ROCHESTER, N.Y. — With RIT’s power play rolling along at a 51.4 percent clip entering this game, opposing teams have learned that they need to stay out of the penalty box to be successful.
Johnson & Wales did a great job of that when it met the Tigers, only earning two penalties in the first two periods. However, what the Wildcats didn’t figure on was that they needed to be careful of RIT being in the penalty box.
RIT scored two shorthanded goals in the second period on its way to defeating Johnson & Wales 6-0.
Both shorthanders were scored by junior Lanner Fayad, the first coming 6:19 into the second period. Fayad poked the puck past a Wildcat defenseman at the J&W blue line, skated into the zone alone, and beat Wildcat netminder Bobby Doran glove side.
Fayad notched his second shorthander six minutes later when he streaked into the Wildcat zone on a 2-on-1 break with linemate Errol McDonald. McDonald slid a weak shot on net that Doran saved, and Fayad slid home the rebound to give RIT a 4-0 lead.
“Lanner was one of the bright spots tonight,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “He was going for the shorthanded hat trick in the third period, which is unheard of.”
Johnson & Wales (4-5) combined a good forecheck with a well-executed plan of clogging the passing lanes in the defensive zone to frustrate RIT most of the game. While RIT was able to get around it, most of the time the pressure led to breakouts out of which J&W got scoring chances.
RIT (8-0) played well enough to win the game, but it was an unemotional effort in which the Tigers didn’t look like the No. 1 team in the nation.
“I was really, really disappointed in both our play and effort,” said Wilson. “I didn’t have a long enough bench to sit all the guys that I wanted to in the third period. But we will certainly change the lineup for tomorrow night.”
The Tigers opened the scoring 12:22 into the first period. Ryan Franke pinched in from the blue line and chipped a loose puck lying in the slot past Dolan for the score.
Also in the first period, J&W sophomore Dave Accetturo earned a roughing penalty at 13:14, and the Wildcats quickly learned about the RIT power play. Just seven seconds into the man advantage, Mike Bournazakis scored off a rebound, giving RIT a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period.
Junior David Bagley tapped in a rebound 5:18 into the third period for the Tigers’ fifth goal. Brian Armes one-timed in a pass from behind the net to give RIT the 6-0 lead at the 13:44 mark.
RIT goaltender Tyler Euverman earned his seventh career shutout, his third of the season.