UB hockey season comes to an end
Buffalo falls to Niagara, 3-1, in NECHL semifinal
Junior forward Luke Swimline takes a faceoff. The UB ice hockey team lost, 3-1, to Niagara Saturday night in the NECHL semifinals. Chad Cooper, The Spectrum
UB's dreams of consecutive Northeast Collegiate Hockey League Tournament (NECHL) titles came to an end Saturday night.
Niagara University (15-9, 10-4 NECHL), defeated the Bulls (24-9, 12-2 NECHL), 3-1, at The Northtown Center in front of an electrified crowd.
It was a disappointing night for the Bulls, who had several power play opportunities and 24 shots in the second period. Buffalo was unable to capitalize on its chances.
"Not the way we were hoping to go," said head coach Sal Valvo. "We worked hard all year. We had a lot of chances; I thought our power play had a lot of chances. We had possession in [Niagara's] zone, good traffic in front. A couple breaks went against us, and it ended up 3-1."
One of those breaks came near the end of the game when the Purple Eagles scored 7:39 into the third period. A scramble broke out in front of Buffalo's net and the puck got past senior goaltender Michael Musialowski, putting the Bulls behind 3-1.
Musialowski was irate after the goal, skating after the referee airing his protests.
"I didn't think it was a goal," Musialowski said. "I was right there and saw [the Niagara forward] direct it with his glove; I made sure I let [the ref] know. I'm an emotional guy on the ice. It sucks because if that doesn't count, it changes the whole game. It was our game to lose. It's unfortunate."
The Bulls struck first, going ahead 1-0 on a goal by junior forward Chris Marsack with 16:23 left into the second period. But the Purple Eagles' Jarred Mitrano was able to tie things up with 5:05 remaining.
With the third period underway, it seemed like Buffalo had the momentum after its dominating performance in the second, when UB outshot Niagara 24-13. But shortly after the puck drop, Niagara pulled ahead, making it a 2-1 game.
"It was close," Marsack said. "We've got a lot to work on. We were sloppy in our zone at times. We have a lot of guys returning, so hopefully we can pick up where we left off. It was a tough way to lose it."
The loss marks the end of the year for the Bulls, who had high hopes coming into the season after winning the NECHL in a double overtime thriller last year against the Purple Eagles. Buffalo will lose seniors Timothy Root, Johnathon Andhor, Timothy Benner, Shane Irwin and Michael Musialowski to graduation.
Buffalo also lost out on an automatic bid to the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament this year in a tiebreaker with Syracuse, losing by just one goal. Valvo is already looking to the future, planning how his club will improve and become contenders yet again.
"I feel horrible; it sucks," Valvo said. "I feel the kids worked hard and deserved it, but didn't get it. We're really excited about next year, though - we have our top scoring line and second line back and possibly our best recruit coming in, a kid who could've went Division I [NCAA]. He's going to be a leader the moment he steps on the ice. We're real excited."
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More ubspectrum News Articles
Recent ubspectrum News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR UBSPECTRUM NEWS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST UBSPECTRUM NEWS
- Spectrum 360 newscast: Sept. 21, 2014
- A gen ed breakdown: understanding UB’s potential revamp
- UB screens students, monitors Ebola outbreak in Africa
- Volleyball ties for first place in Hoosier Classic
- Bulls lose last non-conference game
- How to get away with angering the journalistic community
- Revised Regents a boon to struggling schools
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Wondering if it's Time to Buy a New Car? Just Check Your...
- Smartphone to Become Wallet -- Are Customers, Businesses...
- Grandparents, Keep Your Meds Up and Away From Young Children
- As Insurers End Coverage for Compounded Drugs, Patients...
- 4 Tips to Start Your Day a Little Earlier
- Join the Force to Fight Lung Cancer in Women
- If You Want to Help Avoid Back Problems, Stop Slouching
- Common-Sense Strategies From a Natural Marketing Guru
- 10 Steps to Help Older Adults Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls
- Stay Cool for Next to Nothing: Power Down the AC on...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Over 2,000 Groups Prepare to “Hit the Streets” with Volunteers and Celebrities for National Voter Registration Day on September 23, 2014
- Peace Corps Director Calls on College Students to Make a Difference After Graduation Through International Service
- USA NETWORK AND VERIZON LAUNCH THE “CHARACTERS UNITE COLLEGE TOUR” COMPETITION FOR STUDENTS TO BRING A USA NETWORK CELEBRITY AND A WORTHY CAUSE TO THEIR CAMPUS
- WHEN GEORGIA SMILED: THE ROBIN MCGRAW REVELATION FOUNDATION TEAMS WITH PIVOT AND STUDENTS OF THE WORLD TO LAUNCH THE #iASPIRE GRANT CONTEST
- Latino Groups Launch National Campaign to Deliver Record Latino Turnout for 2014 Midterm Elections