Tonight, for the Purple Eagles of Niagara Hockey, it would have been easy for them to get frustrated against a really good Canisius side in the Battle of the Bridge. The Purple Eagles did not, and battled all night to get three power play goals to earn two points. We wanted to adjust a thing or two to try and create some more offense.” Tonight, Niagara came back from was 2-0 hole against Canisius to score three power plauy goals to earn the overtime win, and two poins on the weekend. Head Coach Jason Lammers thinks the win can be a springboard to better things, as now his Purple Eagles get to fly home after finals end. His group will reconvene on December 28, as they will get ready to go play the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
Lammers didn’t know what the major on Mitchell Martan was for with 15 seconds left, which is where the game opened up. His assistants got Ryan Cox on the power play which worked out nicely as he scored the winner. Cox normally would not have been out on the ice for that scenario, he was, and took full advantage with six seconds left and wired home the equalizer. In overtime the Purple Eagles put home a five on three tally by Albin Nilsson to win the extra frame and secure two points against a team that was beating them for a good portion of the evening. Lammers credited Chad Veltri’s steady play in net for keeping his team close all night long.
Going forward, he expects Walker Sommer and Mike Faulkner to be back for Notre Dame series. Lammers was honest and hopes that tonight’s result can be a sprint board moving forward. He said of that “I really hope so, that’s where I see it.”
One thing that stood out tonight was how raucous Dwyer Arena was in the rivalry game. Lammers was elated for how loud the crowd was, and will be using tonight’s crowd to pitch his Uncommon program going forward. As he said his athletic department will “ make some videos.” Lammers was ecstatic over the spirit in the stands and thinks his crowd was more loud than his opponents. As he said “Our fans are definitely better than their fans, I’ll start the Battle of the Bridge right there. because of our proximity it matters.” Of course he was referring to how loud each rink can get with his comment.
Lammers does think that the rivalry is underrated, he knows it’s not Michigan-Ohio State, but due to how close the schools are, and how competitive the games are, wants to help draw more attention and due notoriety to it.
These two teams will play again this year February 11 and February 12 another home and home series that should bring as much if not more energy than tonight. Tonight’s match was an exhibition of what this sport can be, and it delivered thrills of the highest order with late game heroics, superb goaltending from both teams, and showed that a packed smaller stadium beats a larger more empty one any day of the week.
If we were to show someone one college hockey game this weekend where they wanted to pick a great atmosphere, for their first time, we would have picked tonight’s match.
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