NIAGARA, N.Y. — A goal by sophomore forward Jason Bloomingburg at 3:25 of the overtime period led Wayne State to a 4-3 win over Niagara on Friday at Dwyer Arena.
Thwarting off two trailing Niagara players down the right boards, Bloomingburg successfully shot the puck low, between the legs of Purple Eagles goaltender Allen Barton for the game-winning goal for the Warriors. Trailing all evening, the game winner by Bloomingburg, his second of the season, was the first lead of the contest for Wayne State, extending Niagara’s losing streak to three games.
“We’re in one of those stretches where nothing seems to be going right,” Niagara head coach Dave Burkholder said following the loss. “But we can build on the positives. We played very well tonight.”
The Purple Eagles (7-13-0, 2-5-0 CHA) built a 2-0 first-period lead after goals by freshman forward Matt Caruana and senior captain Barret Ehgoetz.
Scoring in his second-straight game, Caruana, positioned near the Warrior goal crease, finished a pass from teammate Jason Williamson at 4:30 of the opening period, taking advantage of a Purple Eagles five-on-three man advantage.
On the power play, Ehgoetz’s shot from the right circle slipped just underneath the crossbar, beating Wayne State junior goaltender Matt Kelly at 9:03 of the first and giving Niagara a two-goal lead.
The Warriors (11-8-3, 4-3-2) stormed back with two straight goals by freshman Tylor Michel and junior Greg Poupard.
After Michel cut the Wayne State deficit to a goal after the first period, Poupard’s low shot from the left point managed to get underneath the left pad of Barton, sliding into the lower-right corner of the net for the game-tying goal at 3:34 of the second period.
On the breakout, Niagara sophomore Sean Bentivoglio’s heavy slap shot from the left circle put the Purple Eagles back on top at 9:05 of the second. Alone near the left boards, Bentivoglio’s blistering shot went over the left shoulder of Kelly and into the top-corner of the net, giving Niagara a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.
Wayne State sophomore Nate Higgins tied the game at the 8:35 mark of the third period, following a rebound off a shot by teammate Mark Cannon. End-to-end action ensued to close the third period leading up to the Bloomingburg overtime goal.
Winning his seventh game of the season, Kelly (7-5-0) made 26 saves for the Warriors. Barton (2-4-0) made 23 saves in the loss for Niagara.
Shots were in favor of the Purple Eagles, 29-27.
In the midst of a four-game losing streak at Dwyer Arena, Niagara concludes its two-game home series with Wayne State Saturday at 7:05 p.m.