The Wayne State Warriors (0-5-1, 0-1-1 CHA) went on the road last weekend to Western New York, hoping to grab their first win of the season. Although they didn’t get the “W," they played some of their best hockey of the season and skated away with a conference point that could become very valuable later in the year.
The Warriors started quick on Friday night, getting power-play goals from both Nate Higgins and Mike Forgie to take a 2-1 lead after 20-minutes of play.
The Purps dominated the second period, out shooting the Warriors 12-5 and scoring twice to take a 3-2 lead.
Mark Nebus scored just past the 5-minute mark of the third to tie the game at 3, but Niagara went up a goal again at 13:44 on a marker by Sean Bentivoglio.
The Warriors kept fighting and with goaltender Matt Kelly pulled for the extra attacker, Adam Krug scored with just 39-seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Freshmen Les Reaney finished the game 72-seconds into overtime, beating Kelly for his third marker of the year and sealing a 5-4 Niagara victory.
Kelly finished the night 30 saves. On the other end, Jeff Van Nynatten also steered aside 30 shots.
Blueliner Steve Kovalchik recorded three assists for the Warriors in the loss.
Wayne State came out firing again in Saturday’s game two and was rewarded for their efforts with a 3-3 tie and their first point of the year.
For the second straight game the Warriors got on the board first. Defenseman Taylor Donohoe got things going for the Green and Gold with a 4-on-4 goal at 11:38 of the first.
The Eagles scored the next two and led 2-1 by 1:20 of the second period.
For the second straight game, the Warriors power play notched a pair of goals. This time Higgins and John May scored 32 seconds apart in the second to put Wayne State up 3-2.
The Purps tied it up with an extra-man marker with less than a minute left in the second to close out the scoring.
WSU fired nine shots on goal in the third and four more in the five-minute sudden-death overtime period, but neither team was able to score and grab the win.
Kelly started in net again for the Warriors and stopped 29 of 32 shots. Freshman Juliano Pagliero started his first game for the Eagles and turned away 39 of 42 shots.
The Warriors will return to the Coliseum in Detroit next weekend to open up their home schedule against the CHA benchmark, Bemidji State Beavers (5-1-0, 1-1-0 CHA). The Beavs split a pair on the road last weekend against Air Force, but have already swept WCHA members Minnesota-Duluth and Minnesota State.
The defending CHA champion Beavers took the season series from the Warriors last year with a 3-1 record.