GENESEO, N.Y. — It was advertised as a hockey game, but a shootout erupted.
The goaltenders may as well have stayed in the locker rooms for all the good they did at Geneseo Wednesday night, as two goals early in the third period finally gave RIT the breathing room needed to take the victory by a 9-5 score.
“I was expecting maybe a 4-2 game,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “I guess our guys felt good offensively, but not good defensively. The 10-day layoff was a time to tinker with some things. Some worked tonight, but some didn’t.”
Geneseo got into penalty trouble early in the third period. RIT capitalized, scoring two power-play goals in a 42-second span in the first five minutes of the period. The resulting four-goal margin was enough to give the Tigers some comfort for the first time in the game.
The goals started rolling just 27 seconds into the game, when David Bagley tucked in a rebound on his former teammates. Bagley played his freshman and sophomore years at Geneseo before transferring to RIT.
Less than a minute after Bagley’s goal, Geneseo’s Andy Rice sent a harmless shot towards RIT net that deflected off a leg and trickled past netminder Tyler Euverman.
“Tyler had an off practice yesterday,” said Wilson. “We kind of joked about it, saying that we hoped he buckled down a little more tonight. But we didn’t give him a lot of help, and he had an off night.”
That trend continued for the majority of the game. RIT would score only to be answered by Geneseo, often a minute or two later.
“We didn’t want to play run-and-gun with those guys,” said Geneseo coach Brian Hills. “One way to play a team with a lot of talent is to play them physical. Our goal was to play them physical and give a lot of hits and we did that.”
Sam Hill scored a power-play goal for RIT at 2:41, but Jack Bullard swatted one in for Geneseo 3:17 into the period.
RIT scored the next two goals to break the pattern midway through the period, before Geneseo netminder Brett Walker lost his cool and a fracas broke out.
Near the 16-minute mark of the first, Tiger Jared Conlon slid the puck under Walker and started baling hay with his stick, digging at the puck, waiting for the whistle to blow. Walker took exception to Conlon’s actions after the play was blown dead, jabbed Conlon with his goalie stick, and then started throwing haymakers.
It didn’t take long for every player on the ice to be paired up, but calmer minds prevailed and restored order to the ice.
Walker received a pair of minors, but went to the bench anyway to sit out the remainder of the game. Various minors and misconducts were handed out to both teams before play resumed.
“I took Walker out,” said Hills. “I’m not going to put up with that. If he didn’t lose his head, we may have had more of a chance.”
The second period was more of the same tit-for-tat scoring. RIT chipped in three goals, while Geneseo tallied two of its own to make the score 7-5 RIT at the end of the second.