ROCHESTER, N.Y. — An emotional game between the Canisius Golden Griffins and the RIT Tigers finally overflowed at 12:33 of the third period as the referees failed to control the players for most of the game. A delayed penalty against Canisius erupted into a scrum between all the players on the ice.
An extra Canisius player came off the bench to make it 6-on-5. The referees seemed to gain a margin of control when they got Griffin Carl Hudson in to the penalty box. But he didnt stay there long as fights erupted again and he came out of the box to rejoin the fray.
RIT goaltender Louis Menard made a move to intercept Weeks from the penalty box but then Canisius goaltender Taylor Anderson skated from the far end of the rink to fight Menard in front of the Tiger net.
Finally, after an extended delay, the referees finally regained some semblance of control and were able to separate the players. Ejections were handed out to Menard, Ricky Walton, Andrew Favot, Stephen Burns, Justin Hofstetter, and Tyler Mazzei for RIT and Anderson, Weeks, Carl Hudson, David Kasch, Phil Rauch, Cory Conacher and Josh Heidinger for Canisius.
Just for good measure, the referees sent RITs Brent Patry to the showers early off the bench.
Emotions were running high, said Canisius coach Dave Smith. Our guys did stick together. There are unwritten rules of fighting. When a sucker punch reignites a dead fight, guys have to stand up to that.
They wanted it to be a rivalry, and I guess it is a rivalry, said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. They had a guy jump off the bench, another leave the penalty box, the goalie came all the way down the ice, and a player hitting our guy with his helmet. Were going to defend ourselves.
Out of all the chaos, RIT ended up with four minute power play. Dan Ringwald put in a rebound at 14:48 to convert on the power play and give RIT a 4-1 lead, which it held on to the final buzzer. Assisting on the goal were Simon Lambert and Matt Smith, his 100th point of his career.
RIT (14-10-4) dominated play during the first period, both territorially and out shooting Canisius 14-5.
The Tigers scored the only goal of the period at the 4:22 mark while on the power play. Simon Lambert sent a pass from the left point that found Matt Smith near the right faceoff circle. Smith waited out a Canisius defender sliding across in front of him, and then roofed the puck in to the net to take a 1-0 lead.
At times it seemed a little like a shooting gallery as pucks whistled past Canisius netminder Taylor Anderson. But he was able to scramble and keep the Tigers at bay, and his team in the game.
The territorial advantage continued in the second period, but the shots on goal were closer as the Tigers out shot Canisius 17-9.
Weve struggled to take shots, not shot opportunities, said Smith. That is obviously something that we need to work on a bit.
RIT extended its lead to 2-1 at 6:42 in to the period. Goaltender Anderson was down and out at the side of the net when RITs Bobby Raymond dug the puck from behind the net. Raymond fed out to Ricky Walton at the top of the crease and Walton one timed the puck in the net.
Canisius (8-15-5) answered back midway through the period, while on its second power play of the game.
Derek Danowski took a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that was stopped by RIT goaltender Louis Menard. But the rebound popped out the far side and Kyle Bushee was there to tap in the rebound at 10:59 to narrow the Tigers lead to 2-1.
But RIT re-established its two goal lead just over a minute later when Brent Alexin ripped a shot from the middle of the slot that evaded Anderson just inside the right post.
The Griffins got into penalty trouble as the period wound down, giving RIT a forty four second 5-on-3 power play to start the third period. The Tigers got two good scoring chances during the man advantage, but Anderson stopped both.
Canisius evened out the play in the third period as it opened up play to try to climb back into the game. After the fight, the intensity level lowered by a few steps, but emotions continued to run higher than normal for the remainder of the game.
RIT ended the game with a 48-19 shot on goal advantage.