ROCHESTER, N.Y.-Despite Giancarlo Iuorio's continued hot streak, Niagara loses in the AHA Semifinals in Rochester to Canisius, 5-3.
The Purple Eagles were not able to capitalize on their opportunities on Friday, Niagara out shot the Griffins 41-29. Giancarlo Iuorio was able to knock in 2 goals for The Purple Eagles, but Niagara was 0-4 on power plays which was one of the deciding factors on Friday. Hugo Turcotte was the only other goal scorer for The Purple Eagles. Carson Chubak, one of the ten finalists for the Hobey Baker award, was lit up on Friday for 5 goals. Chubak made 24 saves on 29 shots for Niagara.
Tyler Wiseman led the way for Canisius with 2 goals and 1 assist, and Canisius' Goaltender Tony Capobianco was able to stop 38 of 41 shots on net. Duncan McKellar also added a goal and an assist for the Griffins who will move on to play Mercyhurst in Rochester on Saturday at 7PM. The winner of the Championship game on Saturday will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Niagara Head Coach David Burkholder told Purpleeagles.com" Canisius was the better team tonight," Burkholder also added, " They were very good defensively. We couldn't get through their neutral zone trap. Everyone coming in thought it would be a low scoring game, but they showed a little more grit and passion than we did an now we're going home".
Canisius Head Coach Dave Smith told Gogriffs.com"It was a great team effort against a very good Niagara team, who is having a special season", Coach Smith also added " I'm really proud of the effort from everybody and the support in the stands from Canisius fans was outstanding".
Even though Niagara lost to Canisius in the Semifinals their season may not be over. The Purple Eagles will sit and wait for the NCAA to determine their fate for an at-large tournament bid. The NCAA selection show is scheduled for Sunday, March 24 at 9 PM on ESPNU.