In what has been a tough season for the Tigers (2-6-1, 1-3-1 AHC) so far, hosting a double-header against Holy Cross (3-4-3, 2-0-3 AHC) this past Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8 was a daunting task. With several disappointing losses and two relieving wins under their belt, it was hard for the Tigers to enter these games with their heads held high. Despite what turned out to be another upsetting weekend for the team, though, they still managed to pull off some excellent defense and great performances.
Friday's game against Holy Cross was looking to be another loss for the Tigers right up until the end of regulation, but fourth year Captain Matt Garbowsky came through with a stunning goal to tie things up 3-3 with just 1:09 left in the game. The packed crowd went absolutely nuts, and with good reason. Garbowsky's goal turned out to be a deciding factor of the Tigers' ultimate success in this past weekend's games. Garbowsky was an unquestionable show-stealer throughout Friday's game, almost bringing the Tigers home a win during overtime with a failed attempt at a breakaway. The game ultimately ended in a tie, the first for the men's team at the Polisseni Center.
Holy Cross outshot RIT during Friday's game, leading the Tigers 37-31, but RIT led Holy Cross in face-offs 37-31. Also, RIT impressively managed to shoot the only goal of the second period after getting outshot 16-7.
Saturday's game drew another loud, tremendous crowd, but their cheers couldn't stop the Tigers from succumbing to a loss against Holy Cross. The Tigers held their own throughout the game, but their persistence finally faltered in the third quarter, allowing Holy Cross to take the lead and win the game 2-1. The Tigers were hoping to pull off at least another tie, but Holy Cross player Karl Beckman scored early in the third period to tip the score in Holy Cross' favor, where it would stay for the remainder of the game.
The third period in general was an upset for the Tigers, letting go three minor penalties, but RIT managed to hold their own with considerable effort and professionalism. Fourth year goaltender Jordan Ruby, along with the rest of the Tigers' defense, did an exceptional job of holding off Holy Cross' relentless offense as long as they could. At the end of the game, RIT still demonstrated a more offensive game than Friday's, attempting 71 shots to Holy Cross' 49 and out-shooting them 28-21.
RIT hits the road this weekend to play against the neighboring AHC rival Canisius College on Friday and Saturday. Hopefully the Tigers will be able to pull things together, play as successfully offensively and defensively as they did on Saturday and rack up some wins for RIT.