Niagara Gazette

Sports

November 17, 2013

Turcotte hat trick leads NU rout

Niagara Gazette — LEWISTON - A short span of time, a hat trick, and goals from improbable sources was all the Purple Eagles needed. 

The Niagara University hockey team had not exactly been lighting the world on fire this season. A good remedy for its woes would have been a weekend set of games against a club that was also struggling. 

That’s exactly what transpired, as the Purple Eagles - at least for now - righted their course after blasting the United States Military Academy, 8-3, on Saturday night in Dwyer Arena.

Four of Niagara’s goals (consecutively) came from defenseman, including two from Niagara Falls native Vince Muto. Kevin Ryan and Kevin Albers were the other Niagara defenseman who scored. Niagara sophomore center Hugo Turcotte registered a hat trick.

“It is a big part of the game,” said Niagara coach Dave Burkholder, in reference to his defensemen scoring. “We need to get pucks through from the point. I thought our forwards did a great job of stacking the crease and making it tough on their goalie.

“Four in a row from the ‘D.’ I can’t ever remember it happening.”

The Purple Eagles (3-1-1 Atlantic Hockey, 3-6-1 overall) came limping into the weekend games after losing their last four straight by a combined score of 22-7. As bad as the Purple Eagles were before this weekend, the Black Knights were - and still are - even worse. They are now 1-5-0 in conference play and 1-8-0 overall. 

Niagara outscored the Black Knights 13-3 in the two games. 

Trailing 1-0 early in the second period, the Purple Eagles decided the issue in a brief yet deadly flurry. 

Muto started the rally by beating Army goaltender Rob Tadazak with a shot from the point at 1:50. It was Muto’s first career goal. Just over two minutes later, Albers’ shot from just outside the right faceoff circle gave the Purple Eagles a 2-1 lead. Then, only 56 seconds later, Muto’s snapshot from the high slot beat Tadazak to put Niagara in command at 3-1. 

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