ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Holy Cross came into tonight’s game against RIT with the number one penalty kill in Atlantic Hockey. Somebody forgot to tell the Tigers.
RIT scored three power-play goals, including two on their first three opportunities, to defeat Holy Cross, 5-1, on All Hallow’s Eve.
“The difference was the special teams,” RIT coach Wayne Wilson said. “I was happy earlier [in the season] with our power play, but we weren’t getting the success. Tonight, the puck had eyes, and it gave our power play some confidence.”
Though RIT did a good job controlling the puck, passing it around, and getting shots off, they were unable to score on their first power play. They did not waste their second opportunity.
Alan Mazur fired from the middle of the blueline that appeared to have smart laser technology, finding its way through the crowd and past Adam Roy at 13:07.
It was Murphy who got the goal on the next power play opportunity. His wrist shot out in front changed direction fooling Roy at 15:27 to make it 2-0.
“One, we didn’t rotate, and one our goalie gave up a bad goal,” Holy Cross coach Paul Pearl said.
Though Holy Cross had three power plays of their own, including a two-man advantage, the best chance they had came on a three-on-one breakout. Louis Menard played it perfectly, taking the shooter, and with the passing lane cut off by the defense, Jay Silvia fired it from in close. Menard made the save and survived the rebound shot as well.
Though it took awhile, it was more of the same in the second period. It took RIT 12 seconds to score on their fifth power play at 16:54 as Tyler Brenner scored from in close.
RIT had a few seconds of another power play to close the period, and Ringwald came close smacking one off the goalpost. RIT went three for seven on the man advantage.
Menard preserved the shutout early in the third when he stopped Andrew Cox on a breakaway. Menard stayed with Cox, stretching his leg as far as it would go, just getting a piece of the puck.
Holy Cross finally got one the scoreboard — appropriately on the power play. Rob Forshner fired a fade away shot from the slot that went high, glancing off the crossbar and into the net at 9:01.
However, Holy Cross only went 1 for 10 on the power play.
“It was all perimeter,” Pearl said. “We didn’t do anything to get it to the net. I was very, very disappointed on our power play. It looks good when you are just throwing it around the perimeter.”
Shortly afterwards, Dewey Thomson went in alone. Menard came out to meet him, and Thomson shot it right into the goaltender’s chest. Menard ended up with 29 saves.
“He had a very good game tonight,” Wilson said.
The first even strength goal of the game came at 13:50. The Tigers went straight at the net, and Andrew Favot put in the rebound.
“I thought Favot played an outstanding game,” Wilson said. “The shortest guy was our best screener.”
The next goal also came at even strength, but this time while the teams were skating four aside. RIT went back up by three on a perfectly executed two-on-one. Newman took it down the right side with Hofstetter wide left. Newman passed it across the front of the net, and Hofstetter easily one-timed it into the unguarded goal.
The 5-1 score held up, making this the sixth consecutive game that RIT has scored exactly five goals against Holy Cross, and RIT has beaten Holy Cross all seven times they played since going Division I.
“When you have some success, it feels like you match up well,” Wilson said.
The teams face each other again Saturday night.
“I hope we play better,” Pearl said matter-of-factly. “They have a good team. We have to play more competitively.”