ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Soft ice due to a power outage got the game at Ritter Arena between RIT and Williams off to a slow start. But yeoman work by the rink crew during the intermissions allowed the game to proceed on schedule with very little effect. A spate of goals late in the first period gave Williams a 2-1 lead. But the Tigers rallied during the first intermission and carried play through the remaining two periods on the way to a 6-2 victory.
“The last ten minutes of the first period we kind of slacked off, but we came back in the second,” said RIT sophomore Darren Doherty.
After a slow start, the pace of play picked up in the second period as the RIT rink crew continued to work on the ice during the intermission. The Tigers reacted better to the faster pace, scoring two quick goals in the opening moments of the period.
“I was a little concerned with the ice before the game how it was going to be,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “It was a little sticky, but it was ok.”
Michael Tucciarone scored for RIT at the 2:33 mark, tying the game 2-2. Williams netminder Brad Shirley was fishing for the puck just outside his crease after dropping his stick. Tucciarone collected it first, and pushed it past Shirley for the goal.
Just over a minute later, the Tigers scored again on the power play to retake the lead as Shirley had trouble covering another rebound. This time it was Rob Tarantino for RIT who got to the puck first, just to the right of the net, and chipped the puck over Shirley for the goal.
“Our power play gave us some momentum,” said Wayne Wilson. “Perhaps it was the only thing tonight that gave us momentum.”
The two teams traded opportunities as the period progressed, but it was RIT that carried the balance of play. RIT struck again very late in the second period to build its lead to 4-2. Williams was skating on the power play when the puck came out of the RIT zone to center ice. Steve Baldassari was at his own blue line to collect the puck. But he attempted to slide a lazy pass towards the middle of the ice, and it cost his team. Tiger Darren Doherty intercepted the pass, skated alone into the Ephs zone, and buried the puck past Shirley’s stick to score with only ten seconds remaining on the clock.
In the third period, RIT added two goals. Tucciarone scored his second of the evening 9:18 in to the period while RIT was skating with the man advantage. Just over three minutes later, Matt Moore also scored for RIT, building the Tigers lead to 6-2.
Slow ice kept a lid on the tempo of the first period. A scheduled power outage campus wide took longer than expected, and after over an eight hour outage the ice rink didn’t regain power until about five hours before game time.
The Tigers struck first in the period, tallying 8:19 in to the game. Doherty carried the puck from his own zone down the right side of the ice and deep into the Williams zone. Even though he was marked by a defender, Doherty was able to get a shot off and then poke home the rebound for the unassisted goal.
RIT had two apparent goals disallowed during the first period. Just over a minute into the period, the puck appeared to go into the top corner of the net but the ref said it didn’t. Then, midway through the period, a relatively quick whistle during a scrum in front of the Ephs net also kept a goal from going up on RIT’s side of the scoreboard.
Williams finally got going late in the first period and dominated that last five minutes. Kevin Darcy one-timed home a pass across the crease from Jim Canner at 15:38 to tie the score 1-1. The ice was now firmly tilting in favor of the Ephs and they took full advantage of the situation.
Williams took a 2-1 lead at the 18:37 mark of the period. Dennis Kim sent a quick pass from behind the Tiger net to linemate Kevin Child, who buried it in the back of the net for the goal.