WORCESTER, Mass. — Burt’s OT Goal Gives RIT a 3-2 Victory
It was an almost identical replay of the game Friday night. RIT led late by a goal, Holy Cross tied it up late in the third period, and the game went into overtime. However, unlike last night, RIT responded in OT, with Cameron Burt scoring to give the Tigers a 3-2 victory at the Hart Center.
“These were two evenly played games between two very good and evenly matched teams,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “There’s a reason why we were picked third in the AHA and they were picked fourth. We’re two close teams that played well this weekend and it led to a defensive struggle.”
Holy Cross started quickly in the first period and was awarded a power play. As they had done often in the series, they used the faceoff in the attacking zone to their advantage. After a clean win by J.P Martignetti, Mike Daly’s shot caromed off the right pad of Tigers’ goalie Jared DeMichiel onto the stick of Brodie Sheahan. Sheahan patiently held the puck long enough to get DeMichiel out of position and wristed one into the back of the net. It was Sheahan’s fifth goal of the season.
“I was able to anticipate the rebound,” said Sheahan. “I didn’t have much of an angle, so I put the puck on net and it found a way in.”
RIT turned the tide just six minutes later when Taylor McReynolds went top shelf from the top of the left circle, beating Crusaders’ goalie Thomas Tysowsky glove side. McReynolds was able to carry the puck through the neutral zone and upon entering the Crusaders end, let a hard wrist shot fly that surprised Tysowsky. It was McReynolds’ second goal of the season.
“There were very few offensive opportunities for both sides, so it was nice to capitalize and pull even in the first,” said Wilson. “We played a little better than the night before and with a little more grit.”
The game remained tied through the second period, as both goalies took over once again,” said Wilson. “It’s funny, because I thought Jared was fighting it a little bit tonight, but he’s been our rock for so long now.”
The deadlock was broken 7:28 into the third period with RIT on the power play. Up two men, Tigers’ defensemen Chris Haltigan lasered one through a maze of bodies that rippled the back of the net. Haltigan picked up goal number three on the season and the Tigers led for the first time, 2-1.
Much like the night before, the Crusaders refused to go quietly, as their pressure led to an RIT penalty. Alan Mazur was sent off for cross-checking and the Crusaders quickly capitalized. Matt Gordon, who scored the equalizer on Friday night, won the draw back to Mark Znutas. Znutas’ shot had eyes, as it was tipped past DeMichiel by sophomore Jay Silvia. Silvia, who has a knack for big goals, as he leads the Crusaders with three game-winners, collected his fifth of the season just six seconds into the man advantage.
Overtime led to plenty of opportunities for the Crusaders, which included a power play after Haltigan was called for tripping Sheahan. However, RIT tightened its defense up once again and killed off the man advantage.
Then a minute later, Tigers’ forward Sean Murphy sent a shot on Tysowsky that led to a scramble in front of the net. When all was said and done, Cameron Burt poked the puck past Tysowsky with just 47 seconds left in the overtime period. For Burt, it was his fifth goal of the season and it gave RIT three points on the weekend.
“I’m happy with the three points,” Wilson said. “I guess the difference between the two nights was that we killed off the power play tonight and then used that momentum to score late. We had some good opportunities to score, but it’s strange that the game-winner comes on a scrappy play.”
RIT hosts future AHA member Niagara University next Saturday at the Ritter Arena while the Crusaders host Quinnipiac on Thursday night. In a strange scheduling twist, these two teams’ next conference games will be against each other after the winter break, in Rochester.