Ni­a­gara two wins from AHA semis

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS - NEWS STAFF RE­PORT

Stay­ing close to home is an im­por­tant as­pect in the post­sea­son.

Af­ter a thrilling three-game se­ries vic­tory at home over ri­val Cani­sius, the Ni­a­gara Pur­ple Eagles will travel over 1,500 miles to Colorado Springs to meet Air Force in the At­lantic Hockey quar­ter­fi­nals. A win in the best-of-three se­ries and they will be the lo­cal team in next week­end’s semi­fi­nals at Har­bor­center.

It will be the sec­ond se­ries in Colorado for Ni­a­gara this sea­son. The teams split the two-game se­ries at Air Force in late Oc­to­ber. In the first game, five dif­fer­ent play­ers scored as the Pur­ple Eagles (14-8-5) scored a 5-0 shutout aided by Brian Wil­son’s 39 saves in goal. The Falcons (16-13-5) took a 2-1 win the fol­low­ing evening.

Ju­nior de­fense­man Noah Del­mas leads Ni­a­gara with 38 points, in­clud­ing a team-high 24 as­sists. Del­mas picked up two goals and two as­sists in the first round win over Cani­sius. En­ter­ing this week­end, Del­mas’ 38 points are the fifth-most for a de­fense­man in the coun­try.

Fresh­man for­ward Lud­wig Sten­lund has the most goals for the Pur­ple Eagles with 20 and is sec­ond to Del­mas with 36 points. Sten­lund was named to the league’s all-rookie team ear­lier this week af­ter lead­ing all fresh­men in goals.

Wil­son has seen the bulk of the ac­tion in net this sea­son with a 2.86 goals against av­er­age and .905 save per­cent­age in 30 games.

All three games are sched­uled for 9 p.m. starts at Cadet Ice Arena.

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