The RIT men’s hockey team (14-13-3, 12-9-3 AHA) split their series against the Sacred Heart University Pioneers (13-14-3, 12-10-2 AHA) last weekend.

The Tigers won the first game, 2-0, but lost the second match, 4-3. Both games were held at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, C.T.

Hard Work Pays Off

Third year Finance major and forward, Jordan Peacock, returned from a groin injury to play the College of Holy Cross Crusaders last weekend. He explained how he can continue to play a huge role with the team for the upcoming games.

“I just have to stick to my game. Obviously, I have been out for three months now. I’ve been practicing since early January with the team,” Peacock said. “I’m starting to get my game back. I just need to do all the right things I was doing prior to my injury, and basically give it my all.”

In addition to Peacock coming off injury, second year Business Exploration major and forward, Nick Bruce, scored his first goal of the season. He talked about how he can make an even bigger impact for the Tigers.

“I think I just got to play within myself and just be good in the defensive zone. I also have to pitch in offensively when I can. I have a skill-set where I can make plays offensively,” he said.

Early Bird Gets the Worm

Friday’s contest against the Pioneers started at 11 a.m., which was the earliest start in RIT men’s hockey history. Nonetheless, this early start did not mess with the Tigers.

The first period was sloppy for our men’s hockey team, as Sacred Heart controlled the game and gave second year Business Management and RIT goalie Logan Drackett, some work to do. Drackett stopped a few key shots to keep the Pioneers off the board.

The first period ended deadlocked at zero.

The second period started much better for our team. According to RIT Athletics, third year Finance major and forward, Shawn Cameron, scored a short-handed goal. He traveled the length of the ice and got the puck past Josh Benson, the Sacred Heart goalie.

RIT continued to increase their lead, doing so later in the second period. Peacock was in front of the Pioneers’ net and was able to put the puck in. His first goal since returning from his groin injury gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

Throughout the third period, RIT was holding onto the lead.

The Pioneers had a few powerplay opportunities, but they could not capitalize on any of them due to the great effort from the Tigers.

Sacred Heart pulled Benson to get an extra attacker on for the last two minutes of the game, but it failed. Drackett made some huge saves in the final minutes to help the Tigers secure the 2-0 win.

Our men’s hockey team had only 15 shots compared to the Pioneers mustering a whopping 39 shots. In terms of powerplay, both teams could not score. RIT had one powerplay chance, while Sacred Heart had five powerplay chances. In the Tiger net, Drackett recorded his second career shutout by stopping all 39 shots. For the Pioneers, Benson saved 13 of 15 (.867) shots.

Disappointing Loss

Saturday’s contest started off with Sacred Heart having a huge powerplay opportunity 45 seconds into the first period. The Tigers did a wonderful job killing off the chance.

The remainder of the first period involved back-and-forth action between the conference foes. Both teams had good opportunities to score, but the goalies ultimately shined.

The Tigers and Pioneers went into the first intermission scoreless.

Our men’s hockey team had a slow start to the second period, unable to get any shots off for the first ten minutes of the period.

According to RIT Athletics, fourth year Packaging Science major and forward for RIT, Abbott Girduckis was able to get open and slide the puck past Benson’s glove. It was the first shot for the Tigers in the second period, as well as the first goal of the game.

The second period continued to have little stoppages, which eventually led to Sacred Hearts’ first goal of the series. Austin Magera was able to get the puck to seep past Drackett. His goal tied the game at one apiece.

Our men’s hockey team had a quick start to the third period. First year Business Management major and forward for the Tigers, Andrew Petrucci, found an opening in the Sacred Heart net and snuck it in to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

A few minutes later in the third period, RIT killed off two huge penalties to stay in the lead. The penalties occurred back-to-back, with little time in between them.

The penalty brigade continued for the Tigers, with Nick Boyagian taking advantage and scoring a powerplay goal to tie the game at two.

With around five minutes left in the third period, the Pioneers took the lead. Liam Clare scored his first goal of the season by knocking in the puck after Drackett could not control it.

Drackett was pulled with two minutes to go in the period to gain an extra attacker. First year Business Exploration major and forward for RIT, Will Calverley, with only a minute left in the period, shot the puck past Benson to force overtime.

Despite this, with only 39 seconds left in the overtime period, Magera got loose and shot the puck over Drackett and into the net, giving the Pioneers the win by a score of 4-3.

The Tigers had 22 shots, while the Pioneers had 30 shots. In terms of powerplay, RIT had two opportunities, but couldn’t convert on one of them. Sacred Heart scored on one out of five powerplay opportunities. In the Tiger net, Drackett saved 26 of 30 (.867) shots and Benson stopped 19 of 22 (.864) shots.

Familiarity at Home

Our men’s hockey team comes back home to the Gene Polisseni Center on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23, 2019. They will host the Robert Morris University Colonials (10-19-1, 9-14-1 AHA).

This series marks the second time the two teams will face in the 2018–19 regular season.