Niagara tops BSU 3-2 for tourney crown, NCAA bid

Kyle Rogers' power play goal with less than a minute remaining in the second period gave Niagara University a 3-2 win over Bemidji State Sunday at Dwyer Arena in Lewiston, N.Y.

Kyle Rogers' power play goal with less than a minute remaining in the second period gave Niagara University a 3-2 win over Bemidji State Sunday at Dwyer Arena in Lewiston, N.Y.

The win gave Niagara University the College Hockey America Tournament title and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

There was no scoring in the third period, but enough drama ensued to qualify for a Tony Award.

It all started with the Beavers going on the power play with about seven minutes left in the game. About 30 seconds into the penalty another delayed penalty was called on Niagara's Bryan Haczyk for contact to the head. BSU's Matt Pope rushed the puck up ice and as he broke to the net was clobbered by Scott Langdon, with another Niagara penalty being called.

After sorting things out, the Beavers ended with a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:31. It was a golden opportunity for BSU to tie things up. It was not be for BSU, however, as Niagara came up big and killed the two-man advantage.


The Beavers did come very close as Tyler Scofield beat Niagara goaltender Juliano Pagliero five-hole, but the Purple Eagles goaltender reached behind his back and kept the puck from crossing the line.

The drama was far from over, however. As the Niagara's penalties expired with about four minutes remaining, NU's Ted Cook came off the bench, getting behind the BSU defense, and went in alone on BSU goalie Matt Climie from the red line.

Cook made a move at the goal line and Climie sprawled, with the red light going on signaling a goal. However, the play was reviewed extensively on replay and was ultimately ruled no goal. The puck ended up under Climie's glove as he made the save attempt and could not be seen crossing the line.

The Beavers were still in it. BSU pulled Climie for the extra attacker with about one minute left and got another kick at the cat. Travis Winter was alone in front on a bang-bang play, but was stopped by Pagliero on a backhand effort.

Niagara went on to win the crown.

The teams traded goals in the first period, both coming on the power play. BSU once again got the start it wanted, scoring first. NU's Derek Foam as called for tripping less than two minutes into the game and the Beavers made the Purple Eagles pay. BSU sophomore defender Chris Peluso took a shot from the top of circles with the rebound going to Winter, who got off a shot. That rebound went to Brandon Marino at the side of the side and he buried the chance at 2:55.

Niagara came back with a power play goal of its own about eight minutes later. Kyle Rogers took a shot from the near point that was tipped by Ted Cook in front. Climie had no chance and the game was tied at the 9:43 mark.

A couple minutes earlier Climie kept Niagara off the board, making a huge blocker save as a BSU defensive breakdown resulted in a NU 2-on-0 scoring chance. Climie came up huge on the shot from point blank range.


The Beavers held an 8-6 shot advantage in the evenly played first period. Niagara had a slight advantage offensively as Vince Rocco clanged one off the post on another good Niagara scoring chance.

Niagara used a last minute rally to take a 3-2 lead in the second. The Beavers regained the lead earlier in the period as Tyler Lehrke scored about seven minutes in. Lehrke picked up a loose puck at the near hash marks and rifled a wrist shot top shelf past Pagliero at the 12:33 mark.

The Purple Eagles got it back to 2-2 as Chris Moran scored off a flurry in front at 16:28. Moran picked up a rebound off a shot from in close and slid it past a screened Climie.

Niagara then took a 3-2 lead, and got the eventual game winner, with just 45 seconds remaining in the period, aided greatly by an interference call. Niagara took just 10 seconds to connect after the penalty call as Rogers ripped a one-timer from long range.

The Beavers had a couple of chances early in the period, but couldn't finish. Chris McKelvie worked hard to gain control of the puck behind the Niagara net, stepped out front and just missed. Marino also had a chance on a Beaver 2 on 1 break and whistled a shot high. Matt Read also had a quality chance, rushing the puck nearly the length of the ice and just missing on a rebound off his own shot.

Climie also made a major save with about three minutes left, stopping Rocco on a mini-breakaway.

Niagara held a 14-12 shot advantage in the period.

That led to the wild and wooly third period. In the end, the game came down to special teams with Niagara getting a pair of power play goals while allowing only one.


Pagliero ended with 27 saves to get the win. Climie absorbed the tough luck loss, making 22 saves - at least four that were spectacular.

The loss ended the Bemidji State season at 17-16-3. Niagara improved to 22-10-4 and will represent the CHA in the NCAA Tournament, scheduled to begin in two weeks.

Niagara............. 1 2 0 - 3

Bemidji State....... 1 1 0 - 2

1st period - 1, BSU, Marino, Brandon/3 (Winter, Travis/15, Peluso, Chris/9) 2:55 (pp). 2, NIA, Cook, Ted/19 (Rogers, Kyle/13, Caruana, Matt/23) 10:19 (pp). Penalties - Foam, Derek, NIA (tripping) 1:51; McManamin, Graham, BSU (hooking) 4:35; McManamin, Graham, BSU (tripping) 9:42.

2nd period - 3, BSU, Lehrke, Tyler/2 (Francis, Matt/10) 12:33. 4, NIA, Moran, Chris/8 (Langdon, Scott/7) 16:28. 5, NIA, Rogers, Kyle/10 (Rocco, Vince/30, Cook, Ted/12) 19:15 (pp). Penalties - Winter, Travis, BSU (goaltender interference) 8:18; Hardwick, Kyle, BSU (interference) 19:05.

3rd period - Penalties - Foam, Derek, NIA (tripping) 1:47;

Anderson, Travis, NIA (interference) 13:05; Haczyk, Bryan, NIA


(contact to the head) 13:34; Langdon, Scott, NIA (slashing) 13:34;

Pope, Matt, BSU (goaltender interference) 13:34.

Shots on goal - NIA 6-14-5 25; BSU 8-12-9 29.

Power plays - NIA 2 of 4; BSU 1 of 3.

Penalties - NIA 5 (10 min); BSU 5 (10 min).

Goalies - NIA, Pagliero, Juliano 17-6-4 (60:00 minutes, 29 shots-27 saves); BSU, Climie, Matt 14-8-3 (58:55, 25-22) , EMPTY NET (01:05, 0-0).

Penalty shots - None.

A-1,081 T-2:30


Three stars: 1. Rogers, Kyle 2. Cook, Ted 3. Pagliero, Juliano

Referee:Brian Hill Linesman:Matt Brolsma; Justin Prusak

Win-Pagliero, Juliano (17-6-4). Loss-Climie, Matt (14-8-3).

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