ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Adam Hartley scored the only goal of the game at 2:07 of overtime to give RIT a 1-0 win over Air Force. The play was set up when Kyle De Laurell took a boarding penalty providing the power play opportunity for the Tigers.
“Two really good teams playing,” RIT head coach Wayne Wilson said. “Shots were hard to come by. Ice was hard to come by. We were fortunate to get the one goal that we needed in overtime.”
“Good game,” Air Force head coach Frank Serratore said. “They are a good team and they are really good here. It was one of those games. It seemed like it was going to go our way. The longer the game went, the more I thought it was probably moving to our favor when it was becoming a one shot game.”
Adam Mitchell carried the puck around the net and then passed it to Hartley in the high slot. Hartley let go of a one-time slapper which beat Jason Torf over the glove, sending the home crowd into the only true cheer all night.
“Unfortunately, the penalty in overtime—was a penalty, was not a penalty, doesn’t matter,” Serratore said. “We had four power plays and didn’t get it done. They had two power plays, and they found a way to score on their second one. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
“These points are obviously very, very valuable,” Wilson said. “It’s going to be playoff hockey all the way through.”
The scoreless first period was not without action. Sean Murphy just missed twice giving RIT the first goal of the game. He fired a blast from the left slot which was stopped by a great glove save. Later, Murphy had the puck in the slot unmarked, but fired just wide.
On the second shift of the game, Mitchell had Torf on his back, but Torf put his arm out to stop the sure goal.
Air Force also had their chances, but all their shots were right at Shane Madolora.
Murphy had another golden opportunity at the start of the second with a backhander from in close, but Torf once again got a piece of it.
On RIT’s first power play, Gregg Noyes hit the post. Then, late in the second period, Tyler Brenner smacked one off the post. After two periods, RIT held the shot advantage at 22-13. Despite the good chances for RIT, Air Force did an excellent job keeping second shots to a minimum.
“They had some terrific chances that didn’t bounce for them around our net,” Serratore said. “They hit a couple of pipes. It was fortunate for us.”
The Falcons came out strong in the third period, applying heavy pressure on the RIT net. However, they were unable to get any dangerous shots on net.
“They came out in the third, particularly the first five minutes, gave it to us pretty good,” Wilson said. “I thought we responded and got our feet underneath us.”
In the last minute, Hartley went across the crease, but could not get enough off on the shot to put it around Torf, allowing the game to go to overtime.
It was the first scoreless tie after 60 minutes of hockey in RIT history. It was also the lowest scoring men’s game in Ritter Arena history.
RIT is now unbeaten overall in their last eight games, unbeaten in conference play in their last 12 games, and unbeaten at home against Atlantic Hockey teams in their last 16.
Madolora wound up with 20 saves for his third shutout of the season. Torf made 36 saves.
In the trivial fact for the game, both starting goaltenders were from California.
RIT (14-8-6 overall, 13-3-5 in Atlantic Hockey) and Air Force (11-10-5, 9-6-5) do it again Saturday night at Ritter Arena.