COLUMBUS, Ohio — The hockey season is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s something Niagara can keep in mind this week as it recovers from another lost weekend.
The Purple Eagles’ losing streak reached four games as they dropped a 6-1 decision at Ohio State (6-4) on Saturday night at Value City Arena.
It’s the second straight verdict NU dropped to the Buckeyes this weekend but unlike Friday night’s contest in which the Purple Eagles kept things close until the bitter end, the hosts ended the suspense early. They bolted to leads of 2-0 and 6-1 by the first and second intermissions, respectively.
Kevin Patterson scored the lone goal for NU, which completed a five-game road trip over the past month with a tie at Atlantic Hockey Association foe Robert Morris on Oct. 19 serving as the only point earned in that span.
“This was probably one of the worst efforts collectively from a Niagara hockey team in as long as I can remember,” NU coach Dave Burkholder said. “It lacked passion and commitment to details. Obviously when you’re playing that way nothing good is going to come out of it.”
Niagara, which lost several key members of last year’s NCAA Tournament team to graduation and the pros, fell behind at 6:58 on Max McCormick’s goal. McCormick scored the final two goals of Friday’s nights game in an odd twist. Teammate Ryan Dzingel made it 2-0 nearly four minutes later.
Dzingel and McCormick each finished with two goals for Ohio State, which held a 37-16 edge in shots and went 2 for 4 on the power play.
Adrian Ignagni made 13 saves on 17 shots for Niagara (1-6-1) before he was replaced by Jackson Teichroeb (18 saves).
The Purple Eagles, who recorded their only win of the season against Canisius at Dwyer Arena, return home this coming weekend when they open a two-game series against conference foe Army on Friday night.