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[BN] Rinkside: Five Things To Know as Niagara hosts Canisius

Canisius at Niagara
7:05 p.m., Dwyer Arena

1. The Griffs are on a hot streak. Canisius is undefeated in its last 13 games, going 10-0-3 in that span. Their last loss was Jan. 7, a 2-1 decision to St. Lawrence in HarborCenter. Canisius last suffered an Atlantic Hockey defeat when it was blanked, 3-0, by Holy Cross in Massachusetts on Dec. 31. It's the longest active unbeaten streak in Division I.

2. Inside the numbers on that streak. Since Jan. 8 the Griffs have the best winning percentage in Division I college hockey (.885). They also have the most goals for (52) and best goal margin (plus-30) in that time frame.

During the streak, the Griffs are averaging 4.00 goals per game and allowing 1.69. Goaltender Charles Williams has the best save percentage in the country.

Canisius 4, Niagara 2

3. Canisius is looking for the season sweep. The Griffs have won the first three meetings with rival Niagara. Canisius took the first game, Jan. 24 in HarborCenter, 4-1. They followed that up with a 5-2 win in Dwyer on Jan. 31. Canisius won Wednesday's meeting in HarborCenter, 4-2.

The last time Niagara defeated Canisius was in last year's first round of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs. The Purple Eagles opened the best-of-three series with a 3-2 win. Canisius came back to win the next two games.

Smiles at Canisius vs. Niagara hockey in HarborCenter

4. Niagara freshman have been scoring. The 11 freshmen for the Purple Eagles have scored 68 of the team’s 161 points this season, accounting for 42.2 percent of the team’s total offense. Three of Niagara’s five leading scorers are freshmen. Noah Delmas (14 assists) leads the team with 14 points.

Kris Spriggs (seven goals, six assists) is tied with junior Stanislav Dzakhov for second in scoring with 13 points while Derek Brown (five goals, seven assists) is tied with sophomore Johnny Curran for fourth at 12 points.

5. Injuries have plagued Niagara. The Purple Eagles have lost 172 man games this season due to injury. That's a big reason for Niagara's consistency issues which have the team in last place in Atlantic Hockey and 3-25-3 overall.

Niagara has scored first in their last three games but failed to finish. The Purple Eagles are 3-10-2 when scoring the game's first goal. Niagara's last win was Jan. 14, a 3-1 win over Bentley in Dwyer Arena.

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