ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The special teams of the U.S. Under-18 Team were quite special in the second period, scoring three goals on the way to a 6-3 victory over RIT. The Tigers controlled play early in the second period, but the U.S. Team rolled off five unanswered goals in that span and took a commanding lead that RIT couldn’t overcome.
RIT killed off a five-on-three U.S. power play late in the first period, including a spectacular save sequence by goaltender Tyler Euverman.
However, the Tigers couldn’t kill off another five-on-three U.S. power play early in the second period as Matt Hunwick tallied a goal with the two-man advantage at the 5:21 mark to break a 1-1 tie. Jacob Dowell flipped the puck over a sprawled Euverman just over a minute later, still on the power play, to give the U.S. team a 3-1 lead it would never look back from.
“When they attacked our net, there were four guys driving to the net and created a lot of chances,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “They are a great team and are great competition to play.”
Adam Pineault, Ryan Maki four-on-four, and Pineault, his second, all scored goals through the remainder of the second period for the U.S. team as they dominated RIT.
Tempers and emotions both rose as the period went on. Elbows, sticks, and words were flying freely as the referees tried to keep things down to a dull roar.
“I thought some penalties that shouldn’t be called were called, in my opinion, and that changed the complexion of the game,” said Wilson.
Tiger Roberto Orofiamma slid a rebound in to the U.S. goal at the 18:04 mark to give RIT a glimmer of hope going into the locker room for the second intermission.
For the second night in a row, the U.S. Team scored an early goal against RIT. Pineault collected a lazy Tiger pass behind the RIT net, and slid it out to his linemate Michael Bartlett waiting low in the slot. Bartlett slammed home the puck before Euverman could react for the goal just 1:11 into the first period.
The two teams played pretty even through most of the first period. RIT evened up the scoreboard midway through the period when Sam Hill shot from a tight angle into the top of the net for the goal.
The U.S. Team played a defensive third period, allowing RIT to gain momentum offensively. The Tigers tallied a power play goal midway through the period, Orofiamma’s second goal of the game, to narrow the U.S. lead on the scoreboard slightly to 6-3.