RIT men win fifth straight, 5-2
Updated: Sunday, December 8 2013, 01:15 AM EST
The RIT men's hockey team (6-7-2, 5-3-0 AHA) scored three goals in a span of 4:53 early in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie and defeat Atlantic Hockey Association foe American International (3-10-0, 3-6-0 AHA) by a score of 5-2 in front of 1,418 fans at Ritter Arena on Saturday evening. The Tigers have now won five consecutive games, while American International has lost seven straight.
With the game tied at 2-2 heading into the third period, RIT struck quick with three goals in the first 6:13 to put the game away. Josh Mitchell (Osoyoos, British Columbia/Alberni Valley Bulldogs) tallied the game-winner 1:20 into the period, followed by Alex Perron-Fontaine (St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec/Chilliwack Chiefs), who scored his first collegiate goal 3:05 later. Garrett McMullen (Churchville, NY/Trail Smoke Eaters) completed the scoring barrage at the 6:13 mark.
That offensive supprt would be more than enough for freshman goaltender Mike Rotolo (Rochester, NY/Cedar Rapids Roughriders), who stopped 23-of-25 shots to record his fifth straight win. He equals the record for most wins to start a collegiate career at RIT, also held by Jamie Morris in 1995.
McMullen scored his first two collegiate goals and was named the game's first star. Perron-Fontaine also added his first goal, while Josh Mitchell and Nolan Descoteaux (Dallas, TX/South Shore Kings) had a goal and an assist apiece. Twelve different Tigers scored at least one point in the win.
Alexander MacMillan scored a goal and an assist to lead the Yellow Jackets, while David Norris also scored. In goal, Hunter Leisner made 34 saves in defeat.
RIT out-shot the Yellow Jackets, 39-25, including a season-high period total of 23 shots in the middle stanza. RIT was 1-for-2 with the man-advantage, while AIC was 0-for-1. RIT scored on the power-play for the fourth straight game.
"We were a little lackluster in the first period, but came out much better in the second and by our fifth goal, were really rolliing," said RIT Head Coach Wayne Wilson. "It was good to get a weekend, as we look forward to playing Niagara in our first outdoor game next Saturday."
RIT has outscored its opponents 23-10 during the five-game winning streak. It is RIT's first five-game winning streak since the 2011-12 season.
American International scored the lone goal in very flat opening period in which just 14 total shots were attempted.
Norris took advantage of a bad RIT defensive zone turnover to net his second goal of the year at the 3:47 mark.
MacMillan stripped a RIT defenseman of the puck in the zone and fed Norris, who was all alone in front. Norris' shot from in tight beat Rotolo to the short side to make it 1-0 Yellow Jackets.
RIT struggled to generate much in the way of offense throughout the period. Finally, Caleb Cameron (Sunridge, Ontario/Listowel Cyclones) had a very good chance late in the period from the right wing, but his shot was smothered by Leisner.
RIT came out and played a tremendous second period, firing a season-high 23 shots, scoring a pair of goals to go into the second intermission knotted at 2-2.
Descoteaux evened the score at 1-1 on the power-play at the 4:39 mark of the period, as he swatted a loose puck past Leisner from in tight for his third goal of the season. RIT worked the puck around for almost the entire two minute power-play, eventually with it coming to Greg Noyes (Lucan, Ontario/Salmon Arm Silverbacks) in front. He centered a pass to Todd Skirving (Thunder Bay, Ontario/Sioux Falls Stampede), who whiffed on the attempt, but Descoteaux was right there to put the puck in and tie the game.
McMullen picked a great time to score his first collegiate goal at the 7:57 mark, as he crashed the net and deflected a pass from Adam Mitchell (Crofton, MD/Baystate Breakers) past Leisner. Andrew Miller (Chicago, IL/Chicago Steel) won a battle in the corner and fed Mitchell behind the net. Mitchell's pass went off of McMullen and past Leisner.
Leisner was great for the Yellow Jackets in the period, stopping 21 shots, including several in spectacular fashion.
MacMillan got behind the RIT defense and took a 125-foot pass from Sean Federow, came in, and ripped a shot past Rotolo on a breakaway for his eighth goal of the year with 7:09 left in the period to tie the game at 2-2.
Josh Mitchell got the game-winner as a result of hard work from his linemates. Ben Lynch (Blaine, MN/Lincoln Stars) caused a turnover in the AIC zone and fed a drop pass to Brad McGowan (Langley, British Columbia/Surrey Eagles). McGowan gave the puck back to Lynch, who centered a pass to Mitchell. Mitchell corraled the puck and made no mistake, roofing a wrist shot just under the crossbar in front for his second goal of the season.
Perron-Fontaine was able to sneak in from the point and fire a wrist shot through the legs of Meisner for the goal. Josh Mitchell was able to keep the puck in the offensive zone after a shot went around the glass. Mitchell faked out a Yellow Jackets defenseman and fed the puck to Alexander Kuqali (Pittsburgh, PA/Sioux City Musketeers). Kuqali took two strides and fired a perfect cross-ice pass to Perron-Fontaine for the goal.
McMullen made it 5-2 by swatting in a rebound in front after a shot from Descoteaux was blocked in front. Brad Shumway (Lafayette, CO/Chicago Steel) also assisted on the goal.
Last night, Skirving scored two goals, including the game-winner in the third period to lift the Tigers to a 3-2 win.