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Destler Dodge

It's no secret that the RIT men's hockey team has had somewhat of a rocky season, but if Saturday's game is any indication, it looks like the Tigers are going to finish strong.

The Tigers (13-14-5, 12-9-5 AHC) faced off against No. 19 Robert Morris (21-6-5, 18-4-4 AHC) this past Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Gene Polisseni Center. The air inside the Gene Polisseni Center was electric throughout the evening as the Tigers played in front of 3,695 screaming fans — their biggest crowd yet this season. At times, it seemed like the roar of the crowd was giving the Tigers the extra push they've needed this season, and they ultimately pulled off a spectacular 4-3 win over Robert Morris.

Perhaps the biggest moment of the night was fourth year forward Brad McGowan's natural hat-trick. The Tigers were down 3-1 in the second period, setting things off to a pretty disappointing start, but McGowan started firing on all cylinders and struck a whopping three times in under 12 minutes. With this renewed energy, McGowan was also able to assist third year forward Josh Mitchell's goal, driving him to a jaw-dropping four-point night, a career high. Second year goaltender Mike Rotolo was also on fire all night, pulling off 26 saves and securing his seventh win of the season, proving him to be a true force of nature. First year defense Chase Norrish also chalked up two assists over the course of the game.

Another factor that makes Saturday night's game so monumental is that it was the Tiger's first win against a nationally-ranked team all season. During game-time, RIT was 1-for-5 with the man advantage, and held strong against three power play attempts from Robert Morris. The Tigers also managed to out-shoot Robert Morris 39-29.

Thankfully, the Tigers are heading into their last regular-season games on a much-needed high note. Saturday's win was surely the push the Tigers needed as they face off against Atlantic Hockey rival Mercyhurst at the Gene Polisseni Center Friday, Feb. 27 and Saturday, Feb. 28. Both games will start at 7:05 pm.