ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It was almost dj vu all over again for RIT.
For the second night in a row against a SUNYAC opponent — this time Oswego — numerous penalties were called, the Tigers were up by two goals late in the third period, and the visiting team scored a power-play goal on its last opportunity to mount a comeback.
This time RIT held on for a 3-2 victory.
“We got into the same situation tonight,” RIT coach Wayne Wilson said. “It was a big test, and we were able to get it done tonight when we couldn’t get it done last night.”
All told, 17 penalties were called, none offsetting, giving RIT nine extra-man chances and Oswego eight. RIT was successful three of those times, while Oswego got just one power-play goal.
“The penalty kill has done a great job,” RIT coach Wayne Wilson said. “But you don’t want to take penalties, wearing down the same guys over and over again.”
‘That’s the difference in the game,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “I think five on five we control the game. If it’s five on five, we win 1-0.”
Needless to say, the first goal of the game was a power-play tally for RIT midway through the first period. Mike Tarantino, from the left side of the net down low, intended to pass it into the crease. Instead, it deflected off the goalie’s skate, turning into a goal.
That was the only goal of the period, but there were good scoring chances for both teams, five a side or not. Tyson Gajda for Oswego and George Eliopoulos for RIT both were consistent between the pipes.
“I thought he played very well,” Gosek said of Gajda. “He was tracking the puck well. He didn’t overplay it.”
It didn’t take long for Oswego to tie it up at the start of the second period — just 18 seconds, when Oswego seemingly caught RIT napping.
Joe Carrabs picked up the puck inside his own blueline off the faceoff, saw Rob Smith racing up the middle and fed him with a perfect headman pass. Smith outskated the Tigers’ defense, drifted to his left, and placed a shot to the opposite side, eluding Eliopoulos for the tying goal.
RIT retook the lead late in the period with, what else, a power-play goal, the result of passing so quick that it left Oswego’s heads spinning and Gajda with no chance to stop the shot. Ryan Francke passed it from the goal line out to Darren Doherty at the faceoff circle who immediately sent it on its way to Roberto Orofiamma in the slot, who just as quickly let the shot go that rippled the back of the net.
The hitting picked up in the third period as RIT played tough, not wanting a repeat of the night before against Geneseo. Despite the Tigers’ efforts, that repeat almost occurred.
Oswego finally got a power-play goal in its eighth attempt with under four minutes to play. Mike Lukajic shot from the left faceoff circle, eluding Eliopoulos enough to end up on his left side. Sean Kotary beat the goalie to the puck, and easily put it into the open net.
Oswego maintained the pressure, and pulled the goalie with a minute left. However, RIT kept its poise, constantly clearing the puck. Oswego’s Jocelyn Dubord then took a cross-checking penalty behind the play which effectively ended the game.
Oswego’s record falls to 10-5-3 after losing five of its last six games. The Great Lakers return to conference play next week, traveling to Geneseo and Brockport.
RIT improves to 9-4-4 and also returns to conference play, hosting Hobart.