The Western New York hockey scene hasn’t seen dominant goaltending like Niagara has received lately from Carsen Chubak since the days Dominik “The Dominator” Hasek suited up for the Buffalo Sabres.
While college hockey is a step below the National Hockey League, Chubak’s white-hot goaltending has been impressive nonetheless.
Chubak posted his third shutout in a row and fourth in his last four starts Friday night in leading the Purple Eagles to a 5-0 rout of Army in an Atlantic Hockey Association contest played before 1,341 at Tate Rink in West Point.
Chubak, who leads the nation in shutouts and entered Friday with the top save percentage in the country (.962), made 27 saves as Niagara improved to 5-2-3 and stretched its unbeaten streak to six games.
The same teams have a rematch tonight in Tate Rink (7 p.m., TWCS, Radio 1440 AM).
Niagara ended the suspense early, scoring four times during the opening 20 minutes. Isaac Kohls had a goal and two assists during the period, notching the game’s opening goal at 1:27. Matt Williams, Chris Lochner and Ryan Rashid also scored during a first period in which the Purple Eagles outshot Army, 17-7. Marc Zanette also scored for Niagara, 4-0-0 in the conference.
Canisius falls, 4-0
Canisius entered Friday’s action with Atlantic Hockey’s stingiest defense, yielding just 1.88 goals against per game – which ranked eighth in the country. Robert Morris wasn’t impressed with that stat line as the Colonials ambushed the Golden Griffins, 4-0, at the Buffalo State Ice Arena.
Greg Gibson’s first-period goal wound up being the eventual game-winner but Robert Morris (4-3-0, 3-2-0) put the game away with a three-goal second period. Canisius (1-5-3, 0-1-1), which is averaging just 1.2 goals per game, returns to action tonight when it visits Rochester Institute of Technology.
Today is a big day locally for a pair of men’s soccer teams.
The Niagara Purple Eagles (12-1-4) make their second appearance in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship game when they face Loyola at 8 p.m. in Poughkeepsie.
The Purple Eagles advanced to the final with a 2-1 overtime win over Siena on Thursday night as Darren Cooper scored 15 seconds into the extra session to cap a three-point night.
Loyola is 21-3-1 all-time against Niagara. The Greyhounds enter the final on an eight-game unbeaten streak and have shut out their last five opponents.
Meanwhile, the Medaille Mavericks return to the NCAA Division III Tournament when they face Rutgers-Camden (16-2-2) at 1:30 p.m. in York, Pa. Medaille (17-2) is making its sixth NCAA appearance in eight years. George Tor leads Medaille with 17 goals and 38 points.
In their last NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010, the Mavericks reached the Sweet 16 where they lost to Messiah.