ROCHESTER, N.Y. — In a battle of undefeated teams at top-ranked RIT’s Ritter Arena, Wentworth scored three unanswered goals in the third period to remain that way, taking away a 4-3 victory.
RIT played the game with a short roster, only dressing 13 skaters, and Wentworth took advantage of the resulting fatigue. Leopard Dave Zelasko deflected in a shot by Brad Carpenter from the circle, 17:36 into the third period for the winning goal.
“I’m very happy with our play in the third period,” said Wentworth coach Bill Bowes. “We played with a lot of emotion and emotion is very important for our team.”
RIT coach Wayne Wilson only dressed nine forwards and four defensemen for the game, sitting seven regular players for violating team rules. The Tigers looked fatigued in the third quarter, and the short bench obviously affected their play in the game.
“Clearly playing RIT with only half of their team helped us,” said Bowes.
The Tigers entered the third period with a 3-1 lead, before Wentworth was able to chip away and tie up the game. Leading Leopard scorer Tim Yakimowsky scored his second goal of the night 6:06 into the third period to pull Wentworth close.
“I thought Yakimowsky’s second goal was more deflating than anything else,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “They played better in all facets. We got beat by a better team tonight.”
And then McGregor Chadwick sent a blast from the point that trickled through RIT netminder Tyler Euverman’s five-hole at 11:12 to knot the game 3-3. The Tigers (8-1), looking up at the clock watching Wentworth celebrate, didn’t have the gas left to come back after Wentworth took the lead on Zelasko’s goal.
RIT’s Mike Tarantino opened the scoring in the first period with a power-play goal. Tarantino trickled a slow shot through a forest of feet to score at 6:35.
Wentworth (8-0) settled in as the first period progressed and was able to mount more and more offensive pressure during the waning minutes of the period.
The Leopards tied the score on a power play of their own early in the second period. Yakimowsky put a quick shot from the point into the upper right corner of the net for the goal.
RIT retook the lead just over a minute later. Sam Hill sent a pass to David Bagley in the high slot, and Bagley weaved a shot through traffic for the goal at 4:51.
The Tigers’ power play continued to roll along with a goal at 14:46 mark to take a two-goal lead 3-1 when Sam Hill scored off a scramble in front of the net.
Wentworth netminder Raj Bhangoo made several first-rate saves to keep his team in the game, and the forwards started to rally as the third period went on.
Yakimowsky started the rally with his goal early in the third, Chadwick tied the game. Then Dave Zelasko scored the game winner at 17:36 to seal the upset victory.
“Beating the best team in the nation definitely helps you,” concluded Bowes. “Hopefully it can help us get the attitude to play well against all teams.”