Freshman Doug Beck scored the lone goal for the Griffs in the defeat, while senior Dan Morrison recorded 32 saves.
Although the Griffs had the better scoring opportunities and controlled a majority of the possession in the first period, it was the Purple Eagles who took the 1-0 advantage into the intermission. Niagara opened the scoring 8:31 into the contest, taking advantage of a Canisius turnover when Dan Weiss' shot from the point made it past a couple of screens and into the back of the net.
Niagara then took control of the game with two tallies 18 seconds apart in the second frame. Chris Lochner extended the Purple Eagles' lead to two 5:27 into the period, knocking a loose puck in from in front of the goal while on a power play. Ryan Murphy then finished a series of quick passes while on a 3-1 break just 18 ticks later for the 3-0 advantage.
The Purple Eagles stretched their lead to four when Giancarlo Iuorio scored an unassisted goal with 5:32 remaining in the second stanza. Iourio blocked a Canisius clearing attempt and then scored on an empty net after a miscue from the Griffs' goaltender.
Canisius scored just 45 seconds later for its first goal of the night. Freshman Stephen Farrell caused a Niagara turnover and then found Beck open on the opposite side of the zone. The freshman buried his shot for his fourth goal of the season with 4:46 remaining in the second period.
Beck's goal, however, was as close as the Griffs would get as neither team found the back of the net for the final 24-plus minutes of the game.
Niagara held a 36-31 advantage in shots on the night, while going 1-for-6 on the power play. Canisius was 0-for-5 with the extra-man advantage.
Chris Noonan recorded 30 saves for the Purple Eagles in the winning effort.
The teams wrap up the season series on Thursday night, squaring off in Lewiston. Game time between the two rivals is set for 7:05 p.m.
Game Notes: Beck leads all Canisius freshman with four goals this season ... Morrison is now just 11 saves shy of the program's career record ... Morrison has 2,760 career stops, trailing only Bryan Worosz's (2001-05) mark of the 2,771 ... Canisius lost the special teams battle for the 18th time this season, while scoring more special teams goal than its opponent in only three games ... Niagara now leads the 2011-12 Battle of the Bridge series between the two neighboring rivals, 11.5-6.5 ... Thursday's game will also be worth one point.