ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester Institute of Technology had to overcome a red-hot goaltender, Dan Morrison, to escape with a 4-1 victory over Canisius on Friday.
The Tigers finally took control of the game with three goals in the last nine minutes of the game. Andrew Favot scored twice to lead RIT.
“I thought we started well in all three periods,” RIT coach Wayne Wilson said. “We didn’t capitalize on our chances in the first two. And with them scoring so late that was a little frustrating with us. We just knew to bear down. I was happy with our power play, our penalty kill. Just the lack of goals. And then the goals came, and we got the lucky bounce at the end. I thought their goalie played tremendous tonight. I thought we had a pretty complete game.”
Morrison made 46 saves, many spectacular ones, trying to give his teammates an early Christmas present as RIT outshot the Golden Griffins, 50-19.
“I thought Dan played really well,” Canisius coach Dave Smith said. “He made some big saves and on the penalty shot, which was a bizarre situation. In the end, we got a little bit individualistic trying to make plays, trying to win. RIT played together and played really well in the third.”
The first period was all RIT’s despite not scoring a goal. RIT had a number of Grade-A scoring chances, but Morrison was equal to the task. The closest the Tigers came was when Ben Lynch’s breakaway shot trickled through the goalie, but rolled barely an inch wide of the post.
Canisius got a solid scoring chance early in the second when Patrick Sullivan beat Shane Madolora glove side, but the puck clanged off the goalpost.
The Golden Griffins had another golden opportunity when Adam Hartley received a five-minute major and game misconduct for spearing.
“I thought Hartley’s penalty was ridiculous for him to take,” Wilson said. “It’s something you can’t do.”
However, Canisius mustered only weak opportunities, and lost two minutes with a hooking call of its own.
In between, RIT got a penalty shot at 7:32 on a rare call. During a scrum in front of the net with the puck still in play, Morrison took his own helmet off to get a whistle. The delay of game call resulted in a penalty shot.
Cameron Burt took the shot. He cut to the left, but did not make another move, firing it on goal. Morrison stood his ground and had the angle covered for the save.
Canisius caught RIT napping, finally scoring the game’s first goal with 7.5 seconds left in the second period. Cory Conacher picked up a loose puck at center ice and had the RIT defenders split. Despite Favot on the left and Chris Saracino on the right draped all over Conacher, Conacher still managed to get a strong shot off. It beat Madolora over the glove as the goalie went down into a butterfly.
It was Canisius’ 15th shot of the game; RIT had 30 after two periods.
“We weren’t able to string together a lot of momentum builders,” Smith said. “We scored at the end of the period, but I think RIT gained some momentum and enthusiasm from us scoring.”
RIT finally got one by Morrison at 2:14 of the third. Tyler Brenner’s shot from the left point was deflected by Favot at the top of the crease.
RIT took the lead at 11:37 on the power play. Lynch gave a cross-ice pass to Greg Noyes at the top of the left faceoff circle. Noyes shot, and Mike Janda, at the back door behind the goalie, redirected it into the unguarded net.
The Tigers got the clinching goal at 16:20. Favot found himself alone in front of the net. He faked with his backhand, then went to his forehand, completely fooling Morrison. Favot easily deposited the puck past an off-balance goalie.
Brenner scored the final goal at 19:13 when his centering pass from the side of the net bounced off a defender and into the net.
Madolora made 18 saves to remain unbeaten (7-0-1) this year. In Atlantic Hockey play, he is 7-0 with a 1.56 goals-against average, and .944 save percentage.
RIT (9-7-2, 8-3-1) returns to action on Dec. 30 against Robert Morris. The game will be played at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh as part of the Bridgestone Winter Classic.
Canisius (6-7-4, 5-6-4) travels to Notre Dame on Dec. 29.