After its loss Thursday, Niagara coach Dave Burkholder said his team lacked aggression and passion.
If there’s a place the Purple Eagles can regain those intangibles, it would be Dwyer Arena.
Niagara has a 17-game unbeaten streak in its home building and will look to avenge a 2-0 loss to Canisius when it hosts the Golden Griffins tonight (7 p.m., TWC, 1440 AM) in Lewiston.
Canisius won the special teams battle in a 2-0 victory Thursday, netting a power-play goal while holding Niagara to 0 for 7 on the man advantage. Griffs junior goaltender Tony Capobianco made 35 saves to record his third shutout of the season.
The Griffs’ offense, which has been slow to evolve this season, has scored on the power play in five straight games – its best streak since the 2008-09 season. In the last nine games, the Griffs’ power play is converting at 28.6 percent (10 for 35).
Canisius will be up against a formidable Niagara penalty kill, especially at Dwyer. The Purple Eagles have given up just five power-play goals in 61 opportunities (92 percent) on their home ice. Along with the home unbeaten streak, Niagara has yet to drop back-to-back games this season.
The Purple Eagles, ranked 14th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and 15th by USCHO.com, remain in first place in Atlantic Hockey with 34 points (16-2-2), leading second-place Mercyhurst (25 points).
Air Force moved into third place, one point behind Mercyhurst, after beating the Lakers, 4-2, on Friday. That leaves Canisius (10-8-2) tied with Holy Cross for fourth place with 22 points.
The top four teams get a first-round bye in the conference playoffs.