All off season, Niagara focused on complementing their pieces in place and looking to build on being a bit better. They also had players committed to development and improving themselves over the summer and having a better introduction to the season.
Jason Lammers worked to build out the program with compliments to what they have , bringing in leaders like Lucas Bahn was a big part of that journey.
Tonight Lucas Bahn played his first game of college hockey in 574 days against a team from a conference of champions. The Purple Eagles showed a line full of new players to them like Bahn, combined with seasoned veterans like goaltender Chad Veltri, who had the Purple Eagles nearly in the NCAA tournament two seasons ago. Veltri made 31 saves and had a secondary assist, Bahn played key minutes, Ryan Cox put home the game winner on a power play, and the Purple Eagles showed college hockey what they can be.
While one win does not mean Jason Lammers program has achieved the “regionally dominant, nationally prominent” goal he strives for with his group, it does mean something. The fact that this group, lead by Bahn with six of their 26 blocked shots, did enough to beat an Omaha team that has plenty of speed and skill, shows that they are to be watched. When a group that not many picked to be anywhere near the top of Atlantic Hockey plays well enough to withstand the onslaught of Omaha in the third period, that should tell you what Lammers could have.
With that said, and with the Purple Eagles getting a big non conference win for Atlantic Hockey, they still have more work to do tomorrow. We don’t think anyone in the Purple Eagles camp would have wanted to give up 12 shots on net in the third period and only get three. We do think that the Purple Eagles taking three or less minor penalties tomorrow will go a long way to figuring out the finale’s winner. Today for Niagara was a really Uncommon day, the heart of what their program is about. Now the next step is making it an uncommon weekend.
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