College Hockey:
Colavecchia notches goal and assist to help RIT rally past AIC

— RIT exploded for three goals in the first 5:12 of the third period to break open a tight game en route to a 4-2 victory over American International, completing the weekend sweep.

Mike Colavecchia got a goal and an assist, Nolan Descoteaux notched two assists, and Shane Madolora made 25 saves.

“Our effort level was up and down tonight; we wanted to raise the bar,” RIT coach Wayne Wilson said. “I didn’t think we started playing well until they scored. I wasn’t really happy with our inconsistent effort, but it is hard to win two. We got the sweep we were looking for. Sometimes you just got to look at the bottom line — did you get the job done?”

The last period onslaught started at 47 seconds on the power play. Chris Haltigin passed it from the left point to the right point, where Colavecchia blasted a one-timer slap shot that blew by Ben Meisner.

Scott Knowles put RIT up by two, two ticks under two minutes later. Skating down the left side, he wound and fired a blast from the top of the circle that also blew by Meisner.

A few minutes later, Matt Garbowsky at the right circle took a pass from Colavecchia. Garbowsky wristed a shot over Meisner’s near shoulder just under the crossbar.

AIC got one back on a power play at 9:31 thanks to an RIT defender. Nielsson Arcibal’s shot from up high deflected off Taylor McReynolds, completely fooling Madolora.

“I thought once we got the four, we relaxed a little bit again,” Wilson said.

A quickly-played first period resulted in few scoring chances and no goals.

“I thought the first period was played at a very average pace for both teams,” Wilson said.

AIC finally broke the ice at 9:41 of the second with the teams skating four aside. Arcibal took a shot from the left point which hit the post coming out to the top of the right face off circle. Nathan Sliwinski was right there to fire in a one-timer.

Nearly three minutes later, RIT knotted the game up. Descoteaux’s shot from the left point was deflected in by Brad McGowan.

In between the goals, McGowan had a breakaway created between the hash marks. However, Meisner stood his ground, taking the shot in his chest.

Meisner made some spectacular saves to keep his team in the game, winding up with 30 for the night.

“I thought their goalie made probably three really good saves on some great plays on our part,” Wilson said.

RIT (7-3-2, 8-5-2) has one more game before the break, traveling to Robert Morris on Saturday.

AIC (2-9-2, 3-14-2) begins their holiday break, returning to action one month later on January 10 with a nonconference game at Rensselaer.

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