Niagara opens men’s college hockey postseason with a come-from-behind, 3-2 win over Mercyhurst to advance to AHA quarterfinals

A late third-period goal by Walker Sommer completed a rally from 2-0 down and gave Niagara a victory over Mercyhurst, advancing the Purple Eagles to the second round of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs (File photo: Omar Phillips)

Walker Sommer’s goal with 4:07 remaining in regulation completed a comeback from 2-0 down as Niagara advanced to the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals with a 3-2 victory over Mercyhurst.

In a season that’s been an uphill battle to simply get games played – including playing just four regular-season games after January 10 due to COVID-related issues – once again had a major hill to climb in Monday’s playoff opener.

Mercyhurst jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by John McDougall in the first and a second by Carson Briere early in the second.

But Niagara had an answer in the middle frame.

Ludwig Stenlund tallied on the power play at 8:42 before Ryan Cox equaled the score at 12:12.

With the game tied in the third, Niagara goaltender Chad Veltri was strong, stopping all 16 shots he faced giving Sommer the chance to play hero.