The RIT men’s hockey team (7-8-1, 5-6-1 AHA) destroyed the Niagara University Purple Eagles (8-10-1, 7-5-1 AHA) by a score of 8-4 on Dec. 15, 2018. The game took place at the Gene Polisseni Center.

This marked the first of four meetings between the conference rivals in the 2018–19 season.

Are the Tigers Underperforming?

Our men’s hockey team was on a five-game losing streak after losing to Northeastern and being swept by Air Force and Sacred Heart at home.

When asked if the team was underperforming, third year Finance major and forward for the Tigers, Shawn Cameron, disagreed.

“I think we are not,” he said. “We are underperforming in terms of scoring, but I don’t think we are not playing at the level we should be. I think small mistakes are more resulting in us losing. We have to re-group all together and get the swagger that we had at the beginning of the year.”

Third year Accounting major and forward for the Tigers, Ryan Kruper, believed that the team will go back to the ways of winning soon enough.

“I think a lot of it is just keeping positive. Yeah, we are on a bit of a skid right now, but I think the main thing is just to focus on the positives and moving forward with the effort we have been giving. We haven’t been playing terrible, but it just seems the bounces have been going against us,” he explained.

Christmas Comes Early

The first period started off hot for the Tigers. According to RIT Athletics, second year Business Exploration major and forward Jake Hamacher scored a minute into the period.

Later in the first period though, Nick Farmer scored for the Purple Eagles and tied the game up with one goal each. Farmer had an open net shot because fourth year Accounting major and goalie for the Tigers, Christian Short, accidentally passed the puck behind the net onto Farmer’s stick. This was the first goal Short allowed all season, as well as his first game of the season.

Only 15 seconds after the goal, Hamacher found the back of the Purple Eagles net once again. He scored on a wrist shot off a faceoff, whizzing the puck past Niagara goalie Brian Wilson.

Before the first period came to a close, Alex Truscott came up huge for Niagara and scored a short-handed goal. The shot trickled past Short, as he got a piece of it, and it slowly went into the Tiger net. The first period ended deadlocked 2-2.

The second period started with our team getting on the board again. First year Business Management major and forward for RIT Andrew Petrucci scored his first goal by finding an open spot in the net. He put RIT up 3-2.

Fourth year Packaging Science major and forward for the Tigers, Abbott Girduckis, then converted a powerplay goal to give the Tigers a 4-2 lead.

The Purple Eagles answered back with a five-on-three power play goal credited to Ludwig Stenlund. His goal ended the second period with the Tigers leading 4-3.

The third period was a very rough period, as both teams were aching to get ahead. Mid-way through the third period, fourth year Accounting major and forward for RIT Gabe Valenzuela was able to score and give the Tigers a 5-3 lead.

What followed was four goals scored in eight minutes. Fourth year Biomedical Engineering major and forward for the Tigers, Erik Brown, scored an empty net goal. Niko Kouachis then scored for Niagara and cut the lead to 6-4.

RIT took and scored on two empty-net opportunities in the last five minutes of action. Second year Civil Engineering Technology major and forward Alden Dupuis scored one of them. First year Business Exploration major and forward Will Calverley followed suit and scored one as well.

The Tigers won the game, 8-4, finishing out the semester strong.

RIT mustered 38 shots compared to Niagara’s 31 shots. Both teams scored once on the power play, with the Tigers getting six opportunities and the Purple Eagles getting five. In the Tiger net, Short stopped 27 of 31 (.871) shots, while Wilson saved 30 of 35 (.857) shots for Niagara.

Back in Action Soon

Our men’s hockey team is back in action on Jan. 4, 2019 and Jan. 5, 2019 when they travel to Lewiston, N.Y. to face Niagara on the first night of the series. RIT hosts them on the second night of the series. This will finish the three-game stand between the two teams.

After that, the Tigers will go to Springfield, Mass. to take on the American International College Yellow Jackets (7-7-1, 7-4-1 AHA) on Jan. 11, 2019 and Jan. 12, 2019.

The Tigers may get a short break, but they will be ready to pounce soon!