Niagara Gazette


February 28, 2013

Purps' D flying under the radar


Niagara Gazette — “Every night we try to not allow more than 20 shots, that’s kind of our goal,” Albers said. “But we know even if we were to allow a few shots, we know that Chubs has our back. In this late in the season, we would like to have the workload less for Chubs, and have him rested and ready to go at playoff time when we need him more. Every night, we like to make his workload low and not make it more stressful for him.”

The conference champion Purple Eagles play at Air Force tonight and tomorrow night, with both games starting at 9 p.m. The Falcons currently are in second place in the Atlantic Hockey standings, and have already qualified for a first-round bye.

Air Force is 13-7-5 in conference play and 15-11-7 overall. Niagara, 20-3-2 and 21-6-5, beat the Falcons 4-3 on Jan. 5 at Dwyer Arena.

“It is obviously a very tough place to play, and with the team travel involved,” said Niagara coach Dave Burkholder, whose club left Dwyer Arena at 4 a.m. on Thursday morning to board a 7 a.m. flight. “They were picked as the team to beat this year. And until someone knocks them out of the playoffs, it is their league. Obviously it will be a very tough weekend for us.”

Air Force has won five of the past six Atlantic playoff tournaments and the automatic NCAA bid that goes with it.

“We are excited to get on the road and test ourselves against a really good team,” Burkholder said. “We want to go into the playoffs with a lot of momentum.”

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