ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The RIT Tigers (16-11-6) scored a goal late in the second period and chipped in another early in the third to take control of the game and defeat the Bentley Falcons (9-18-6) by a score of 5-2.
“We had a lot of scoring opportunities in the second period that we didn’t put home, and we gave up a goal late in the second period,” said Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist. “I don’t think it was lack of effort, but a lack of scoring on your opportunities. Our ‘D’ zone was pretty suspect tonight.”
Goals came early and often in the first period as the teams combined for 27 shots on goal. RIT got the scoring going just 2:28 into the contest. The puck popped out from behind the net to the bottom of the left faceoff circle where Bobby Raymond collected it and passed over to Anton Kharin, waiting at the far side of the net, who finished the play.
RIT’s lead was short-lived, as Bentley tied the game 1-1 just over a minute later off a two-on-one rush up ice. Dain Prewitt took the initial shot, but Tigers’ goaltender Louis Menard made the save. The puck jumped over to Erik Peterson, who flipped it into the net from a tight angle for the goal at 3:49.
The Tigers retook the lead at 7:45, just eight seconds into the first power play of the game. Matt Smith held the puck at the right faceoff dot as a pair of RIT players setup on the far side of the net. Smith passed the puck over to Simon Lambert, who wristed it high over Bentley netminder Joe Calvi’s shoulder to give RIT the 2-1 lead.
Bentley climbed back into the game for the second time during the first period to tie the game 2-2 at 14:32 when Prewitt chipped the puck past Menard off a scramble in front of the RIT net. RIT had three chances to clear the zone but couldn’t control the bouncing puck and Prewitt made the Tigers pay with the goal.
“We have some skilled forwards up front that can put the puck in the net,” said Soderquist. “We are not a team that just shoots pucks everywhere but try to create plays and sometimes the shots are a little skewed that way.”
The defenses exerted themselves a bit more in the second period, keeping the team’s offense quiet until late in the stanza. As the period wound down, RIT scored to take its third lead of the game.
Matt Crowell controlled the puck just outside the right side of the Bentley crease when he spotted linemate Jesse Newman alone in the slot. Newman had time to settle the puck down, line up a wrist shot, and shoot it under goaltender Calvi’s arm for the goal at 16:35 to give RIT the 3-2 lead at the end of the second period.
RIT built on that lead early in the third period when Tyler Mazzei scored at 2:45. Newman dug the puck out of the corner to Mazzei, who had set up unmarked at the top of the crease and put it in the net to give the Tigers the 4-2 lead.
“Going down two goals in this building was pretty tough to come back,” said Soderquist. “When they got the two goal lead it stung us quite a bit.”
Play opened up even more as the third period progressed, leading to end-to-end action and scoring opportunities for both teams.
RIT’s Mike Janda was whistled for a penalty at 15:28, giving the Falcons a late power play, but the Tigers’ penalty killing unit limited Bentley to only a single shot during the man advantage.
Bentley pulled goaltender Calvi with 53 seconds remaining, but Lambert tallied the empty net goal at 19:52 to seal the victory.