Niagara Gazette — Freshman goaltender Adrian Ignagni made 34 saves but his six most important saves came in overtime, when his Purple Eagles were outshot by 6-3, as Niagara University skated to a 2-2 tie with Bentley at the John Ryan Skating Arena in Waltham, Mass. on Friday night.
Ryan Rashid opened the scoring by putting Niagara (3-11-3 overall; 3-4-3 Atlantic Hockey Association) ahead at the 9:16 mark of the first period. His team-leading sixth goal of the season came after Rashid blocked a shot, picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone and raced toward the Bentley net, where he beat Falcons goaltender Branden Komm with a backhander.
After Niagara outshot their opponent 14-8 in the opening period, Bentley (9-7-2; 7-2-2 AHA) came back from the first intermission and scored the game's next two goals. Brett Gensler tied the game at 1-1 at the 16:17 mark of the second period. Alex Grieve then put the hosts ahead at the 3:16 mark of the third period with a shot that found its way through traffic in front of Ignagni and the Niagara net.
Freshman Brock Edwards evened the score for Niagara at the 9:22 mark of the third with a goal assisted by Matt Chiarantano.
Neither team could get the go-ahead goal in overtime.
"How the team would respond after the lengthy break was a concern of ours, but I thought our commitment to detail, our execution and effort was there from start to finish," said head coach Dave Burkholder in comments prepared and released by Niagara's Athletics Department. "Bentley is a first-place team playing at home so we need to come back tomorrow with the same effort. If we play hard and with passion we're going to be a really good team second semester."
Although Bentley is ahead of Niagara in the Atlantic Hockey standings, they have never beaten the Purple Eagles. Niagara's record against the Falcons, following Friday's result, is 5-0-2.
The same two teams will meet again tonight in Waltham, beginning at 7:05 p.m.