The Niagara hockey team needed a dramatic comeback to snap a four-game losing streak and get back on track in Atlantic Hockey play.
Down 3-0, the Purple Eagles (10-9-2, 9-4-1) scored twice late in the second period and two more times in the third for a 4-3 win over RIT (8-8-1, 7-4) at Dwyer Arena Friday night.
Derian Plouffe got NU on the board 1:10 before the second intermission and Ben Sokay made it 3-2 with a goal 43 seconds later. Chris Harpur then scored on the power play 3:18 into third and Plouffe netted his second on the power play for the game-winner with 4:58 left. The Purple Eagles and Tigers play again Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
Meanwhile, Canisius tied at St. Lawrence, 4-4, to start its last nonconference series of the season. The teams wrap it up Saturday at 7 p.m.
St. Lawrence opened the scoring 3:29 in, but Nick Hutchison scored 33 seconds later to tie it. The Saints scored before the first intermission and again 3:34 into the second for a 3-1 lead. Hutchison netted his second on the power play four minutes later to make it 3-2 after the middle frame.
Canisius took the lead in the third with goals from Matt Long and Matt Hoover, who scored on the power play with 8:09 left. It was short-lived, as the Saints tied it back up 11 seconds later.
NU, Griffs win on road
The Niagara (8-8, 1-2) men’s basketball team picked up its first MAAC win of the year at Siena (4-12, 0-3), 84-76.
The game was tied at 30-30 with 2:51 left in the first half, but the Purple Eagles went into the break on a 7-1 run for a 37-31 lead. They’re now 6-2 when leading at halftime.
Marvin Prochet had a team-high 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Matt Scott added 18 points, Kahlil Dukes 17 points and Dominic Robb 14 points.
Niagara heads to Marist next for a 2 p.m. game Sunday.
Meanwhile, Canisius (9-7, 3-0) extended its winning streak to five with a 82-74 MAAC win at Quinnipiac (5-10, 2-1). The Griffs got out to a 48-34 halftime lead and shot 48.1 percent from the field and three-point range.
Canisius sophomore Isaiah Reese scored a game-high 20 points and went 4-6 from beyond the arc. Senior Jermaine Crumption added 19 points and hit 4-5 three-point attempts. The Griffs play at Siena Sunday at 3 p.m.
Saturday’s Big 4 action
Two of the hottest men’s basketball teams in the Mid-American Conference meet when UB (9-5, 1-0) visits Ball State (10-4, 1-0) at 2 p.m. Both teams won their MAC openers by 10, the Bulls 104-94 over Toledo and the Cardinals 72-62 over Eastern Michigan.
The Bulls (11-2, 2-0) women are aiming for their second-ever 3-0 start in the MAC in a 2 p.m. game at Northern Illinois (9-4, 1-1).
UB has two dominating league wins so far over Akron, 89-66, and Western Michigan, 71-49. NIU lost its opener to Miami by two, 67-65, and beat Kent State by two, 81-79.
St. Bonaventure’s men’s team visits Atlantic 10 foe Saint Joseph’s (6-7, 1-1) for an 8 p.m. game. The Bonnies (11-3, 1-1) had their eight-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday in an 82-72 loss at Dayton.
The Bona women (5-10, 0-2) host UMass (8-7, 0-2) at 11 a.m. in a league game that will be nationally-televised on CBS Sports Network. St. Bonaventure is on a five-game losing streak and has lost eight of its last nine. The last win came against Penn State on Dec. 9.
UB punter earns bowl invite
University at Buffalo punter Kyle DeWeen will be heading for warmer weather next weekend, as the Niagara Falls native has been selected to play in this year’s SPIRAL Tropical Bowl in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Jan. 14 at 9 a.m.
DeWeen is the second Bull selected to play in the FBS Division I level all-star game. Former quarterback Joe Licata played in and was named MVP of the inaugural game in 2016.
DeWeen just concluded his career at Buffalo as the school’s career record holder for punt average with 40.1 yards per punt over his two seasons with the Bulls.