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RIT loses fourth straight, 4-1 at Bentley
WALTHAM, MA The RIT men's hockey team (6-11-3, 5-7-1 AHA) dropped its fourth straight game to kick off the 2014 calendar year, falling to Atlantic Hockey Association rival Bentley University (11-8-2, 9-3-2 AHA) at the John A. Ryan Skating Center on Saturday evening.
Bentley led 2-0 heading into the third period before RIT's Josh Mitchell (Osoyoos, British Columbia/Alberni Valley Bulldogs) slammed home a rebound off a shot from Dustin Fostvelt (Edmonton, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) with 13:24 left in regulation to make the score 2-1. The assist was Fostvelt's first collegiate point. Brad McGowan (Langley, British Columbia/Surrey Eagles) also assisted on the goal, Mitchell's third of the season.
RIT had a few chances after to tie the game, but were unable to get the equalizer. With 7:19 left in regulation, Andrew Gladiuk scored a power-play goal to give Bentley its two-goal lead back. Brett Gensler would complete the scoring with an empty-net goal with 1:21 left in regulation.
Gensler scored a pair of goals and added an assist for the Falcons, giving him an eight-point weekend. Andrew Fitzstephens and Gladiuk also scored. In net, Branden Komm made 28 saves to pick up the win.
RIT goaltender Jordan Ruby (Tavistock, Ontario/Wellington Dukes) made his first start since Nov. 22, stopping 34-of-37 shots in the loss.
Bentley out-shot RIT 38-29. The Falcons were 1-for-7 with the man-advantage, while RIT was 0-for-5.
"I thought Bentley's first line was tremendous all game and all weekend," said RIT head coach Wayne Wilson. "We didn't play well enough all weekend, but give Bentley credit, they were the better team and deserved the sweep. We played on our heels for most of the night. It will be nice to be home for awhile, but we need to be better and get ready for the stretch run."
Bentley scored the lone goal in the first period, out-shooting the Tigers, 14-11.
Just 2:30 into the contest, the Falcons took advantage of a RIT giveaway behind its own net, and Fitzsimmons made the Tigers pay, rifling in a shot from in close to make it 1-0 Falcons.
Bentley nearly made it 2-0 moments later, but Ruby made two big saves on a pair of point-blank chances.
The Falcons upped their lead to a pair of goals after 40 minutes of play.
RIT had a chance to tie the game early in the period with two straight power-plays and did push a puck past Komm, but Dan Schuler (Webster, NY/Powell River Kings) batted the puck in with what was ruled a high-stick. The play went to video replay, where the call was confirmed, no goal.
Bentley made it 2-0 at the 5:48 mark of the period, when Gentzler pushed home a rebound in front after a long shot from Steve Weinstein was stopped by Ruby. Gentzler was able to find an opening in front to slam in the rebound for his 13th goal of the year.
The RIT penalty-killing unit came up big late in the period, killing off three straight penalties, including nearly two minutes of consecutive Bentley 5-on-3 power-plays.
Senior defenseman Eliot Raibl (Vancouver, British Columbia/Quesnel Millionaires) played in his 100th career game this evening.
RIT is now 16-8-2 all-time against Bentley, 14-7-2 in the Division I era. Last night, the Tigers suffered their worst ever loss in AHA play, falling to the Falcons, 8-2. Ben Lynch (Blaine, MN/Lincoln Stars) and Nolan Descoteaux (Dallas, TX/South Shore Kings) scored for the Tigers. Mike Colavecchia (Maple, Ontario/Lindsay Muskies) recorded a pair of assists to become the sixth player in RIT's Division I history to surpass 100 career points.
The Tigers have now lost four straight in AHA play for the first time since joining the league in 2006-07.
The Tigers return home next weekend to play a pair of home games against Army at Ritter Arena on Friday and Saturday. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m. RIT plays nine of its next 10 games at the friendly confines of Ritter Arena.