ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester Institute of Technology jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back en route to a 4-1 victory over Bentley in a sold out Ritter Arena. Andrew Favot scored twice and Shane Madolora made 26 saves. RIT put 40 shots on the Bentley net. Neither team scored on the power play, but each team got a shorthanded goal.
RIT now has a seven game Atlantic Hockey unbeaten streak (6-0-1) while Bentley is now winless in their last eight games (0-6-2). The win keeps RIT in first place by six points, but teams behind them have games in hand on the Tigers.
“Up until the time they changed the goalie, I couldn’t be happier with our play,” RIT head coach Wayne Wilson said. “And then the game got turned upside down. No continuity. Our penalty killing was very good. Our power play was very poor. That was the only thing I was disappointed about was our power play.”
RIT’s first goal started with some nice skating and stick handling by Greg Noyes at 10:55. It enabled him to beat two defenders on the left side and then pass it across the slot to Tyler Brenner. Brenner took it on his backhand but had trouble handling it. However, he turned, picked up the puck on his forehand, swept it around the goaltender’s leg to put it in the near side for his 17th of the season.
The Tigers made it 2-0 at 16:18 on a goal originally waved off by the referees. Kyle Rank had trouble handling Favot’s shot, and the puck bounced up in the air. Favot, following his own rebound, swiped it with his hand. The puck bounced off Rank’s shoulder and towards the net. Favot then swiped at it with his stick up high to ensure it went into the net.
The goal could have been disallowed for the “hand” shot, but it never went in on that shot. It could have been disallowed for a high stick, but replays clearly showed the stick was below the crossbar level. The refs, without the ability to use video replay, discussed the situation and changed their call, signaling a goal. The goal wound up being a shorthanded score as a Bentley penalty had just expired while an RIT player was still in the box.
A little over a minute later RIT made it 3-0. Chris Saracino centered it from the right circle. Sean Murphy skating straight down the middle, stuck his stick out to redirect it past Rank.
After killing off a 5-on-3 to start the second period, RIT got right back on the scoreboard at 3:47. Ben Lynch, from the top of the left circle, fed Favot at the high right slot. Favot turned and fired, and the puck just sneaked inside the near post for his second of the night to make it 4-0.
A couple of minutes later, Bentley called time out to change goalies, putting Joe Calvi in. He didn’t let up a goal the rest of the way.
“At that point things were going kind of easy for us and they were probably very frustrated,” Wilson said. “I thought they competed very well and got themselves in the game and did what they had to do to get themselves into the game.”
The Falcons finally got on the scoreboard with a shorthanded goal in similar circumstances as RIT’s shorthanded tally—a RIT player just came out of the penalty box as a Bentley player was still in. Joe Campanelli shot from the left point. Standing all alone in front of the net was Justin Breton who tipped it in at 14:23.
Not much happened in a dull third period with various penalties. RIT ended the game on a five-minute power play as Micah Williams received a hitting from behind major and game misconduct, but RIT could not convert. All told, 69 penalty minutes were called in the game, 53 of those on Bentley.
RIT (12-8-3 overall, 11-3-2 in Atlantic Hockey) and Bentley (5-11-3, 4-8-2) meet again tomorrow evening.
“We’re expecting a much tougher game tomorrow night than there was tonight,” Wilson said. “We’ve got to play better tomorrow night than we did tonight, though I was happy with the way we played tonight.”