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Canisius wins a wild one; Niagara loses in OT

The Canisius College hockey team played a wild, back-and-forth game at Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon. When the final buzzer finally sounded, the Griffins had earned yet another victory.

Canisius picked up a 6-5 win to extend its unbeaten streak to 12 games, the nation’s longest active run. The Griffins moved to 16-10-7 overall, 15-4-6 in Atlantic Hockey.

“It’s really tough to get points on the road,” Canisius coach Dave Smith said. “At this time of the year, every team plays with desperation. In a game where there was a lot of emotion with two desperate teams, we found a way to come out on top tonight.”

Considering all the scoring that took place in the game overall, it was a surprise that the teams didn’t net any goals in the first period of the game played in Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. Jordan Minello opens the scoring at 4:14 of the second period, but Canisius responded with three goals in a span of exactly two minutes. Nolan Sheeran, Felix Chamberlain and Jimmy Mazza had the scores.

Jeff Carroll got one of the goals back for the Pioneers, only to see Cameron Heath score at 15:16 to make it a 4-2 game after two periods.

Dylan McLaughlin tallied seven minutes into the third period for the Golden Griffins, only to see Sacred Heart answer with goals by Austin McIlmurray and Liam Clare. Jesse Pereira had what seems to be a game-clinching empty-netter with 38 seconds left, but Canisius still couldn’t relax. Erlich Doerksen got a goal with 19:47 left to account for the final 6-5 score.

The Pioneers finished with a 42-30 advantage in shots, including 23 in the third period; Charles Williams earned the win in the Canisius net to improve to 16-6-5 on the season.

Sacred Heart fell to 10-15-5 overall, 8-13-3 AH.

Elsewhere, Niagara dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to Army West Point.

The Purple Eagles had leads of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3, but the Black Knights kept fighting back throughout the night and eventually gained the win. The game-winner came with 50 seconds left in overtime, as Conor Andrle on a rebound.

Tyler Tomberlin had two goals for Niagara (3-24-3, 3-19-2 AH), while Joey Molinaro had three assists and Keegan Harper and Stanislav Dzakhov also tallied. It was the Purple Eagles’ eighth straight loss, despite having a 31-29 edge in shots on goal.

Canisius has its only Wednesday night game of the season coming up this week, as Niagara visits HarborCenter. The teams will play at Niagara on Friday.

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