ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Alabama-Huntsville coach Doug Ross (424-238-38) celebrated coaching his 700th career game over 24 seasons behind the Chargers bench with a 4-1 victory over RIT. His team weathered early penalty trouble before taking control of the scoreboard in the first period. David Nimmo scored a hat trick to pace the Chargers to the victory.
“Alabama-Huntsville wasn’t tricky or have anything up their sleeves tonight,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “They played very hard and straight up, but I don’t think we won a single one-on-one battle tonight.”
Just 31 seconds into the first period, Alabama-Huntsville got into penalty trouble. Three straight calls were made against the Chargers, and RIT enjoyed a two man advantage power play for a full two minutes and single man advantage for another minute.
The Tigers managed to put four shots on goal during the extended advantage but could not get anything past Alabama-Huntsville goaltender Marc Narduzzi.
After that offensive spurt by the Tigers, it was all Chargers for the next fifteen minutes of the first period. Alabama-Huntsville opened the scoring at 5:28 when the third line, after scoring all three goals last night, continued to find the back of the opposing net. Todd Bentley and Chris Martini broke into the Tigers zone with a 2-on-1 breakaway. Bentley took the initial shot that was saved by RIT netminder Jocelyn Guimond, but Martini was there to swat home the rebound for the goal. Despite being dominated territorially, RIT cut the scoreboard deficit in half at 18:38 when Darrell Draper chipped in a rebound off a shot by Simon Lambert to end the period with Alabama-Huntsville up 2-1.
The second period was RIT’s turn to get into penalty trouble early and give Alabama-Huntsville a 5-on-3 power play. Unlike the Tigers early in the first period, the Chargers were able to convert on their opportunity to re-establish their two goal lead.
Alabama-Huntsville was able to setup in the Tigers zone and make passes at will during the power play. They finally scored at 1:18 off a classic tic-tac-toe play that Nimmo finished off for his second goal of the game.
The ice was more even in the second period, as shots on goal were almost even at 10-8 with RIT holding the slight advantage. However the Chargers were able to hold off the Tigers and finish the second period with a 3-1 lead.
Nimmo finished off his hat trick at 6:47 of the third period scoring his third consecutive goal for the Chargers. Nimmo carried the puck across the RIT blueline and undressed both Tiger defenders before backhanding the puck over Guimond’s shoulder for the goal. Nimmo’s hat trick is the first one tallied this season by Alabama-Huntsville.
Alabama-Huntsville goaltender Marc Narduzzi and his defensemen did a great job of limiting RIT’s offensive chances during the remainder of the third period. Charger Bruce Mulherin was given a major penalty for charging the RIT goaltender at 16:12, and the Tigers went on the power play for the remainder of the game.
However, Alabama-Huntsville continued to be aggressive on the forecheck, limiting the Tigers to only four shots and no goals during the advantage.
The other milestone tonight was the final game for referee Jeff Fulton in his home town of Rochester, N.Y. Fulton is retiring after refereeing hockey at various collegiate levels for the past 24 seasons.