HENRIETTA, N.Y. — No lead is a sure thing, or at least it wasn’t until Robert Morris capped a three-goal third period spree to put away Rochester Institute of Technology by a 6-4 count before 1,604 at Frank Ritter Arena in the AHA conference opener for both teams.
Jeff Jones scored what proved to be the game-winner for RMU (2-1-0, 1-0-0 AHA) with 4:33 to play and Zach Hervato iced the win with an empty-netter in the final minute to give the Colonials the topsy-turvy win.
“It was pretty much back and forth,” said Robert Morris junior left wing Colin South, who scored twice and added an assist. “But it was fun to play in.”
Indeed it was, at least for RMU, which battled back from behind twice, the last time coming in the final stanza, after South scored his second of the night at 11:21 to knot the score at 4-4.
“There were a lot of momentum shifts,” said Jones. “But the biggest thing is that we stayed even keel. We didn’t get too high or too low. We just stayed focused throughout the game.”
The Tigers (1-3-0, 0-1-0 AHA), who have now dropped three in a row since beating Michigan on opening night, appeared to have everything going their way, after taking a 2-0 lead on pair of Adam Mitchell goals.
However, the fun was just beginning as the lead changed three times from there.
Robert Morris struck for three goals in a second period span of 1:25 to take a 3-2 lead.
“We were just soft,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “I thought we were pretty good offensively, but defensively, we were soft. Puck management-wise, we were poor. We’ve got enough skill, but right now, I’ve got to question whether we’ve got the determination.”
Even so, the Tigers were able regain the advantage, 4-3, early the third with goals 37 seconds apart from Anthony Hamburg and Nolan Descoteaux.
However, RMU rebounded with a vengeance and when Jones was set up for a one-timer in the slot by Hervato, he rocketed home the decisive goal.
“He dropped it there for me and honestly, I just shot it as hard as I could,” said Jones. “Thankfully, it went in.”
Eric Levine made 34 stops in the RMU net, while RIT’s Jordan Ruby kicked out 29.