The RIT Tigers (7-9-2) returned home to Ritter Arena after a seven-game road trip to take on the Lindenwood Lady Lions (1-14) in a CHA league game. The Tigers sprinkled goals through all three periods to defeat Lindenwood, 5-1, earning RIT its first home win of the season.
“We established a forecheck, hemmed Lindenwood in, and everything went from there,” said RIT coach Scott McDonald. “There was a feeling out period early on between each team when things weren’t crisp, but after we got a couple of goals it got better. It was good to get a win at home.”
RIT opened the scoring 12:20 into the first period when Morgan Scoyne ripped a slap shot from top of the left faceoff circle. Ariane Yokoyama had been jostling with a Lindenwood defender near the hash marks and tipped the puck as it flew toward the net, where it eluded Lady Lions goaltender Taylor Fairchild.
The goal was Yokoyama’s fourth of the season, surpassing the number of goals scored by the senior in any of her first three years at RIT.
The Tigers extended their lead midway through the second period when freshman Jess Paton scored her first collegiate goal. Paton received a pass from Carly Payerl while in the slot and wristed the puck just inside the right post at 10:44.
“All week long in practice we really focused on shooting,” said McDonald. “Finally it came to some results on the board.”
Lindenwood played almost four minutes on the power play, including 46 seconds of five-on-three, soon after Paton’s goal, and while the Lady Lions didn’t score they used the extra attacker time to build momentum.
The work paid dividends for Lindenwood at 17:17 of the second period when Lyndsay Kirkham battled her way past an RIT defender and flipped the puck high over the shoulder of Tigers goaltender Ali Binnington. The score was Kirkham’s fourth of the season, and it narrowed the RIT lead to 2-1.
But the Tigers weren’t through scoring quite yet, and Celeste Brown re-established the two-goal lead when she scored at 18:29. Brown’s fifth goal of the season came off a wrist shot tucked just inside the far post.
“Celeste [Brown] was all over the ice,” said McDonald. “She is a shooter, that’s what she does, and it was nice to see her get rewarded.”
RIT secured the game midway through the third period with a power-play goal. Kourtney Kunichika flipped in a rebound off a shot by Kristina Moss at 8:33 to take a 4-1 lead.
Brown tallied again to reach the final score of 5-1 when she came off the bench at 14:47, took a long breakout pass from Lindsay Grigg, and skated in alone to score.