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College Hockey:
McMullen scores two as RIT tops American International

After a slow start to the season, the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers are red-hot following their 5-2 victory Saturday night and weekend sweep of American International College at the Frank Ritter Arena. The Tigers are now riding a five-game win streak, which is the first time they have won five consecutive games since the 2011-2012 season (Jan. 14 to Jan. 27 — five straight). RIT has outscored its opponents 23-10 during the streak.

AIC’s David Norris scored the first goal of the game; however, RIT scored two straight goals and five of the next six. The Tigers had a total of 23 shots on goal in the second period (season high period total), ending the game with a total of 39 (AIC had a total of 25 shots on goal).

The Tigers capitalized on one of their power-play opportunities in the second period.  RIT’s Nolan Descoteaux was the beneficiary of the only power-play goal between both teams tonight. RIT has scored on the power play for the fourth straight game.

RIT’s strong second period transitioned well to a very productive performance in the third period.  The Tigers outscored the Yellow Jackets 3-0 in the third period with impressive goals by Josh Mitchell (second goal of season), Alex Perron-Fontaine (first career goal), and Garrett McMullen (second goal of the night). The Tigers really had a great rhythm going on, as these three goals were scored in only a span of 4 minutes 53 seconds.

Saturday’s offensive support was more than enough for freshman goaltender Mike Rotolo, who stopped 23-of-25 shots to record his fifth straight win. He now ties the record for most wins to start a collegiate career at RIT, also held by Jamie Morris in 1995.

“We were a little lackluster in the first period, but came out much better in the second and by our fifth goal, were really rolling,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “It was good to get a weekend, as we look forward to playing Niagara in our first outdoor game next Saturday.”

“They’re a good team;  they competed hard,” said AIC coach Gary Wright. “I thought we did through most of the weekend, but we did have some lapses that hurt us. We’re still very encouraged that we have a lot of games to play and that we’re going to continue to get better.”

The Yellow Jackets next play the University of Maine on Friday, Dec. 13 in Orono, Maine. The Tigers are back in action next Saturday, Dec. 14 at the “Frozen Frontier” at Frontier Field in downtown Rochester against Niagara University. This will be RIT’s first-ever outdoor game.

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