Niagara hopes to build on sweep

The Niagara Purple Eagles (6-14-4, 6-8-4-2 Atlantic Hockey) are flying high after a sweep of Army West Point last weekend, and will look to continue their winning ways at Bentley (10-13-3, 8-11-2-0) with a two-game set this weekend.

The games will mark Niagara’s first games ever at Bentley Arena in Waltham, Mass., and will be the only times the two teams meet this season. Last season, the teams split a pair of games at Dwyer Arena.

Niagara will look to build on the momentum of their sweep of the Black Knights last weekend, a pair of games that included an overtime win on a highlight reel goal from Jack Billings. A pair of wins this weekend would bring the Purple Eagles to a .500 record in conference play.

With last season’s scoring leader, Ludwig Stenlund, out week-to-week with an upper body injury, the forward line of Brandon Stanley, Ryan Naumovski and Jack Billings has emerged to pick up some of the scoring slack. Billings leads the team with 15 points while Naumovski is second with 14. Stanley has eight points on the season. The line will continue to look to bring energy and create chances this weekend.

“You have a digger, a guy who’s going to go get it,” said head coach Jason Lammers, referring to Stanley. “You have a rigger (Naumovski), a guy who’s going to make plays, and you have a trigger (Billings), a guy who’s going to shoot it. They have a lot of good chemistry right now.”

Goaltender Chad Veltri earned his first two collegiate wins with the sweep last weekend.

The Falcons swept Mercyhurst last weekend and currently sit tied with Holy Cross in seventh place in the AHC with 26 points. Niagara sits in ninth place in the conference with 24 points.

Jakov Novak leads Bentley in scoring with 14 goals and 12 assists.

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