Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — Carsen Chubak and the Niagara University men’s hockey team seem to have the Atlantic Hockey Association down to a science one-third of the way into the season.
The Purple Eagles, led once again by their red-hot junior goalie, improved to 6-0 in AHA play and extended their unbeaten streak to eight games after a 2-1 win over Western New York rival Canisius Friday night at Buffalo State College.
Chubak made 31 saves, keeping the Golden Griffins’ speedy forwards on ice all game long with the exception of one hiccup in the second period. Late in the third, a series of key saves with the Purple Eagles killing off a rash of penalties proved to be the difference.
“He kept us in it,” said Niagara coach Dave Burkholder. “He’s been doing that all season long. It’s a national story. You’ve got to have good goaltending, especially on the road. … He played great tonight from start to finish.”
Canisius (2-6-3, 1-2-1 AHA) out-shot the Purple Eagles, 32-23, and controlled the tempo for the majority of the game. When Niagara got into some penalty trouble late in the third period, Chubak was there to bail the team out.
The Purple Eagles spent a little more time in the penalty box than they would have liked, accumulating 10 minutes on five trips. That’s not how they drew it up, but Burkholder said they’ll gladly take it.
“We just wanted to play 5-on-5 and get on the bus,” he said. “I thought our guys showed a lot of perseverance shorthanded. They didn’t have many good looks, but when they did, Carsen was there.”
Chubak has allowed just two goals in five games this month, as the Purple Eagles are off to a perfect 5-0 start to November. Through 12 games, Chubak’s eye-popping numbers are turning heads as his .966 save percentage and 1.08 goals against average are both tops in the nation.