NEVILLE ISLAND, Pa. — Robert Morris mounted a third period comeback en route to a 5-5 tie with Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday night at the RMU Island Sports Center. The Colonials, who scored three times in 67 seconds and four times in the third period, were led by sophomore Jake Sparks, who had a goal and an assist.
Trailing 4-2 late in the third period, the Colonials (2-4-1, 0-0-0 CHA) mounted a furious comeback, scoring three times in 1:17 to take a 5-4 lead with 3:53 remaining. Freshman Steve Bandurski started the comeback when he stuffed home a rebound from a shot by Sparks at 14:52 of the third.
48 seconds later, sophomore Jace Buzek tied the game at 4-4 as he found the net on a tough angle along the right side. Sophomores Andrew Bonello and Logan Bittle had the assists.
After the ensuing faceoff, junior Doug Conley collected the puck in front of the Robert Morris net and flipped it ahead to senior Kurt Wright. Wright hit freshman Chris Margott with a long pass along the right boards, setting him free. The rookie forward didn’t waste the opportunity, burying a wrister over Jocelyn Guimond’s right shoulder to give RMU the lead at 16:07, just 18 seconds after Bandurski’s goal.
The Tigers (3-5-1), however, collected themselves and tied the game with the extra attacker on the ice and 11 seconds remaining in regulation. Simon Lambert roofed his shot on Darren Doherty’s second assist of the net to send the game into overtime.
RIT jumped to the early lead when Tristan Fairbarn buried a rebound on a shot by Doherty at 6:28 of the first period for his first goal of the season. RMU sophomore goalkeeper Christian Boucher made the save on Doherty’s wrist shot from the right circle, but the rebound bounced right to Fairbarn in the slot.
The Tigers doubled their lead at 10:37, this time as Doherty, who had a goal and two assists, ripped a wrister over Boucher’s glove hand. Steve Farrer and Brent Patry picked up the assists.
Farrer then scored his fist of the season just 1:26 after the first intermission with a wrist shot past Boucher’s stick side. Sparks put Robert Morris on the board with a power play goal at 18:19 of the middle stanza, firing a shot from the high slot over RIT starting goalie George Eliopoulos’ left shoulder. Conley and Wright each had assists on the goal that cut the Tigers lead to 3-1.
Matt Smith scored a power-play goal to make it 4-1 for the visiting Tigers 59 seconds into the third period before the Colonials sophomore Sean Berkstresser cut the lead to 4-2 at 4:09.
Conley and Wright each finished with two assists for Robert Morris. Farrer and Lambert each had a goal and an assist for RIT.
Each team had a power-play tally on the night, the Colonials on four chances and RIT on six opportunities. Boucher finished with 34 saves on 39 RIT shots. Tigers starter Eliopoulos finished with 29 saves in 55:40 of work while Guimond earned the tie with two saves in 8:10. Robert Morris had 36 shots.
The two teams will meet again at the RMU Island Sports Center on Sunday, November 13, 2005, at 5:35 p.m.