ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The final score was the same 4-1 as Friday night, but the game Saturday between Quinnipiac and RIT was much closer. The Bobcats held a narrow 2-1 lead midway through third period before David Marshall scored at 16:24, and Michael Bordieri added an empty netter to seal the victory.
“We are very pleased to get out of here with two wins,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “It is difficult to sweep a weekend on the road. RIT played very well both nights.”
For the first time during the two game set, RIT outshot Quinnipiac in the third period 13-8. But the Tigers were only able to get the one goal past Bobcats goaltender Bud Fisher, who made 27 saves in the game.
“It was discouraging that we didn’t get anything for our efforts tonight,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “We didn’t capitalize on our chances and they did. We did the things we wanted to do.”
Quinnipiac controlled play from the opening face off in the first period, getting off to a quick start in the game. The Bobcats outworked and out hustled RIT early in the first period and jumped on the scoreboard at 5:37. They were able to setup in the RIT zone, and Mark Agnew chipped a rebound over RIT goaltender Jocelyn Guimond’s right shoulder to give take a 1-0 lead.
RIT was able to mount some pressure midway through the period and had two good chances to tie the game, but Bud Fisher held firm to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard.
“Bud Fisher had a great week of practice,” said Pecknold. “We used some video to get him back to basics and he was very good both nights. He made some good saves.”
The Bobcats had two other great opportunities to extend their lead during the second half of the opening period. Quinnipiac had just over a half minute of five-on-three power play and poured three shots onto the RIT net. Brian collected a rebound just outside the right post of the net and tried to steer it into the near corner. But Tiger defender Bobby Raymond dove and blocked the puck to the back boards to avoid the score.
Jamie Bates almost extended Quinnipiac’s lead again in the final ten seconds of the period when he streaked into the RIT zone on a clean breakaway. But Guimond knocked down Bates’ wrist shot with his glove and the first period ended with the Bobcats holding onto a slim 1-0 lead.
The second period was more evenly played than the first one. RIT was able to stabilize its play and almost tied the game near the six minute mark. Jesse Newman streaked down the right side into the Bobcat zone and ripped a shot from the right faceoff dot that eluded Fisher. But the puck bonked off both posts and harmlessly rolled to the far boards.
The Tigers also took advantage of Quinnipiac penalty trouble mid period to gain a territorial advantage. RIT put sustained pressure within the Bobcats zone but couldn’t solve Fisher. The teams exchanged chances late in the period, but the goaltenders continued to dominate the game and the second period ended with Quinnipiac still holding a 1-0 lead.
Quinnipiac extended its lead to 2-0 early in the third period. RIT had been putting pressure on the Bobcats net when no Tiger could get a stick on a loose puck sitting alone just outside the goal line. As Quinnipiac cleared the puck, it launched Leitch on a two-on-one breakaway. Leitch spotted Bates with him on the breakaway and threaded a pass across the slot that eluded the lone RIT defender. Bates one-timed the puck high over Guimond’s shoulder at 4:10.
But RIT wasn’t done yet. For the second night in a row, Tiger Ricky Walton turned on the jets to streak down the right side of the ice on a breakaway. Walton carried the puck laterally across the low slot and wristed it past Fisher to score at 6:16 and narrow the Quinnipiac lead to 2-1.
RIT poured on the pressure after finally cracking Fisher as the period continued. The Tigers put Quinnipiac on its heels and were able to mount several good scoring chances.
The Tigers continued to press as time started to wind down, but the Bobcats got an insurance goal off a strong fore check deep in the RIT zone. Chris Myers stole the puck off an RIT stick in the Tigers slot, and David Marshall finished off the play by just barely lifting the puck over Guimond’s shoulder to extend the Bobcats lead to 3-1 at 16:24.
“Marshall’s goal was huge,” said Pecknold. “That’s a big time goal. From that position, on his backhand, there aren’t many who can make that shot.”
Matt Sorteberg went to the box for a hooking penalty with just over two minutes to go, and RIT pulled its goaltender nineteen seconds later. But Michael Bordieri stole the puck at the Quinnipiac blueline and skated in alone to score the empty-net goal for the Bobcats and seal the 4-1 victory.