The Niagara Purple Eagles are back in the national spotlight, and much of the team’s success can be credited to their stingy goaltender.
Carsen Chubak backstopped Niagara to a weekend sweep over Atlantic Hockey opponents Canisius and Robert Morris, vaulting the Purple Eagles into 20th spot in the USCHO.com Division I Poll. The wins also contributed to Chubak being named Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week for the fourth week in a row, and fifth time this season.
The previously-unranked Purple Eagles (8-2-3; 7-0-0 AHA) made their debut in the weekly poll after becoming the fifth team in the nation to register eight wins - joining perennial national powers Boston College (1st), Denver (2nd) and New Hampshire (3rd). Niagara’s current nine-game unbeaten streak (7-0-2) is tied for the longest in the nation with top-ranked Boston College (9-0-0). This is the first time Niagara has been ranked in the online poll since they occupied 19th spot on March 24, 2008.
The Purple Eagles are a perfect 7-0-0 in Atlantic Hockey Conference action, and have outscored their opposition 24-3 in those seven games – the fewest goals allowed by any team in the nation during conference play this season.
After turning aside 31 shots in a 2-1 road win over Canisius on Friday, Chubak helped the Purple Eagles earn their fourth straight victory on home ice by stopping all 43 shots sent his way in a 3-0 shutout of RMU on Saturday. The 5-foot-11 junior is now 8-1-3 on the season, and sits atop the nation in save percentage (.970), goals against average (0.99) and shutouts (5).
The 23-year-old Chubak has posted shutouts in three straight home games, a feat that has not been accomplished on Monteagle Ridge since Greg Gardner did it during the 1999-00 season. With Saturday’s win over the Colonials, Chubak and the Purple Eagles extended their shutout streak at Dwyer Arena to 205:40. A second period goal by Mercyhurst’s Ryan Mislak on October 13 was the last goal allowed by Niagara on home ice. The Purple Eagles have allowed just three goals in five home games, while scoring 15.
The Purple Eagles play four of their next five at home, starting with a pair of conference games against Sacred Heart at Dwyer Arena on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1. Go to PurpleEagles.com for ticket and schedule information.