ROCHESTER, N.Y. — RIT took advantage of a tired Neumann team to earn its third league win of the season. The Knights were shorthanded for the second weekend in a row, and after playing a tough game against Utica Friday night, they were dragging as each period wound down Saturday.
The Tigers built a two-goal lead in the first period, and never looked back on their way to a 7-0 victory.
“It was a feel-good game for us tonight,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson “They were certainly undermanned, and it was a tough situation for Neumann to be in.”
Two Neumann penalties to open the game set the Knights on their heels right from the start. RIT set up the offense, and Neumann kept the Tigers from scoring on those early power plays, but it set a tone for the remainder of the game.
RIT finally cracked Neumann goaltender Mike Collichio at the 11:01 mark with a power-play goal. Marc Hyman sent a rifle shot from the top of the slot through a screen, and Tristan Fairbarn tipped it in to the back of the net.
Just over two minutes later, RIT struck again, with an even-strength goal. The puck was kicked out of the corner to J.R. Holmes at the point, and he blasted a big slapshot for the goal at 13:27.
Neumann mounted a few offensive rushes, but was never able to put any sustained pressure on RIT netminder George Eliopoulos.
“We battled the best we could,” said Neumann coach Dennis Williams. “It is never easy going from Utica to RIT in two nights, but the second night with a short bench was tough. We kept going and going, though. Every break we were trying to catch our breath. It was survival hockey in the third period.”
In addition to the scoreboard, RIT also established physical domination in the second period. The Tigers extended their lead with three goals during the period by three different players.
Rob Tarantino tallied a slapshot from down low at 11:38. Darrell Draper tucked a backhand into the far corner of the net at 13:08. And Jason Chafe finished off the scoring for the period by scoring a wrist shot at 19:01 while RIT was on a 5-on-3 power play.
RIT added an early power-play goal by Ricky Walton to open the third period.
Both teams brought in backup goaltenders early in the third period. RIT welcomed the new Neumann netminder, Raymond Martin, when Darrell Draper one-timed a shot high over his block for a shorthanded goal at 5:32.
Tempers finally boiled over at 12:28 when a Neumann player was pushed into RIT goaltender David Wrisley. Several scuffles ensued as players paired off. The referees finally herded all of the players on the ice in to penalty box. When it was all sorted out, RIT was assessed six roughing penalties and Neumann was tagged for five, and the Knights went on the power play.
That quieted things down, and the remainder of the game was played without incident, and without further scoring.