Niagara Gazette — Niagara tied the game on the power play at the 3:44 mark of the third period when, after being denied on a couple shots on goal, the Purple Eagles’ Hugo Turcotte tipped Tyler Akeson’s shot past Torf.
Turcotte nearly put Niagara in the lead at the 7:15 mark of the third when he pounced on a puck that was lost by stumbling Falcons defenseman Jacob Musselman and broke away toward the Air Force goal. His shot went wide to the left of Torf. Ryan’s goal came seconds later.
Patrick Divjak’s unassisted empty-net goal at the 18:01 mark ensured the Niagara win.
It’s still uncertain which school will travel to Niagara for next week’s opening round of the Atlantic Hockey Association playoffs. As far as the team is concerned, though, they’ve already been in a playoff state of mind.
“Our ‘playoffs’ started three weeks ago,” said Burkholder. “We challenged our guys at the start of the Canisius series, which is a big crosstown rivalry... I’ve been happy with how we’ve played.”
The teams will play again Saturday evening at Dwyer, beginning at 7:05 p.m. Teichroeb will again start in goal for Niagara, Burkholder confirmed following Friday’s game.