals in the second to take control of the game. AIC goalie Zackarias Skog had 42 saves in a superb performance.
Sam Rennaker had two goals for the Purple Eagles, while Kris Spriggs scored the other Niagara goal. Jared Pike and Dominik Florian had two goals each for American International. AIC did finish with two power-play goals to the Purple Eagles’ one.
The same two teams will finish the series at Dwyer Arena Saturday night (7:05 p.m, Radio 1340 AM). It’s the Purple Eagles’ fourth and last chance to earn a win over the Yellow Jackets this season.