The newest phase of Niagara University hockey didn't get off to a winning start Saturday afternoon against Colgate in Hamilton. It was promising nevertheless.
Although they were virtually even in shots on goal, the Purple Eagles dropped a 5-1 game in their opener at Class of 1965 Arena. In its first game under new head coach Jason Lammers, Niagara had 32 shots to 33 for the home team and held its own on faceoffs, but never led in the game.
Tyler Jeanson of the Raiders opened the scoring at 8:18 of the first period. Niagara tied it on a 5-3 power play at 6:47 of the second period when Derian Plouffe tallied, his 21st collegiate goal, with assists from Johnny Curran and John Snodgrass. However the Purple Eagles were unable to get a shot past Colgate's sophomore goalie Colton Point the rest of the way, although they put 23 shots in net the last two periods.
Colgate scored four unanswered goals, all even strength, starting with Bobby McMann's tally at 12:37 of the second period. Jared Cockrell scored the first of his two for the Raiders at 14:19. Paul McAvoy (7;53) and Cockrell (19:04) closed out the scoring in the third period.
Colgate won 39 faceoffs to 35 for the Eagles. Niagara goalie Brian Wilson made 28 saves.
“I was really impressed with the effort and the mentality," Niagara's Lammers said. "I thought we owned them in time of possession and matched them in shots. We gave them everything we could handle, but they were more opportunistic with their chances.”
Niagara shot out Colgate on its six power-play opportunities.
Niagara will open its home schedule on Friday night in an Atlantic Hockey game against Robert Morris at 7:05 p.m.
MEN'S SOCCER: Melvin Blair scored at 4:25 of the second 10-minute overtime to give Canisius a 3-2 win at Fairfield in Connecticut, handing the Stags their first loss in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play. Troy Brady (Grand Island) assisted on the winner. Until Blair's goal, all the scoring was in the first half. Brady scored at 11:04 for the Golden Griffins. After Fairfield had tgaken a 2-1 lead, Filippo Tamburini tied it at 35:37. Blair's goal into the lower corner came after cross from the left box. Canisius it 7-2-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the MAAC. Fairfield (5-3-0, 1-1-0) suffered its first conference loss
Niagara (1-7-1, 0-1-0 MAAC) dropped its conference opener to Quinnipiac, 2-0. Niagara and Canisius will meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Niagara Field.
WOMEN'S SOCCER: Paige Buscaglia, a junior from Akron scored her first two collegiate goals and Alana Rossi set a Canisius single season record for shutouts in the Golden Griffins' 2-0 triumph over Fairfield at the Demske Sports Complex. Rossi made three saves for Canisius' fourth home shutout this season and 11th in her career. Canisius (6-5-1, 1-3-1 MAAC) ended a three-game losing streak.
Niagara (6-3-2, 2-1-1 MAAC) played a 1-1 draw with Rider in Lawrenceville, N.J. Kelsey Araujo scored the Purple Eagles' goal in the 64th minute with an assist by Courtney Betts.
Buffalo State fell st Fredonia, 3-1. Lindsay Mahoney had the Bengals' goal after the Blue Devils had taken a 3-1 lead. Aleeya Clemons had all three goals for Fredonia and Audrey Yokopovich assisted onall three.
Two late penalty kicks led to goals by New York Institute of Technology in a 4-2 East Coast Conference victory over Daemen in Old Westbury. Freshman Celia de Pablo Esteban and Sam Hanes (North Tonawanda) scored first half goals to give Daemen (5-3-1, 12-0 ECC) a 2-0 lead.
CROSS COUNTRY: Host Geneseo won both the men's and women's team titles in the MIke Woods Invitational at Letchworth State Park. Daemen was 11th in the men's team scoring and eight among 15 teams in the women's division. Senior Amy Trabert (Amherst) finished 13th in the women's race in 22:30.0 after her fourthplace in last weekend's Harry F. Anderson invitational at Robert Wesleyan College. Hilbert's men finished 17th while the women were 15th.