There's always a certain pleasure that comes in beating your rival, but Canisius had more to celebrate than just a win over Niagara in HarborCenter Tuesday night.
The Golden Griffins moved into a tie with Air Force for first place in Atlantic Hockey with their 4-1 win. Canisius is now 10-4-4 in league play, 11-10-5 overall.
Sophomore Matt McLeod scored his first collegiate goal while senior transfer Charles Williams was steady in net making 35 saves.
Griffs take an early lead: It took the Canisius just 2:30 to get on the board. Cameron Heath set up Matt McLeod on a break and sophomore put a hard shot on Jackson Teichroeb. The Niagara goalie made the initial save Casey Jerry tapped the puck over the goal line.
Canisius extended its lead to 2-0 on the power play at the 12-minute mark. Dylan McLaughlin drew Teichroeb out of the net with a break to the goaltender's left. Again after making the initial save, the puck was loose and Ryan Schmelzer crashed the open net for his eighth goal of the season.
First career goal: McLeod picked up his second goal at 18:05 of the second as Canisius extended its lead to 3-0.
Extending the lead: McLaughlin picked up his second point of the night with a power play goal at 4:16 as the Griffs built a 4-0 lead.
Scoring streaks: Schmelzer has scored in three straight games while McLaughlin has points in his last five games.
On the board: Freshman Nicolas Carrier scored on the power play at 5:26 for the Purple Eagles. It was Carrier's fourth goal. That makes five straight games for Niagara with a power play goal.
Goalie of the Week: Williams earned honors earlier on Tuesday being named the Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week. It was the second-straight weekly honor for Williams and fifth of the season. He took the honors after stopping 65 of 67 shots in a weekend sweep of RIT.
Rivalry rekindled: For the first time in the Division I era, Canisius and Niagara will meet four times in the regular season. The teams will play at Dwyer on Tuesday, Jan. 31 and again on Feb. 15. They close out their series Feb. 17 in HarborCenter.
Niagara's woes: The Purple Eagles fell to 3-14-2 in Atlantic Hockey and 3-19-3 overall. The are 1-9-0 in their last 10 games.
Up next: Canisius travels to Springfield, Mass., to face American International for games on Friday and Saturday.Niagara has a home-and-home with Mercyhurst, playing in Erie, Pa., on Friday and hosting the Lakers in Dwyer at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.