Courtesy of RITAthletics.com
ROCHESTER, NY – The RIT men’s hockey team (4-3-1, 4-1-0 Atlantic Hockey) scored three times in the third period to erase a 3-2 deficit and defeat Robert Morris University (3-6-1, 3-4-1 Atlantic Hockey) 5-3 from the Gene Polisseni Center on Friday night.
Early in the final period, RIT would receive 1:52 of 5-on-3 power-play time. Despite firing six shots on net over the first 1:45, the Tigers could not break through. Right as the first penalty ended, Ryan Kruper (Sherwood Park, Alberta/Sherwood Park Crusaders) won a face-off right to Shawn Cameron (Sherbrooke, Quebec/Cumberland Grads), who circled around the net and found Jake Hamacher (Corona, CA/Dubuque Fighting Saints) all alone at the doorstep for his first collegiate goal to tie the game at 3-3 with 13:34 left in regulation.
Just 1:56 later, Erik Brown (Keene, Ontario/Kemptville 73’s) circled around the net, came out in front and fired a shot from the slot after strong work in the Colonials zone past goaltender Francis Marotte for the eventual game-winner. The goal was Brown’s fifth of the season, which came on his eighth shot on goal of the night.
Robert Morris would get a power-play with 4:24 left in regulation, but the RIT penalty-killing unit stood tall and goaltender Logan Drackett(Calgary, Alberta/Calgary Canucks) made three key stops to keep it a one-goal game.
Video courtesy of RIT Athletic Communications
Alden Dupuis (Edmonton, Alberta/Bonnyville Pontiacs ) would put the game away for the Tigers with an empty-netter with 38 seconds left in regulation to give RIT a 5-3 lead.
Five different players scored for the Tigers. Dupuis had a goal and an assist, while Gabe Valenzuela (Brampton, Ontario/North York Rangers) added a pair of third period assists. Max Mikowski (Cheekotwaga, NY/Buffalo Jr. Sabres) and Myles Powell (Courtenay, British Columbia/Cowichan Valley Capitals) also scored for RIT, while Drackett made 19 saves for his fourth win of the season.
Brady Ferguson had a goal and an assist, while Michael Louria and Timmy Moore dished out a pair of assists apiece for the Colonials. Luke Lynch and Spencer Dorowicz also scored. In net, Marotte made 32 saves.
RIT out-shot Robert Morris, 37-22. RIT was 1-for-3 with the man-advantage, while Robert Morris was 1-for-4.
“This was a big win from the standpoint that we want to be a good third period team and executed (in the third period) tonight,” said RIT head coach Wayne Wilson. “We played a solid game against a very good team for 60 minutes.”
The Tigers held a distinct territorial edge over the first 10 minutes with several good chances, but could not get the early lead. Hamacher had RIT’s best chance, taking a feed from Cameron off the boards and scooting in on a partial breakaway. He got Marotte to slide across and flipped a shot against the grain that hit the right post.
The Colonials would open the scoring on the power-play with 5:23 left in the opening period, as Ferguson fired in a goal mouth feed from Timmy Moore for his fifth goal of the season. Louria fired from the left circle that was blocked. The carom came right back to Louria, who fed Moore down low. Moore found Ferguson, who was all alone at the right side of the net for the goal.
Both teams scored in a wild second period in which RIT out-shot Robert Morris, 17-6.
Powell would draw RIT even with a highlight reel goal just 1:43 into the period, taking a feed from Alden Dupuis (Edmonton, Alberta/Bonnyville Pontiacs ) in the neutral zone, cutting through two defenders and roofing a backhander over Marotte for his second goal of the season.
RIT would take the lead just under five minutes later, as Mikowski fired in a cross-ice feed from Bryson Traptow (Calgary, Alberta/Camrose Kodiaks) on a 2-on-1 in close for his first goal of the season. Mark Logan (Calgary, Alberta/Brooks Bandits) caused a turnover in the neutral zone and chipped a pass off the boards to Traptow, creating the 2-on-1. Traptow went around a defender down low and made the pass over to a wide-open Mikowski for his first collegiate point.
RIT had a golden opportunity to make it 3-1 moments later off a turnover, as Brown found himself all alone in the slot. Brown fired a shot that beat Marotte but clanged off the crossbar.
The Colonials would strike back with two goals later in the period to regain the lead. Lynch finished off a nice three-way passing play from Ferguson and Moore for his eighth goal of the year with 7:53 left in the period to tie the game. With 52 seconds left, Louria created a turnover in the RIT zone and slipped a pass into the slot, where Dorowicz corralled it and fired a shot over the glove of Drackett to make ot 3-2 Colonials.
Girduckis and Powell both extended their point-scoring streaks to six games in tonight’s win, while Willett now has a point in five straight contests.
Robert Morris leads the all-time series between the two schools, 12-10-4. Tonight marked the first of four meetings between the two schools this season. The two teams also play tomorrow night and meet for a pair of games at Robert Morris on Feb. 9-10, 2018.
Game two of the weekend series is Saturday from the Polisseni Center, as action gets underway at 7:05 p.m. It is Hometown Heroes night. All first responders. active and retired military and veterans receive free admission.