Freshman Moran Flying High
Niagara has begun the season having the most
success in non-conference games with a 4-3 win at St. Lawrence
and a 5-4 overtime win in their home opener against 2006
NCAA tournament participant Holy Cross. And they’re
trying to make it two in a row in the CHA Rookie of the
Year department with forward Chris Moran lapping the field
at this early stage with five points in four games.
Niagara's Chris Moran is making an early bid for CHA
Rookie of the Year honors. Playing on a line with
the league's 2006 co-ROY's – Ted Cook and Les
Reaney – certainly helps.
Moran is playing on a line with last year’s
co-Rookies of the year Ted Cook and Les Reaney and is manning
the point on the power play.
“I’ve been really happy with Chris
Moran. I thought he was one of our best players on the ice
against Colgate with seven shots on goal and we have him
playing the point on the power play which shows you how
much confidence the coaching staff has in him,” said
head coach Dave Burkholder.
“It’s good to start the year with
two guys like Cook and Reaney who came in and dominated
last year,” said the freshman. “I played the
point all through juniors, so that’s been a pretty
easy transition from playing in the USHL last year [with
the Omaha Lancers.]"
Moran committed to the Purple Eagles almost
a year and a half ago, but waited a year to begin his collegiate
career. “I needed to develop more size and skill and
going to the USHL made the transition of coming to the speed
of the college game easier.”
Against Holy Cross, Niagara rallied from 3-0
and 4-1 deficits by scoring with eight seconds remaining
in the second period, getting two goals less than one minute
apart in the third and winning in overtime on Vince Rocco’s
second of the game.
“I was just in the right spot at the
right time,” said Rocco. “I guess I just had
magnet on my stick, the puck bounced lose and showed some
patience and had the whole net to shoot at. That could be
the turning point of our season. After that first period,
no one in the locker room thought we were out of it.”
SEEN AND HEARD IN THE CHA
October + Western New York = Winter:
Following its game against Colgate, which was held
at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, Niagara was caught
in the middle of an early fall snow and ice storm on the
way back to campus – the one that dropped two feet
of snow in the Buffalo area.
That storm, which paralyzed much of western
New York, closed the New York State Thruway, which happens
to be the direct route back to campus for the Purple Eagles
from Rochester. The team bus was caught not quite halfway
home when the road was closed, and the normal 90-minute
trip became a 14-hour odyssey as they idled on the expressway
waited for it to reopen.
“It was one of the most miserable nights
of my life, but it was good for team bonding,” said
Moran. “We didn’t have any movies – just
ourselves and our humor … rock, paper, scissors.”
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Great Weekend Getaway
State at Alabama-Huntsville (Fri.-Sat.) The two teams kick off the CHA conference
schedule in search of their first wins of the season.
The Chargers took the 2005-05 season series 3-0-1.
While You’re There: Stretch
out those hammies for the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run, a
5k starting at 8 a.m. Saturday on Franklin Street.
Too early or too strenuous (or both)? Watch the Halloween
Parade Around the Square at 10 a.m.
replay: Through four games, Niagara’s
2005-06 co-CHA Rookies of the Year, Ted Cook and Les
Reaney, were again among the leaders in the
nation in scoring. Cook was leading the country with
three goals and five assists while Reaney had three
of each – good for a tie for fifth.
Ouch: Wayne State senior defensemen Taylor Donahoe and
Dan Iliakis were a collective -8 in two losses
at Minnesota. That obviously doesn’t include
one or both being on the ice for three Gopher power
play tallies in 7-1 and 5-1 defeats at Mariucci Arena.
• Bemidji State’s Luke Erickson
started Friday’s game at Maine at right wing on the
second line. After scoring a power-play goal in a 7-1 loss
that night, he was moved to left wing on the first line
and scored two power-play goals in a 6-3 loss Saturday.
• Several of the Beavers lost their
luggage and equipment – well, the airline did the
actual losing of the stuff – on their way to Orono
last weekend. Could be a partial reason for the Black Bears
taking a 3-0 lead after one period Friday and 4-0 edge before
Erickson found the net for the only Beaver tally.
• Alabama-Huntsville almost wasted a
3-0 lead before getting third-period goals from Steve Canter
and freshman Thomas Train to hang on to a 5-5 tie at Bowling
• Wayne State freshman goaltender Brett
Bothwell allowed five goals, but just two at even strength
in a 5-1 loss at seventh-ranked Minnesota Saturday.
• In its games at Quinnipiac last weekend,
Robert Morris scored its only goal of the contest in the
third period after spotting the host team 3-0 and 4-0 leads.
• After not allowing Holy Cross to score
in the only two previous meetings between the teams, the
Crusaders scored on Niagara just 2:53 into the third game
and then twice more before the Purple Eagles found their
offense (and defense).
of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report