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[BN] Rinkside: 5 Things for Niagara vs. Mercyhurst

Mercyhurst vs. Niagara
7:05 p.m., Friday, at Mercyhurst Ice Arena
7:05 p.m., Saturday, at Dwyer Arena

1. Freshman stepping up: Nicolas Carrier has been an offensive bright spot for Niagara, notching five points (three goals, two assists) in his last five games. He scored on the power play for Niagara in Tuesday's 4-1 loss at Canisius.

2. Speaking of the power play: With eight players out of Niagara's lineup with injuries, the power play has been the prime source of offense. The Purple Eagles have scored a power play goal in five straight games, the team's longest streak of the season. Carrier and freshman Kris Spriggs each have two power-play goals in the current streak.

3. Getting shots to the net: The Purple Eagles have outshot their opponent in four of the last five games with an average of 38 shots for and 31 shots against. Despite the increased shot totals, Niagara has remained at their season average of 2.00 goals per game over the last five games. Niagara scored a season-high five goals on 35 shots  in a 5-4 win over Mercyhurst back on Nov. 15.

4. Niagara vs. Mercyhurst: Six of Niagara's last 10 games against the Lakers have ended in tie or have been decided by one goal. The Lakers won the first meeting this season, 4-2, in Erie, Pa., while Niagara won, 5-4, in Dwyer.

5. The Atlantic Hockey standings: Mercyhurst is in sixth place in Atlantic Hockey at 8-9-3 in conference play, 9-13-3 overall. The Lakers are only four points out of second, five out of first, but have played two more conference games than four of the five teams ahead of them. Niagara is last in Atlantic Hockey at 3-14-2, 3-19-3 overall.

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