The RIT Tigers (13-8-2) tallied three goals in the first period, and then watched the UConn Huskies (9-14) storm back with three goals of their own during the final two periods. Matt Scherer scored for UConn just thirty nine seconds in to the overtime to finish the comeback and win the game 4-3.
Off the opening faceoff of the of the overtime period, RIT carried the puck in to the UConn zone. But the Tigers were unable to get the puck deep and a turnover sent the Huskies streaking up ice with a 3-on-2 rush. Scott McDougall dished the puck across. the RIT slot to Scherer, who put backhander through the legs of Tigers goaltender Jocelyn Guimond for the game winning goal.
I was concerned that we would be too full of ourselves after last weekend, said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. We got off to a good start with three goals, but [UConn] dug down deeper and worked harder right through the end of the game.
The RIT special teams hit for the cycle in the first period scoring a power play, shorthanded, and 4-on-4 goal to take a 3-0 lead.
Brad Harris got the Tigers going 4:37 in to the game when he collected a turnover near the RIT blue line and carried the puck the length of the ice. Harris cut across the slot just outside the crease and slid the puck past UConn goaltender Beau Erickson for the shorthanded goal.
The Huskies and Tigers traded opportunities until about mid-period when RIT tallied again while both teams had a player in the penalty box. Stephen Burns launched a low shot from the top of the slot near the blue line that hit off of Ericksons left pad and in to the net to extend RITs lead to 2-0.
An RIT power play late in the period led to the Tigers third goal. After an extended period of outstanding puck movement around the UConn zone, Dan Ringwald tipped a strong wrist shot from the right faceoff circle by Matt Smith to score at 17:56.
The Huskies came out more aggressively in the second period and created two good scoring opportunities in the first four minutes of the period. But RIT netminder Jocelyn Guimond was able to swat both hard shots harmlessly in to the corner to keep UConn off the scoreboard.
The strong play paid dividends at 5:43 when a sloppy effort by the RIT power play unit to clear its own zone gave the Huskies a chance. Trevor Stewart forced the turnover at the corner of the Tigers blueline and fed the puck do Chris Myhro. Myhro weaved around an RIT defender and wristed the park past goaltender Guimond for the shorthanded goal to cut RITs lead to 3-1.
We were a little sloppy in our own end and were too soft, said Wilson.
Exactly seven minutes later, UConn scored the first full strength goal by either team to draw within one of the Tigers. Charles Solberg sent a hard wrist shot on net as he skate in from the left circle. RIT goaltender Guimond made the save, but the puck bounced off of his blocker right back on to Solbergs stick who chipped it home for the goal at 12:43.
The Huskies continued to step up the pressure as the third period began. UConn nearly tied the game up at 7:47 while on the power play. Matt Scherer passed the puck out of the corner to linemate Trevor Stewart parked at the top of the crease. Stewart re-directed the pass in to an nearly empty net, but Guimond stretched out his glove and pulled the puck out of the air just inches in front of the goal line.
The Huskies were not to be denied and tied the game just over one minute later. Michael Coppola and Chris Myhro broke in to the Tigers zone on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Myhro finished the rush tapping in a pass from Coppola at 8:52 to score the power play goal to tie the game 3-3.
RIT continued to implode with two more straight penalties. UConn had a 1:27 of 5-on-3 power play and buzzed the RIT net with pressure. The Tigers were able to kill off both penalties and steady the ship.
Once they got back to even strength, the Tigers were able to put pressure on the UConn net but netminder Erickson made several strong saves to keep the game tied headed to overtime.