Nov. 15, 2013
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. - Making his first collegiate start and doing so in his hometown, freshman goaltender Parker Gahagen made 37 saves but it was not enough to carry Army as the Black Knights fell, 5-0, to Niagara in an Atlantic Hockey Association contest Friday night at a sold-out Dwyer Arena.
Preseason conference favorite Niagara (2-6-1, 2-1-1 AHA) peppered Gahagen early and often, but the Buffalo, N.Y., native stood tall in the net. The Black Knights dropped to 1-7-0 overall and 1-4-0 in the AHA.
Niagara held a 42-21 advantage in shots on goal, while the teams went a combined 0-for-9 on the power play. The Purple Eagles scored twice in the first and second periods and added an insurance goal in the third to steal the home victory. Five different Niagara players scored goals in the team’s second conference win of the year.
Niagara outshot Army 20-5 in the opening period, but the Black Knights got a shining start from Gahagen to keep the Purple Eagles off the scoreboard. Gahagan made 19 saves before yielding the game’s first goal at 15:47 of the first as Niagara took a 1-0 lead on T.J. Sarcona’s second goal of the season. The Purple Eagles made it 2-0 on a long Isaac Kohls shot that slipped past Gahagen with 55.5 seconds remaining in the first.
Facing a 2-0 hole for the second straight game, the Black Knights began the second period in search of déjà vu. Army erased the same deficit in last Tuesday’s 6-2 win at Sacred Heart. While the Black Knights’ offense showed more life over the final two periods, it did not translate to goals.
Both teams killed early penalties, but Army squandered a chance near the midway point of the period. Niagara took advantage as Stephen Pietrobon took Gahagen one-one-one and gave the Purple Eagles a 3-0 lead 8:45 into the action. The Purple Eagles’ lead grew to 4-0 three minutes later as Sam Alfieri’s shot deflected in. Niagara maintained its four-goal lead at the second intermission.
Staring at an uphill battle to start the third, Army saw Niagara stretched its lead to 5-0 8:08 into the third to seal the deal.
This weekend’s AHA series continues tomorrow night as the Black Knights and Purple Eagles face-off at 7:05 p.m. once again at Dwyer Arena. Fans can watch Saturday night’s game live via America ONE Sports or listen to the Army call online at goARMYsports.com or via 1340 WALL and 1380 WEOK radio in the Hudson Valley.
Game Notes: Niagara won the Atlantic Hockey Association regular season in 2012-13 … Parker Gahagen is a 2011 Williamsville North High School graduate and played for the Buffalo Junior Sabres out of the OJHL … joining him in the starting lineup was Josh Richards, Thane Heller, Maurice Alvarez, Christian Pomarico and Garret Peterson … Niagara celebrated Military Appreciation Night … Col. Wiley Thompson served as the team’s officer representative on the bench … both the United States and Canadian national anthems played pregame.
NIAGARA 5, ARMY 0
ARMY 0-0-0 – 0
NIAGARA 2-2-1 – 5
NIAGARA – Sarcona (Conderman), 15:47
NIAGARA – Kohls (Williams), 19:04
NIAGARA – Pietrobon (Sarcona), 8:45 SH
NIAGARA – Alfieri (Dineen), 11:41
NIAGARA - Turcotte, 8:08
Shots: Niagara 42 (20-12-10); Army 21 (5-11-5)
Saves: Niagara 21 (Teichroeb, 59:44, 5-11-5; empty net, 0:16); Army 37 (Gahagen, 60:00, 18-10-9)
Power Plays: Niagara 0-4; Army, 0-5
Penalties: Niagara, 5-10; Army, 4-8