OSWEGO, N.Y. — A night after tying RIT 3-3, Oswego outshot the Tigers 47-28 on Saturday, but came away with a 4-2 loss.
RIT freshman goaltender Rob Boope stood up to the Oswego pressure for the victory.
“These Oswego games were by far the hardest two games we’ve faced all year,” RIT coach Wayne Wilson said.
The first period was marked by even, controlled rushes by both teams as they probed for weaknesses. Neither team gained a territorial advantage in the chess game.
RIT struck first with a power-play goal 9:54 into the period. Shawn Wilkins popped the puck over the sprawled Oswego netminder during a scramble in front of the net to give RIT the 1-0 lead.
Oswego struck back at 13:48 to knot the game 1-1 while the two teams were skating 4-on-4. Joe Carrabs sent a wrister from the point towards the Tiger net. Brian St. John collected the rebound and lifted it into the top of the RIT net for the goal.
Both teams continued to pepper the opposing nets, with Oswego holding a 19-14 shot advantage for the first period. Boope made 18 of 19 saves in the first period, in only his second start.
“I think that as things went on, he felt more comfortable,” Wilson said.
But it was RIT striking again in the closing seconds of the period to retake the lead. Jerry Galway took a shot from the high slot that hit a stick on its way to the net. Oswego netminder Tyson Gajda made the save, but Tiger Mike Tarantino slid the rebound around the netminder in to the net at 19:50 to give RIT the 2-1.
Wild end-to-end action marked the first half of the second period. Oswego’s strategy was the long-bomb pass and put tons of pressure on the Tiger net, outshooting RIT 14-7 in the period, with the majority of those Laker shots coming in the first half of the period.
Fighting off the pressure, RIT kept Oswego off the board and scored the next goal 12:57 in to the period on a great individual play. Erol McDonald intercepted an Oswego pass in the neutral zone and undressed two Laker defenders at the Oswego blue line. This broke McDonald in alone on Gajda. McDonald beat Gajda high for RIT’s third goal.
“[Brian] Armes said look out for the poke check from the goalie earlier in the period,” said Wilson. “Sure enough, Erol [McDonald] got the same chance later, was patient, and scored on it.”
This goal took some of the juice out of the Oswego team. The Lakers had thoroughly outplayed RIT up to this point in the second period, but the Tiger goal helped RIT to carry play a little more.
The Tigers scored another goal at the 16:19 mark, 4-on-4. McDonald passed the puck from the corner to defenseman Matt Moore, who had pinched in from the far point. Moore sent a one-timer on net that hit netminder Gajda’s stick and deflected in to the net. RIT was up 4-1 at the end of the second period.
Again in the third period, Oswego came out fired up and this time it paid off with an early score. Derek Kern, with a strong individual effort, carried the puck and an RIT defender down the Tiger slot. He was able to slide the puck towards the Tiger net and watched as it bounced off the inside of the right post and slide diagonally across the goal mouth and across the line for the goal.
Oswego was back in the game, only down 4-2 with plenty of time left.
“That [goal] really deflated us, and rattled us for several minutes,” said Wilson.
The goal got Oswego even more fired up and they poured more shots on the Tiger net. Play settled down a little bit around the six-minute mark, but Oswego still enjoyed the momentum. The Lakers couldn’t get the puck past the RIT defenders and netminder Boope, though.
Oswego pulled the netminder with 1:38 left, and a Tiger penalty with 25 seconds remaining led to several flurries in front of the RIT net, but the RIT defense held and the score ended 4-2 in RIT’s advantage.