Tigers Battle Crusaders to Series Split
by Tommy Kane | published Feb. 15th, 2019
The RIT men’s hockey team (13-12-3, 11-8-3 AHA) split their series against the College of Holy Cross Crusaders (7-17-4, 7-12-3 AHA) on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, 2019. In the first contest, the Tigers won 4-3, but lost ironically 4-3 in the second match.
Third year Finance major and forward Jordan Peacock made his return from a groin injury. He had been out since early November, when the team played Mercyhurst University.
Back to Conference Play
Our men’s hockey team had a difficult time against the tough and ranked Arizona State University Sun Devils last week. In preparation to bounce back into conference play, fourth year New Media and Marketing major and forward, Mark Logan, discussed how it is possible to get back at it.
“We have been playing the right way,” Logan said. “It’s just making sure we execute for the full 60 minutes. Our compete level and energy has been really good [throughout the season]. It’s just about barring down and putting a few more pucks in the net.”
First year undeclared major and defenseman, Spencer Berry, had been getting more playing time as the season has progressed. He understands that he has to keep competing at the same level every game.
“For me, I just need to keep working hard while showing I can compete at this level,” he said. “We have a strong team, and anyone could play. It just goes to show how good we are, and I need to keep proving my ability.”
Friday’s game was a fast, action-packed match, which started off well for the Crusaders. They got a few shots at RIT goalie and second year Business Management major, Logan Drackett.
According to RIT Athletics, Holy Cross capped the first period off with a goal by Pete Kessel. He was able to sneak a wrist shot passed Drackett, giving the Crusaders a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period.
The Tigers looked a little sloppy throughout the first period, which could be attributed to the change of lineup due to some injuries. They were getting used to playing with different teammates.
The start of the second period benefited our men’s hockey team, earning a powerplay opportunity early. Second year Business Exploration major and defenseman for the Tigers, Dan Willett, took advantage of the opportunity and scored with a hard slapshot. His goal tied the game at 1-1.
A few minutes later, second year Business Exploration major and forward for RIT, Nick Bruce was able to tip in a shot with his stick past Holy Cross goalie Erik Gordon. The Tigers quickly took a 2-1 lead with that goal.
The fast-paced game started to favor the Tigers midway through the second period, as first year Criminal Justice major and defenseman, Zach Salloum, scored his first collegiate goal and gave RIT a 3-1 lead.
The third period started off the same, with the Tigers keeping up the fast-paced play. Yet, early in the third period, Michael Laffin scored a quick goal for the Crusaders, cutting the Tiger lead to 3-2.
In a quick response to the Holy Cross goal, first year Business Exploration major and forward for RIT Will Calverley knocked the puck in the Crusaders net, giving the Tigers a 4-2 lead.
In a last-ditch effort, Holy Cross pulled their goalie and put on an extra attacker. With around two minutes left in the third period, Mitch Collett scored for the Crusaders to cut the game to just a one point lead for the Tigers.
The effort was not enough for the Crusaders in the end, as our men’s hockey team won, 4-3. The Tigers had 27 shots, while the Crusaders had 31 shots. In terms of the powerplay, RIT cashed in on one of their three opportunities, as Holy Cross couldn’t score on any powerplay chance. In the Tiger net, Drackett saved 28 of 31 (.903) shots, and Gordon saved 23 of 27 (.851) shots for the Crusaders.
Blown Lead for the Tigers
Saturday’s match started off much like the previous one, with Holy Cross getting on the board early.
According to RIT Athletics, Peter Crinella got loose and went on a breakaway, shooting the puck past Drackett to give his team the early 1-0 lead.
Throughout the first period, the Tigers found multiple opportunities. With a few minutes left in the first period, fourth year Biomedical Engineering major and forward for RIT, Erik Brown, got a two-on-one chance and scored. His goal knotted the two teams up at 1-1.
RIT started the second period hot, garnering an early goal. First year Business Management major and forward, Andrew Petrucci, collected a rebound and found the open net. The Tigers led, 2-1.
Mid-way through the second period, RIT continued to pounce on the Crusaders. First year Business major and forward for the Tigers, Jake Joffe scored his first collegiate goal and increased the Tiger lead to 3-1.
When it looked bleak for the Crusaders, they got a chance on a powerplay. Laffin changed the momentum as he scored on the powerplay opportunity for Holy Cross.
The second period ended, with RIT up by a score of 3-2. But the Crusaders battled back into the game and tied it at three early in the third period. Ryan Leibold of Holy Cross found a rebound and snuck the puck past Drackett.
To make matters worse for the Tigers, Neil Robinson was able to get a goal on a breakaway. The Crusaders turned the tide and took the lead late in the third period, 4-3.
Our men’s hockey team tried to get back into the game by pulling Drackett and putting on an extra attacker, but they could not tie it up. Holy Cross won, 4-3.
The Tigers had 29 shots as the Crusaders had 19 shots. In terms of powerplay, RIT only had one chance and couldn’t score on it. Holy Cross had three powerplay chances and scored on one of them. In the Tiger net, Drackett saved 15 of 19 (.789) shots, while Gordon stopped 26 of 29 (.897) shots for the Crusaders.
Back to Business
Our men’s hockey team will travel to Bridgeport, C.T. to play the Sacred Heart University Pioneers (12-13-2, 11-9-2 AHA) for the second time this season. The series will take place on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16, 2019.
The following week, the Robert Morris University Colonials (9-18-1, 8-13-1 AHA) will come up to Rochester, N.Y. on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23, 2019.