ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It was the tale of two’s.
In the second month of the year, RIT and Robert Morris played to their second 2-2 tie in two nights.
This time, Robert Morris jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead before RIT scored a goal in each of the final two periods to salvage a tie.
Brook Ostergard made 40 saves for the visitors, while Shane Madolora stopped 37 for RIT.
“It was a good hockey game,” Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley said. “Entertaining. Both teams played hard. Any time you come into a tough place to play and you give yourself an opportunity to win both nights, you got to be excited about that. I thought we competed really hard. I thought they competed really hard.”
“Really exciting two-goal games,” RIT coach Wayne Wilson said. “I thought Ostergard had a really good weekend. Both goalies played well. A lot of opportunities for both teams. A really good hockey game.”
Robert Morris came out to play in the first period and the Colonials were rewarded on the scoreboard. The first came at 4:19 when Brendan Jamison, trailing the play, one-timed a rebound from the slot area through Madolora’s legs.
The Colonials doubled the score on the power play at 13:51. They were one man up, but when Scott Knowles was hurt blocking a shot, his hobbling body was unable to defend. This allowed Robert Morris to pass the puck around the back of the net and then Cody Cartier fed Adam Brace at the left circle who one-timed it in.
RIT cut the lead in half at 11:19 of the middle stanza. The goal was a result of a gorgeous effort by Mike Colavecchia. He skated the puck into the zone on the left side, deked around one defender, cut towards the middle, deked around another defender, and then dropped it back the other way for Trevor Eckenswiller, standing next to the post. Eckenswiller easily deposited it into the net.
Shortly after that goal, Robert Morris took two penalties at the same time, putting RIT on the two-man advantage for the full two minutes. The Colonials did an excellent job killing it off, not allowing RIT any good looks at the net.
“We’re No. 1 in the nation in penalty killing right now,” Schooley said. “We’ve got guys who’ve done this for four years. We struggled a little bit last night. It was time for us to step up. Our penalty killers did a great job. I don’t think we gave them the looks they wanted and our goaltender was good. That was a key point in the hockey game because if they score one, they still have the power play.”
The Tigers tied it at the nine-minute mark of the third on another fancy effort, this time by Ben Lynch. He skated the puck all the way around the net, wrapping it around the post as Ostergard was caught way out of position.
“We needed to get pretty creative to score both goals because just shooting it on net was not working,” Wilson said.
The best chance for someone to win the game came when Robert Morris captain Trevor Lewis had a shorthanded breakaway with just over two minutes left in the third. Madolora stayed with him, forcing Lewis to shoot it straight into him.
The Colonials had a power play in overtime, but could not convert.
“These are what you really play for,” Wilson said. “It’s nice to have the easy games, but that’s not what sports is about.”
“We came in here in a tough place to win.” Schooley said. “We left everything on the ice.”
RIT (17-10-5, 14-6-5 AHA) wraps up the regular season next weekend with a home-and-home against Niagara starting on the road.
Robert Morris (14-13-5, 12-8-5 AHA) has two home games against first-place Air Force.