HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Wayne State let a 2-0 lead slip away late, but eventually prevailed on sophomore center Jason Durbin’s goal with 6:05 left in sudden-death overtime to advance to the CHA final with a 3-2 win over Niagara on Friday.
Sophomore goalie David Guerrera stopped 37 shots, including 13 in overtime for Wayne State (17-4-3). The win was the Warriors’ fifth straight of the season against Niagara (13-19-5), which got 30 stops from freshman Rob Bonk.
“The game was the perfect example of how our season has gone,” Niagara coach Blaise McDonald said. “We’ve played some really good games, but had zero puck luck.”
Two goals by sophomore center Maxim Starchenko, the last coming with 5:20 to play, had the Warriors cruising toward a shutout. Niagara, though, answered nine seconds later with a goal by Hannu Karru and pulled even with 3:39 remaining on Drew Kriner’s disputed goal.
The Purple Eagles dominated overtime, before Wayne State converted its first quality chance of the extra period. Bonk stopped Tyler Kindle’s slap shot from the blue line, but Durbin was there to send the Warriors into the finals.
“Fortunately for myself, there was a big rebound that came out into the slot,” Durbin said. “I tried to hit [the puck] with all my might and fortunately it got high enough and went over the top of the goalie.”