ROCHESTER, NY –
The RIT men’s hockey team (9-12-5, 7-8-4 AHA) exploded for a season-high seven goals, four in the second, and three in the third en route to a resounding 7-1 win over visiting Connecticut (11-12-3, 8-9-2 AHA) in front of 1,910 fans at Ritter Arena on Saturday evening. RIT, Connecticut, and Army are all tied for seventh in the AHA standings with 18 points.
RIT last scored seven times in a game on Oct. 31, 2009, also vs. Connecticut. The four second period goals were also a season-high.
Seven different players scored for the Tigers, with Anthony Hamburg (Phoenix, AZ/Millard North)
leading the charge with a career-high three points on a goal and two assists, along with a plus-3 rating to be named the game’s first star. Matt Garbowsky (St. George, Ontario/St. John's Collegiate)
, Brad McGowan (Langley, British Columbia/Walnut Grove)
, Ben Lynch (Blaine, MN)
, Brad Reid (Delta, British Columbia/South Delta)
, and Greg Noyes (Lucan, Ontario)
all tallied a goal and an assist apiece. Chris Saracino (St. Louis, MO)
also scored for the Tigers, while Jeff Smith (Spokane, WA)
had two assists.
In net, RIT goaltender Jordan Ruby (Tavistock, Ontario/Huron Park)
was strong for the Tigers, stopping 24 shots to earn his second victory of the season. He made a handful of big saves early on and a few more tough saves while RIT was holding a 4-1 lead in the early stages of the third period.
RIT out-shot Connecticut 33-25. The Huskies were 1-for-4 with the man-advantage. RIT, who entered the game with the nation’s best power-play at 26.3 percent, were scoreless on just one power-play attempt.
Jordan Sims scored the lone goal for Connecticut, who defeated the Tigers 3-1 at Ritter Arena last night. In net, Garrett Bartus made 24 saves in the first 50:49 before being pulled in favor of Matt Grogan, last night’s winning goalie. Grogan stopped two shots in relief.
RIT Head Coach Wayne Wilson thought his team did all of the little things needed to win tonight.
“The second and third efforts from our guys were there tonight,” said Wilson. “We were looking for ugly goals tonight and we got them. Everything is still very tight in the league and it will be very interesting too see how it plays out. We will have to get some weekend sweeps late in the year.”
Neither team scored in a well played, defensive first period, in which RIT out-shot Connecticut 13-7.
Ruby had to come up big in the opening minute of the game, as he stopped Brant Harris from the right circle, then denied Jordan Sims in tight on the ensuing rebound.Bryan Potts (Niagara Falls, Ontario)
had a great chance for the Tigers just past the midpoint of the opening period, firing a one-timer from the slot that caught Bartus off the shoulder. McGowan fired a shot from the left face-off circle on a rush that Bartus gobbled up.
RIT tallied four times on just nine shots in the second period to take a commanding 4-1 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Hamburg tallied his third goal of the season to start the onslaught at the 6:57 mark, as he took a feed from Brad Reid (Delta, British Columbia/South Delta)
in the neutral zone, toe dragged a defenseman and fired a rocket past Bartus just inside the left post from the right face-off circle. Brad Shumway (Lafayette, CO)
also assisted on the goal.
At the 10:46 mark, Garbowsky broke a 20 game goal scoring drought, putting a perfect backhander against the grain just inside the left post on the rush for his second tally of the year. McGowan chipped a pass to Dan Schuster (Livonia, NY/Livonia)
who put a pass through his legs to Garbowsky, who came in and scored the eventual game-winning goal.
RIT scored twice in 1:02 later in the period to break the game open.
Saracino fired in his seventh goal of the season off a faceoff win from Hamburg. Hamburg won the puck back to Saracino, who walked along the left side boards, firing a shot that went off the skate of a Connecticut defenseman and past Grogan.
Noyes made it 4-0 Tigers at the 17:26 mark, as he was the recipient of a nifty play by Smith. Lynch fed Smith in the Connecticut zone and the senior forward curled around the net, getting Bartus to commit before finding Noyes all alone at the right side of the net. Noyes was able to lift the shot into the corner before Bartus could get back for his seventh goal of the year.Adam Hartley (West Vancouver, British Columbia)
nearly made it 5-0 a few seconds later, as his hard shot from the slot clanged off the left post and out.
Connecticut got back into the game with just 34 seconds left in the period on a 5-on-3 power-play, as Sims was the recipient of a nifty passing play, as Alex Gerkie fed Harris, who one-timed a pass across to crease to Sims, who was unmarked.
Ruby made a great save to start the third period on Billy Latta, who streaked in on an odd-man rush.
RIT scored twice in 11 seconds and three times in 1:09 to put the game away.
At the 9:40 mark, Lynch one-timed a perfect no-look backhand pass from Smith on a breakout in front of the Connecticut net for his eighth goal of the season, making it 5-1 Tigers. Just 11 seconds later off a face-off in the Connecticut zone, Hamburg won a draw with Andrew Miller (West Dundee, IL/Jacobs)
tipping a pass to Reid, who beat Bartus between the legs for his fourth goal of the year.
McGowan closed out the scoring taking a feed from Garbowsky in front after a turnover by Bartus.
Last night, Connecticut goaltender Matt Grogan made 34 saves in a 3-1 win to snap a nine-game losing streak at Ritter Arena. Saracino scored RIT’s lone goal. Also in last night’s contest, Noyes played in his 100th career game, while Lynch hit the century mark in games played this evening.
RIT is now 19-8-1 all-time against Connecticut, and 14-6-1 since 2007. The Tigers are 14-3-0 all-time against Connecticut at Ritter Arena. RIT is just 4-5-1 at Ritter Arena this season. From 2009-2012, RIT was 35-3-10 against AHA foes at home.
The Tigers finished the season 7-3-2 against teams from the AHA’s Eastern pod this season. RIT entered tonight’s game as a collective minus-95 this season, were a plus-35 tonight. The Tigers outscored Connecticut at even strength 7-0.
RIT returns to action on Friday and Saturday with a pair of road contests at AHA foe Robert Morris. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m.