HAMDEN, Conn. — The Niagara Purple Eagles (13-11-1, 7-2-1 CHA) came back from a 3-2 deficit at the beginning of the third period to take a 4-3 decision over the Quinnipiac University Bobcats (12-14-0, 4-11-0 ECACHL) at the Northford Ice Pavilion Friday night.
The Purple Eagles scored with 4.6 seconds remaining in the game to take the first game of the weekend series. Les Reaney picked up a loss puck in the neutral zone and went short side past Quinnipiac netminder Bud Fisher to score the game winner.
The Purple Eagles tied the score at 3-3 at 5:55 of the third on Tim Madesen’s first goal of the season. Cliff Ketchen won the face off back to Mike Novosad, where he sent the puck on the blue line to Madesen who put the shot in between Fisher’s legs.
“It’s a frustrating loss,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold. “We out shot them and we have to do a better job than 0-for-8 on the power play.”
Niagara stuck first at 13:44 of the first when Justin Cross ripped a shot from the right circle. Quinnipiac goaltender Bud Fisher got a piece of the puck, but it trickled in past the goal line.
Quinnipiac had many opportunities, both 5-on-5 and on the power play but were unable to tie the score in the opening frame.
The Bobcats tied the score at 1-1 just 56 seconds into the second period on a Chris Myers tally. Myers received the pass from Mark Agnew at the blue line and rifled the shot off the crossbar and into the back of the net. Andrew Meyer also assisted on the goal.
The Bobcats then were given a power play, but it was Niagara who capitalized with a shorthanded goal. Matt Caruana picked the puck off in the neutral zone, went in on Fisher and beat him through the five hole for the one goal lead.
Quinnipiac managed to tie it up at 2-2 when Dan Rossi shot the puck from the blue line off the face off and Mike Bordieri deflected the puck in past Niagara goaltender Scott Mollison.
The Bobcats took their first lead on the game on Jamie Bates’ 12th goal of the season. Ty Deinema sent a blue line-to-blue line pass to Bates, who went in all alone for the goal.
Last season, Niagara swept the season series at Dwyer Arena between the two clubs, and have now taken the first of this year’s weekend series. Both teams will face off again at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Northford Ice Pavilion.