ROCHESTER, N.Y. — RIT scored three goals early in the first period on its way to a 7-1 victory over Utica Friday. The win moved RIT into a tie for the lead of the ECAC West with Elmira.
The Tigers came right out of the gate against the Pioneers. Josh Faulkner chipped in a pass from the corner 2:05 after the opening faceoff for the first goal.
Ryan Fairbarn put in a blast from the top of the left faceoff circle at the 4:24 mark, and Mike Bournazakis tallied from low in the circle at 8:14 on the power play to make it 3-0..
Those three goals just over eight minutes into the game set the tone for the night. RIT (11-1) added a fourth at the 15:01 mark when Ryan Franke wristed in a shot pinching low in the slot.
Utica (4-6-2) settled in during the second half of the first period, and was able to mount more pressure into the Tiger zone.
“I’ll admit we were a little in awe at the start of the game,” said Utica coach Gary Heenan. “Playing in front of a noisy crowd, against a top-ranked team, et cetera. But the second and third periods were a different game, and it was a real positive learning experience for us.”
The adjustments and hard work paid off in the waning seconds of the first period for the Pioneers.
Eric Herbst got a quick shot off from the faceoff dot that snuck through a screening defenseman and eluded Tiger netminder Tyler Euverman low on the stick side at 18:59.
The Pioneers continued to get more confident as the second period progressed, and outshot RIT 16-12 in that stanza. However, RIT was able to finish its opportunities, scoring two goals in the period to take a 6-1 lead. Faulkner tallied his second goal of the night at 9:39, and David Bagley slid in a goal at 18:25.
“I thought Utica did a real good job here tonight,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “A little bit of a concern was the odd-man rushes that we gave up.”
Play went back and forth in the third period, mostly through center ice, which made for a quick period. RIT scored the only goal in the third when Franke tallied his second of the game just over five minutes in.