RIT Completes Undefeated Season
The RIT Tigers defeated Elmira 7-1 to complete an undefeated regular season. In the only other action last week, Manhattanville downed Neumann, for the third time this season, by an 8-1 margin.
League Games Overview
ELMIRA 1 at RIT 7 (2/17): Four power-play goals and one shorthander, were the difference that gave RIT the 7-1 win over Elmira. Take away those special team scores and it would have been a whole different game. The first period was very even. Elmira came out strong and used an early power play to put immense pressure on the RIT net. But the Tiger’s defense held, and RIT scored on its first power play with a goal by Derek Hahn midway through the period. Elmira’s Jason Silverthorn tied it up at the 17:52 mark and the sellout crowd of 2,150 was settling in for a long night of back-and-forth hockey.
However that wasn’t to be. Elmira got tagged for two penalties late in the first period to put RIT on the two-man advantage spanning the first intermission. Seconds after the first penalty expired, RIT’s Mike Bournazakis scored a power-play goal to give RIT the lead. The Tigers used that momentum to take firm control of the game, and they never looked back. Goals by Derek Hahn, Mike Bournazakis and Mike Tarantino in the first 11-plus minutes of the second period built RIT’s lead to a commanding 4-1.
Elmira kept trying to get back in the game, but it was like the proverbial spitting into the wind. RIT was thoroughly in control of the game and the Soaring Eagles just couldn’t dent the Tiger momentum. Tiger netminder Tyler Euverman stopped 32 of the 33 shots that he faced in the game, including all 16 shots that Elmira peppered on net in the third period. Peter Bournazakis added another power-play goal for RIT early in the third, and Jared Conlon wristed in a shorthander midway through the period to finish the scoring with RIT up 7-1.
RIT (ranked No. 1): With the victory over Elmira, RIT earned its first undefeated season since 1964, when the team was only club status. The Tigers earned a 22-0-1 record for the regular season, with the only blemish coming at the hands of Oswego. RIT has now clinched the NCAA Pool B bid, and is the first team to gain entrance into the NCAA DIII playoffs this season.
Netminder Tyler Euverman has been an unsung hero for the Tigers this season. He has quietly amassed impressive statistics: a .924 save percentage, 2.15 goals against average, two shutouts, and has not let in more than four goals in any game this season (and only gave up four once).
“Sometimes before a game you wonder how your PK is going to play, or which forwards are going to be hot, or how a certain line will work. But with Tyler, you just know that he is going to show up for every big game and be just rock solid,” said coach Wayne Wilson. “I never have to worry whether he will be there in the big games, and I can’t describe the peace of mind that gives a coach.”
MANHANTTANVILLE: The Valiants played Neumann for the third time this season, and walloped them again 8-1. Tommy Prate and Aaron Boston each scored within the first two minutes of the game to get Manhattanville rolling. Neumann answered back with a goal if its own, but that was the only offense they could muster. The “Prate and Boston” show continued as each scored again late in the first period. And each notched another goal midway through the second period to earn dueling hat tricks and a commanding Valiant lead. Bill Cummings scored late in the second and Chris Siefert chipped one in the third period to finish off the 8-1 rout. With the win, Manhattanville guarantees that they will finish the year with a winning record, in only its second season of play.
The Valiants hit the road this weekend to finish up its regular season league schedule. Manhattanville visits Hobart on Saturday, and then heads down rte. 14 to Elmira on Sunday.
ELMIRA (ranked No. 10): In addition to losing to hated foe RIT on Saturday, Elmira got whacked with two more whammies in the game. Junior captain and leading scorer Steve Kaye went down early in the second period with a 2nd level strain of the MCL in his knee. Kaye had to be carried to the locker room, was seen on crutches after the game, and is out for the remainder of the year. Kaye’s offensive prowess will be sorely missed as he notched 11 goals and 22 assists, and played in all 23 Soaring Eagle’s games this year.
The second whammy came later in the third period when sophomore Gregg Marinari skated off the ice with a shoulder injury. This solid defenseman had contributed two assists in 14 games this season. Marinari’s shoulder strain puts him day to day, but coach Glenn Thomaris is hopeful that he will be back on the ice for Thursday’s game against Hobart.
“There’s no curse here, I tell you.”
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Elmira had an eleven game winning streak going when I mentioned the quest for its 500th win for the first time in my January 23rd column. Then Elmira dropped close games against both RIT and Manhattanville. I got to thinking last week, “Has my column inherited a curse like Sports Illustrated?”
To test the theory, I purposefully did not mention the streak in my column last week. Lo and behold, Elmira lost the rematch against RIT this past week. Which means that there is no curse with my column — whew!
Elmira finishes off its regular season this week with a pair of home games. First off is Hobart on Thursday, and then Manhattanville comes to town on Sunday. The Soaring Eagles will be looking to get the burden of the 500th win off their collective backs once again.
HOBART: Hobart took a much deserved break from competition this past week. The Statesmen jump right back into the fray this week, with a Thursday game at Elmira, and then return home for a Saturday tilt against Manhattanville to close the regular season.
Game Of The Week
Two weeks ago, Manhattanville surprised Elmira and took away second place in the league standings. This time around the game is in Elmira, and the Soaring Eagles won’t be surprised. As a matter of fact, I think they will be very focused on this game, and will look to erase the blemish from the record. The Valiants will be looking to prove that the first time around wasn’t a fluke. Should be another good game down at the Thunderdomes.