Once again, Niagara took a two-goal lead on Michigan State. Once again, the Purple Eagles let the lead slip away in the third period.
This time, they ended up officially with a 3-3 tie, though the Spartans (1-2-1) went on to win a 1-0 shootout in East Lansing on Saturday night.
As it did on in the series opener Friday, Niagara took a 2-0 lead into the third period. Just like Friday, it saw the lead evaporate with two quick goals by the Spartans.
But the Purple Eagles looked as if they still were en route to a win this time when freshman Dan Kolenda was credited with a goal after the Spartans goalie, Will Yanakeff, misplayed the puck.
Then with 49.4 seconds left in regulation, Brent Darnell beat Niagara goalie Carsen Chubak to knot the game, 3-3.
The teams played a scoreless five minutes of overtime before heading to a shootout. In the first round, Yanakeff blanked all three Niagara players — Giancarlo Iuorio, C.J. Chartrain and Patrick Divjak. The first two shooters for the Spartans failed to actually get a shot off against Chubak but Darnell scored on his attempt.
Niagara took a 1-0 lead early in the first when Chris Lochner scored short-handed.
The lead extended to 2-0 in the second when Iuorio scored on the power play.
But the Spartans came back in the third. They got on the board at 3:21 on a goal by Greg Wolfe then tied it at 8:20 on a tally by Matt DeBlouw.
Niagara (1-2-2) plays at Clarkson next weekend.
Canisius loses close one
Western Michigan scored with 3:02 left in the game as the No. 12 Broncos (3-1-0) beat Canisius, 2-1, to sweep the non-conference weekend series.
After a scoreless first period, the Broncos got on the board with a power-play goal from Dan DeKeyser midway through the second.
The Golden Griffins (1-3-0) scored their first goal of the weekend just 1:42 into the third when junior defenseman Duncan McKellar scored his first career goal, a power-play tally, to tie the game 1-1. Canisius goalie Tony Capobianco made a save on a penalty shot in the third but the Broncos scored late to get the win.
“We showed great spirit to tie the game,” Canisius coach Dave Smith said.
“We battled through some adversity in the middle period and we found a way to be in the game late. The next step for us is to finish it and get the win.”