Niagara comes back to Dwyer Arena Saturday night in the second part of a home-and-home series against conference rival RIT, which starts tonight in Rochester.
The Purple Eagles (0-6-0, 0-2-0 Atlantic Hockey) lost two games last weekend at Denver, 6-2 and 4-0. Denver is the number one ranked team in the country.
RIT (6-1-1, 3-0-1 AHA) is coming off a win and a tie against Holy Cross last weekend. The Tigers stand atop Atlantic Hockey with 10 points.
So far this season, Niagara has played two tough out of conference opponents in Denver and Minnesota, and a series against Sacred Heart. Last year’s top scorers, Ludwig Stenlund and Noah Delmas enter the games against RIT with one assist each in the first six games. Eric Cooley has yet to get on the score sheet.
Newcomers Cam Cook, Ryan Cook, and Brandon Stanley each have a goal and an assist, while Scott Persson has two assists. Chris Harpur also has a goal and an assist.
Leading the way for the Tigers are Shawn Cameron (5 G, 2 A), Jake Hamacher (2 G, 5 A) and Adam Brubacher (1 G, 6 A), who are all tied for the team lead in points.
RIT net-minder Logan Drackett has twice been named Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week, and October’s Goalie of the Month. He comes into the series with a 1.74 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage.
For Niagara freshman goaltender Chad Veltri, he enters the weekend with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in two starts.
Last season, Niagara went 1-2-1 against RIT during the regular season. However, the Purple Eagles eliminated the Tigers, 1-0, in overtime of the Atlantic Hockey semifinals at LECOM Haborcenter in Buffalo. Niagara is 5-3-2 against RIT in the last 10 matchups between the teams.
Both games this weekend start at 7 p.m. Friday’s game will be held in the Polisseni Center, while Saturday’s game will be at Dwyer Arena. Both games will be available to listen to on 1340 AM / 105.3 FM WLVL.