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Overtime goal knocks Niagara out of playoffs

Niagara fought from behind twice against American International Saturday afternoon only to lose, 4-3,  on Blake Christensen's power-play goal at 8:02 of the second overtime.
The loss to the Yellow Jackets  in the second game of a best-of-three American Hockey Association first round playoff series at MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass., ended Niagara's season. The Purple Eagles finished 11-23-3 in its first season under coach Jason Lammers. It was Niagara's best record since the 2013-14 team went 15-20-5.

AIC took a 2-0 lead on goals by Darius Davidson with 41 seconds left in the first period and Shawn McBride on the power play with 1:40 left in the second.

Niagara tied it on two goals by Kris Spriggs. The first came on the power play at 4:45 of the third with Noah Delmas assisting. Spriggs scored again at 6:01 of the third with Justin Kendall and Nic Mucci getting the assists.

AIC took the lead again at 11:18 when Jared Pike scored but Niagara came back with a goal by Derian Plouffe at 14:21. Eric Cooley got the assist on the tying goal.

Christensen scored the game-winner when Niagara was serving a bench minor for ????

AIC was 3 for 5 on the power play and outshot the Purple Eagles, 37-34. Niagara was 1 for 4 with the man advantage. Stefano Durante made 31 saves for AIC. Brian Wilson had 33 stops for Niagara.

AIC won't learn its opponent for next weekend's quarterfinal round of the American Hockey playoffs until the completion of two other first round series.



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