NU men's hockey team takes 2 of 3 from Chargers
The Niagara University men's hockey team put an end to its lingering string of losses taking a weekend series with the Alabama Huntsville Chargers.
The three-game series took place just two weeks after the tragic shootings occurred at the University of Alabama at Huntsville's campus. The incident resulted in three dead and left a few others seriously injured on the night of Feb. 12 while the Chargers were playing at NU. After hearing the news, the team thought it best to postpone the game scheduled for Saturday and fly home to join its campus community in mourning the losses.
Alabama Huntsville returned to Niagara University to play its first games since the tragedy. In an effort to show support for the losses, members from both teams sported a blue and purple ribbon on their jerseys. Fans and players also had a moment of silence during the games for the victims of the shootings.
A large crowd was piled in Dwyer Arena to cheer on the team. The series began on Friday night with a goal by Alabama Huntsville's Matti Jarinen, giving the Chargers the early lead in the first period. The Purple Eagles fought back during the end of the first period and proved successful as senior Egor Mironov and sophomore Rob Martini each contributed two goals, giving the team a 2-1 lead.
The fight didn't stop in the second period, as freshman Marc Zanette gave the team a 3-1 lead with the assistance of freshman Tyler Matthews.
The Chargers proved their competitiveness when two of their players scored to tie up the game at 3.
Determined to win back the lead, Nu's Bryan Haczyk contributed a solo-shot goal, giving the Purple Eagles a final 4-3 win over the Chargers.
The second game of the series posted a 3-1 win for the Purple Eagles.
The Chargers led in the first period as Alabama Huntsville's David Nicoletti put the puck in the net. But as the second period rolled around, NU's Chris Moran and Haczyk gave the Purple Eagles a 2-1 lead as they scored with assists provided by Ryan Olidis and Paul Zanette, respectively. NU finished it off in the third period when freshman Jeff Hannan scored. Not to go unseen, the powerful defense of NU's goalie Adam Avramenko was also a necessity in the win.
During intermission on Saturday, NU's athletics and commerce departments hosted a "Teddy toss" to benefit the earthquake victims of Haiti. Many fans participated in bringing and tossing Teddy bears on the ice. Teddy bears were collected and sent to children in Haiti. Participants were also entered into drawings, and some won signed jerseys and gift certificates to local businesses.
Wrapping up the series on Sunday, the Purple Eagles second game winning streak came to an end, when the Chargers just barely claimed a 3-2 victory in overtime. Like the previous two games, the Chargers quickly put two goals on the board. The Purple Eagle's tied during the end of the third period when Paul Zanette scored off an assist by David Ross and Hannan scored unaccompanied. The tie led the game into sudden death.
Within the first minute of overtime, the Chargers scored, ending the game in a loss for the Purple Eagles.
Moran, a senior forward, was proud of the strong efforts his team made.
"Although we would have liked to win all three games, we played well and this is definitely a step in the right direction for us", he said. Moran also achieved a personal win as he received CHA honors for offensive player of the week. Teammate Avramenko's strong defense over the weekend landed him with the CHA defensive player of the week title.