A five-goal performance in the second period lifted Niagara to its eighth straight victory as NU earned a convincing 5-2 win over Sacred Heart at Dwyer Arena in Lewiston on Saturday night in Atlantic Hockey.
The Purple Eagles (10-2-3, 9-0-0) remained undefeated in conference play and extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games after coming back from a two-goal deficit before 979 against the scrappy but winless Pioneers (0-12-2, 0-9-2).
Patrick Divjak and Ryan Rashid scored 11 seconds apart early in the second period to help Niagara tie things 2-2. Michael Benedict, Giancarlo Iuorio and Ryan Murphy also scored for the Purple Eagles, who fired more than 50 shots against Sacred Heart for the second straight night. After registering 55 in Friday’s 5-3 win, NU held a 52-24 edge in shots.
“It wasn’t the best way to start the game obviously, but that being said I think Sacred Heart came out and out-hit us and out-worked us for the first 20 minutes,” Niagara coach David Burkholder said. “After that we settled in and took over the game. We played Niagara hockey which was dump, get after it on the forecheck and finishing our checks. It was a complete reversal in the second period.”
In Storrs, Conn., junior goalie Tony Capobianco came up big once again for Canisius, matching a career high with 45 saves in a 3-1 victory against Connecticut.
The Golden Griffs improved to 5-6-4 with their third win in a row and 4-2-2 against Atlantic Hockey competition. Canisius is unbeaten in its last four games.
Preston Shupe, junior Kyle Gibbons and sophomore Cody Freeman each scored goals for the Griffs.
“It was a great road sweep,” Canisius coach Dave Smith said. “We battled hard and got great goaltending and timely scoring. Tony Capobianco, who has been playing great all year, really took his game to another level the last two weeks and that has been a huge boost for us.”
After 30 minutes of scoreless action, Canisius scored twice during the final half of the second period with Freeman scoring his first of the season with 8:51 left.
The Griffs then stretched their advantage to two goals when Shupe scored his fourth goal of the season with 2:17 left in the second.