One weekend after feeling like it let a big-time opponent off the hook, Niagara boarded the bus for the long ride home from Potsdam on Saturday night knowing that it had a good weekend.
One night after winning via shutout, the Purple Eagles rallied from an early three-goal deficit to earn a 4-4 tie against Clarkson in Cheel Arena.
The Golden Knights (0-4-1) pounced on NU early, scoring thrice in a two-minute span during a five-minute power play late in the first period to chase starting goalie Cody Campbell. Joe Zarbo of Grand Island started the blitz at the 13:43 mark against NU (2-2-3).
Ryan Murphy scored twice on the power play before the end of the period to give Niagara hope. Mike Benedict and Chris Lochner also scored for the Purple Eagles, with Lochner’s giving NU a 4-3 lead early in the third period before the hosts’ James Howden tied it against Carsen Chubak, who made 23 saves in relief one night after stopping all 44 Clarkson shots in a 2-0 win.
“Coming up to the north country is historically one of the toughest trips in college hockey,” NU coach David Burkholder said. “For us to get three out of four points on the road is a real testament to the warriors in the locker room.”
Niagara hosts Connecticut on Friday and Saturday at Dwyer Arena.
Canisius plays No. 2 Gophers
Canisius will face the second-ranked team in the country on its home ice this afternoon when the Golden Griffins play Minnesota at Mariucci Arena at 2 p.m. It’s the first meeting for the two teams and the highest ranked opponent the Griffs have played since the 2007-08 season when they faced No. 1 Miami of Ohio.
The Griffs are 3-20-2 all-time against ranked opponents in the Division I era and are 0-2 this season after two losses at No. 12 Western Michigan.
Defense is the strength for Canisius this season as the Griffs (1-3-1) have given up nine goals in five games. That’s the best defensive start in the program’s Division I history. Their 1.80 goals-against makes them the 11th best defense in the country.
That will be tested against the Golden Gophers (3-1-0), who have outscored opponents, 18-9, in their first four games.
Nate Condon leads Minnesota with five points (one goal, four assists) while Nick Bjugstad and Erik Haula each have three goals. Canisius played five of its first six games on the road.