by Amy Moritz
Perhaps one of the things the Purple Eagles are thankful for is to be finished with their non-conference schedule. Because nothing seemed to go right for Niagara in those games.
Tuesday, the Purps closed out their non-conference slate with a 4-2 loss at No. 14 Cornell. That makes Niagara 0-7-0 in games outside Atlantic Hockey and 0-7-1 in road games.
But the real kicker came when Big Red freshman Mitch Gillam, making his first collegiate start, scored a goal with 8.6 seconds left to ice the game.
The good news: While Niagara dug itself a 2-0 hole, the team played well and battled back to tie the game, 2-2 in the second period.
The heartbreaker: After the Purps killed off a series of penalties, Cornell freshman Patrick McCarron faked his defender to the ice and tucked a perfect shot inside the left post with less than five seconds left in the second period.
The goal heard 'round Twitter: As Niagara pulled its goaltender to put six skaters on the ice, Matt Chartrain shot the puck into the Cornell zone. Gillam gloved the shot, dropped it to his stick and fired in the length of the ice. He became the eighth goalie in NCAA Division I history to be credited with a goal. The last goalie goal was by Kyle Richter of Harvard in 2008. Only two other goaltenders have actively shot the puck into the other team's net -- Mike Mantua (Western Michigan, 2002) and Chad Alban (Michigan State, 1998).