LEWISTON, N.Y. — Niagara continued its conference rampage as it swept Findlay in the weekend series by a combined score of 11-5, culminating in the Purple Eagles blanking the Oilers on Saturday night, 5-0.
Rob Bonk recorded the shutout for the Purple Eagles (9-13-2, 6-2-2 CHA) turning away 26 shots on the night. The game was scoreless going into the second period of play until Chris Welch broke the ice 19 seconds into the period scoring on a pass from Barret Eghoetz and Chris Sebastian.
Welch opened the flood gates as Niagara would go on to score two more times in the second period. Ryan Gale lit the lamp at the 6:24 mark on a pass from Sebastian. Jason Williamson would score a little over 11 minutes later at the 18:35 mark in the period to put the Purple Eagles up three going into the third period.
Joe Tallari kept up his quest in the National Leader Scoring race by beating Kevin Fines, 8:13 into the third period to take a commanding 4-0 lead over the Oilers. Freshman Defenseman Brian Hartman recorded his first career goal at 10:49 in the third period.
Rob Bonk picked up the win for Niagara; his first win since being sidelined with an injury Nov. 8 in his last game against Michigan State where he picked up the 2-1 win. Bonk had 26 saves on the night, and Kevin Fines turned away 34 saves on 39 shots.
“Without a doubt, this is our best collective effort of the year. Everyone contributed as the offense was spread out throughout our entire line up. So far we are on course as far as conference play,” said Niagara coach Dave Burkholder.
Niagara is 5-0-1 in its last six games.
“This was a great team win, everyone played exceptionally well,” said Welch. “It was a great thing to see Hartman get his first career goal. He’s been working hard all year and got what he deserved.”