RIT taken down by Robert Morris 5-1
Updated: Saturday, February 8 2014, 11:55 PM EST
ROCHESTER, NY– Atlantic Hockey Association foe Robert Morris (11-13-4, 11-6-4 AHA) scored five unanswered goals on their way to a 5-1 win over the RIT men's hockey team (8-15-5, 7-11-3 AHA) in front of 1,417 fans at Ritter Arena on Saturday night.
Ben Lynch (Blaine, MN/Lincoln Stars) scored the lone Tiger goal for the evening in the first period from in close on a 5-on-3 power-play after Josh Mitchell (Osoyoos, British Columbia/Alberni Valley Bulldogs) sent terrific centering pass into the slot for Lynch to fire home. Caleb Cameron (Sunridge, Ontario/Listowel Cyclones) grabbed an assist on the goal as well.
The line of Scott Jacklin, Cody Wydo, and Zac Lynch combined for eight points in the win for Robert Morris, who extended its unbeaten streak to nine games. Jacklin had two goals and an assist, Wydo, a goal and two assists, and Lynch recorded a goal and an assist. Andrew Blazek also scored for the Colonials.
Penfield native Terry Shafer started in net for Robert Morris and was solid, making 26 saves on 27 shots faced.
RIT goalkeeper Mike Rotolo (Rochester, NY/Cedar Rapids Roughriders) made 28 saves on the evening.
Robert Morris out-shot RIT, 33-27. The Colonials were 1-for-5 with the man-advantage, while RIT was 1-for-7 on the power-play.
"This loss is more mental than anything," said head coach Wayne Wilson. "Our confidence is really low and we've got to pick ourselves off the mat now. I'm not as concerned with the X's and O's of the game, we just have to find that mentality again."
There was no love lost between the two squads as a slow first period became a physical one, as both teams combined for over 16 penalty minutes and each netted a power play goal late through the first 20 minutes of play.
With 12:41 remaining, Rotolo made one of his best stops of the night turning away a shot fired from the slot by Jeff Jones who broke away on a 2-on-1 chance.
Robert Morris took two straight penalties that came with less than five minutes to go in the first that gave the Tigers a 5-on-3 advantage. Moments later Lynch would net his eighth goal of the season on the power play to give RIT the 1-0 lead.
With time winding down it was the Tigers who became victim of costly penalty as the Colonials would even things with a power play goal of their own, as Lynch tipped in the puck from inside the crease off a hard shot through traffic from Tyson Wilson past Rotolo to tie it up at 1-1.
The second period belonged to Robert Morris as Wydo got it started with a fancy backhanded, top shelf goal after he weaved his way through the defense and lifted the puck past Rotolo. The goal was Wydo's AHA leading 21st of the season.
About midway through the second Blazek would rifle a shot from the point through a screen into the right side of the net to balloon the Colonial lead to 3-1. Minutes later Jacklin joined in for Robert Morris with a goal from in close off a feed from Wydo.
In the waning minutes of the second, Cameron thought he scored his first collegiate goal when he chased down the puck on a breakaway and lauched a shot from the slot, top shelf that deflected off the inside of the right post and rolled out of the net. After video review by the referees it was confirmed that the puck never crossed the goal line and the score remained 4-1 Colonials.
From there the Tigers never forged a rally as were held scoreless for the remainder of the game. Jacklin would add a second goal midway through the third period to put the game well out of reach and secure the win.
RIT is now 4-6-4 all-time against Robert Morris as the two schools wrapped up the 2013-2014 regular season series. The two teams went 1-1-1 vs. each other this season. RIT defeated the Colonials 4-2 on Nov. 9, while the two teams skated to a 2-2 draw last night, as both Rotolo and Shafer made 40 saves.
The Tigers drop into a three-way tie for eighth in the conference standings with Holy Cross and American International.
The Tigers have now gone winless in their last six games with a 0-4-2 record and wrap up their seven game homestand next week, when conference leader Mercyhurst comes to Ritter Arena on Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday Feb. 15. Both games are set to start at 7:05 as some crucial points and conference tournament seeding is on the line.
During next weekend's games RIT will honor its 46 year history of calling Ritter Arena home with a handful of memories and flashbacks to some of the best moments in RIT hockey history.