WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — After surprisingly surrendering a win to the University of Connecticut last week, RIT returned to their winning ways Friday night by securing a 5-3 victory over American International College at the Olympia Ice Center.
RITs potent yet balanced offense was on display Friday night.
Tyler Brenner and Cameron Burt led the Tiger attack with two goals apiece. Tyler Mazzei and defenseman Dan Ringwald each dished out three assists. Andrew Favot also contributed two helpers.
Their (RITs) power play, especially, is extremely good, said AIC coach Mike Field. They do a very nice job with that. Theyve got a lot of good players. Theyre pretty balanced. Theres not just one or two guys that youve got to worry about. Youve got to worry about a bunch.
Eight minutes into the game, RIT struck first, taking advantage of a strong power play.
With Michael Penny in the penalty box for hooking, RIT set up their power-play structure. They moved the puck effectively in a well-orchestrated man advantage, capitalizing just seconds after the power play ended. Pointman Chris Tanev directed a cross-ice pass to Burt, who one-timed the puck into the net for the early lead.
At the 12:14 mark, Burt again benefitted from the man advantage, sneaking his second goal of the period past Yellow Jacket goaltender Dan Ramirez. AIC argued for the goal to be disallowed due to a man in the crease, but the goal stood.
Three and a half minutes later, RIT profited from a fluky play. Positioned on the goal line, Brenner wristed a centering pass that deflected off of Luciano Primianis skate and into the net. The goal gave the Tigers a three goal lead.
RIT held a commanding lead, but AIC surprised the visitors by scoring first in the second period. Adam Pleskach, the Yellow Jackets leading scorer, broke a six game scoreless streak by slipping the puck past RIT goaltender Jared DeMichiel just 3:30 into the second period. Chris Markiewicz was credited with the assist.
The goal broke a 197 minute 44 second scoreless streak for DeMichiel.
Pleskachs goal provided a short-lived spark for AIC but RIT regained their three goal lead midway through the stanza on a pretty wrap around by Brenner. With Ramirez committed to his shot, Brenner skated past the post, behind the net and quickly snuck the puck into the net before Ramirez could cover the far post.
Tiger left wing Stevan Mantic added another goal for RIT at 16:35 when his shot from the tops of the circles snuck past Ramirez. Ringwald and Mazzei were both credited with assists.
The Mantic marker gave RIT a 5-1 lead, but AIC carried the balance of the scoring for the game. Just three minutes into the third period, with RITs Chris Saracino in the penalty box for holding, Tom Mele netted a Nielsson Arcibal pass. The Yellow Jackets scored another when Pleskach tipped in his second of the game at 16:33 on a feed from Markeiewicz, closing the game to 5-3.
The Yellow Jackets couldnt get any closer, though.
On the evening, RIT outshot AIC 44 to 26. The more surprising stat was the number of power plays chances. Though the game wasnt chippy, both teams had several special teams opportunities. RIT finished the night 1-7 while AIC converted 2-6.
I didnt think it was a real rough or chippy, physical game, said RIT Coach Wayne Wilson. There were just a lot of penalties in the game. A lot of opportunities both ways.
AIC (3-17-2 overall, 3-13-2 in Atlantic Hockey) and RIT (13-9-1, 13-3-1) play their second game of a back-to-back series at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday night at the Olympia Ice Center.