Men’s hockey heads to Niagara to face the Purple Eagles

Bill Paterson

Brooke Smith, Sports Editor

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After winning their best-of-three series against American International College (AIC) the NCAA men’s hockey team will face the Niagara Purple Eagles in the second round of the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) playoffs.

The Colonials have faced off against the Purple Eagles three times this year going 0-2-1, with both losses being by just one goal, and the Colonials expect this series to be a close one as well.

“They’re usually pretty low scoring games and they’re a very good defensive team,” said sophomore defenseman, Evan Renwick.  “So we’re expecting a one goal game.”

“I think it’s going to be a hard fought series,” added freshman forward, Scott Jacklin. “We want to come away with the win, so hopefully we can win the first two games.”

Although the Colonials would rather win the series in two games, they know that there is a good chance that they will be playing three games.

“We expect it to be a pretty good series, we’ve played them three times this season,” said senior forward, Cody Crichton.  “We’re pretty similar teams and I won’t be surprised if this series goes three games.”

Something the Colonials did not have trouble with in the first round was scoring goals.  In three games, the Colonials managed to score 14 goals.

“It’s not exactly my forte to score goals, but it just felt good to get one and get that first goal out of the way,” said Renwick of his first collegiate goal. “We put a lot of pucks in the net and it felt pretty good and to get to the second round is a good thing,”

They also see the fact that they played in three games and one being an OT winner in the first round as an advantage over Niagara.

“We got our playoff jitters out of the way and they haven’t played in two weeks so hopefully we can use it to our advantage,” said Jacklin.

“I think we were pretty resilient.  I don’t think anything came easy for us.  For us to have to face a loss and to come back and play like we did on Sunday in a do-or-die game was pretty good for a lot of us to get that under our belt,” said Crichton.  “We were one goal away from our season ending so guys got a taste for that, so that was a good experience for us.”

The games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if necessary) will all be 7:05 start times and can be seen live online on America One at http://www.b2livetv.com/partner_members.asp?id=284

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