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Junior defenseman Matt Williams scored the game-winner in the second period and assisted on the first Niagara goal Saturday night as the Purple Eagles opened their Atlantic Hockey schedule with a 2-1 victory over Mercyhurst in Dwyer Arena. It was the opener for the visiting Lakers.
Williams and Ryan Rashid assisted as senior Giancarlo Iuorio got Niagara off to a 1-0 lead at 17:12 of the first period. Williams made it 2-0 at 9:37 of the second with assists from Chris Lochner and freshman Dan Kolenda.
Mercyhurst broke through at 14:20 of the second on an unassisted tally by Ryan Misiak.
There was no scoring in the third period when Niagara had a 12-7 shots advantage. The Purple Eagles had a 39-26 shot advantage overall.
Carsen Chubak made 25 saves for Niagara. Mercyhurst goalie Max Strang had 37 stops.
Niagara (1-1-1, 1-0 Atlantic Hockey) will be on the road for a two-game series at Michigan State on Friday and Saturday.
Meanwhile, in Anchorage, Alaska, redshirt freshman goalie Keegan Asmundson turned aside 33 shots in his collegiate debut in leading Canisius to a 3-1 victory over Alaska-Fairbanks (0-1-1) in the Kendall Classic. Tyler Marley’s goal with 5 seconds left in the game spoiled Asmundson’s shutout.
Torrey Lindsay 3:03) and Preston Shupe (13:51) scored first period goals for the Golden Griffins (1-1). Matt Grazen (East Amherst) scored at 7:21 of the second period.
Asmundson, a 6-foot-5, 222-pounder from Inner Grove Heights, Minn. did the rest staving off the Nanooks, who had a 15-2 shots advantage in the third period. Canisius put 25 shots on Fairbanks goalie John Keeney.
Late Friday, Canisius lost its season opener to host Alaska-Anchorage, 2-0, Junior Tony Capobianco made 21 saves for Canisius in the loss. Chris Kamal stopped all 14 shots for the Seawolves to earn the shutout. Derek Docken scored from the point in the second period and Scott Allen added an insurance goal on a 2-on-1 rush with 11:22 left in the third.

Honomichl is NU ace

Kari Honomichl set an all-time aces record for Niagara’s women’s volleyball team in a sweep of Iona, 25-21, 25-23, 25-17. NU (9-9, 6-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) had a .303 hitting clip, its second highest of the season, in winning its third in a row and ninth straight over Iona.
“We played well and I am excited to see our progress,” head coach Dottie Porch said. “We came out strong and wanted to spread our offense out and we accomplished that.”
The second set was tied at 19 and NU trailed, 23-22, when Honomichl tied the match with one of her eight kills. Honomichl, a senior, got the aces record during a 10-2 run to open the third set.
Honomichl’s only ace of the match moved her ahead of Tammy Greek (’93) who had 139 aces.
Honomichl led the team with 14 kills and had 15 digs for her fifth straight double-double and ninth of the season. Senior Michelle James recorded her fourth double-double with a match-high 37 assists and added 12 digs. Ellen Senf had her 12th match with double-digit kills and seventh straight with 13 kills.

ECC soccer wins

Erie Community College men’s soccer team (9-5) scored two goals in a 57-second span in the first half and went on to a 3-1 NJCAA Region III win over Jamestown CC at Jim Ball Stadium.
The Kats got goals from freshman Matt Jones (Eden) and Mohamad Hamade (Lackawanna) in the first half. Chris Aurilio (Williamsville South) made it 3-0 with just over 15 minutes to play.
Rich Bund (Silver Creek) made 11 saves for the Kats.