MOON TOWNSHIP, PA -
Freshman forward Dan Schuler (Webster, NY/Powell River Kings)
scored with 8:56 remaining in regulation to snap a 3-3 tie and lift the RIT men's hockey team (10-13-5, 8-9-4 AHA) to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Atlantic Hockey Association foe Robert Morris (15-11-2, 10-10-1 AHA) in front of 1,037 fans at 84 Lumber Arena on Saturday evening. The Tigers won for the first time at 84 Lumber Arena and moved into seventh place in the AHA standings with 20 points.
RIT trailed 2-0 and 3-1 in the second period before exploding for the game's final three goals. After Colin South scored his second goal of the game with 4:08 left in the second period to give the Colonials a 3-1 lead, the Tigers took control to pick up a much needed win.
With the game tied at 3-3, Schuler intercepted an errant clearing attempt by the Colonals, came into the slot and fired a hard wrist shot past goaltender Eric Levine for his third goal of the season. RIT's defense stiffened up and held Robert Morris off the scoreboard over the final 8:56 to hang on for the big win.
Several of the Eastern pod AHA teams have two games in hand on the Tigers, due to several games being rescheduled in the wake of the blizzard that hit the East Coast over the weekend.Mike Colavecchia (Maple, Ontario/Lindsay Muskies)
and Matt Garbowsky (St. George, Ontario/Powell River Kings)
recorded three points apiece in the victory. Colavecchia scored his team-best 11th goal, eighth on the power-play, and added two assists. Garbowsky dished out a career-best three assists. Greg Noyes (Lucan, Ontario/Salmon Arm Silverbacks)
and Adam Hartley (West Vancouver, British Columbia/Surrey Eagles)
added power-play goals. Colavecchia is now 10th all-time in scoring at RIT in the Division I level with 75 career points.
RIT goaltender Jordan Ruby (Tavistock, Ontario/Wellington Dukes)
, making his fourth straight start, stopped 35 shots to earn his third win of the season.
Robert Morris out-shot RIT, 38-34. Both teams scored three power-play goals. The Tigers entered the weekend with the best power-play in the nation at 26 percent, and after getting rebuffed in five attempts with the man-advantage last night, went 3-for-7 on the power-play. It was also the third time this season that RIT allowed three power-play goals, as Robert Morris was 3-for-5 with the man-advantage.
South scored two power-play goals for the Colonials, while Jimmy Geerin also tallied a power-play goals. Zac Kynch dished out two assists. In net, Eric Levine, who shutout the Tigers last night, made 30 saves in the loss.
RIT Head Coach Wayne Wilson was happy his team was able to salvage the weekend split.
"It was a really gritty effort to get the win being down two goals on twice, and it was nice to get the split on the road," said Wilson. "It was good to see (Dan) Schuler get rewarded for his hard work on the game-winner."
Robert Morris scored the only goal of the first period, on the power-play, as Geerin fired a shot through traffic from the point past Ruby for his first goal of the season.
The Colonials and Tigers scored four times, all on the power-play, in a span of 4:44 in the second period, as Robert Morris held a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.
South made it 2-0 at the 13:17 mark, getting a shot from the point through and passed a screened Ruby to make it 2-0 off assists from Adam Brace and Chase Golightly.
Colavecchia tallied his team best 11th of the season just 1:36 later with the man-advantage, firing a shot from the high slot past Levine. Chris Saracino (St. Louis, MO/Green Bay Gamblers)
fired a pass from the point down low to Garbowsky, who made the pass to an open Colavecchia in the slot. The junior forward made no mistake with the shot, moving into third nationally with eight power-play tallies.
South ripped a hard slap shot from the slot over the glove of Ruby at the 15:52 mark for his second goal of the game to give the Colonials their two goal lead back.
Once again, that lead was short lived, as just 2:09 later, as Colavecchia fed Garbowsky down low, who found Hartley, who was alone in front, and the senior forward chipped a shot over Levine for his sixth goal of the year.
Noyes tied the game with 11:50 left in regulation, taking a back door feed from Garbowsky and putting the puck past Levine. There was a discussion that the net was knocked off the moorings before the puck went in, but the goal was allowed, and RIT got its third power-play tally of the contest.
RIT is now 3-5-3 all-time against the Colonials and improved to 1-4-1 at 84 Lumber Arena. The Tigers went 1-2-0 against Robert Morris in the 2012-13 regular season. On Oct. 25, Robert Morris defeated RIT at Ritter Arena, 6-4. Last night, the Colonials shutout RIT by a score of 3-0 behind 34 saves from Levine. Ruby was strong in net for RIT, stopping 38-of-40 shots.
Tonight marked RIT's first win of the season over an AHA Western pod team (Air Force, Canisius, Mercyhurst, Niagara, and Robert Morris). It was also the third time this season that RIT rallied from a two-goal deficit to win (Michigan, Oct. 11, St. Lawrence, Jan. 4).
RIT is right back in action on Friday and Saturday with a pair of road contests at AHA foe Mercyhurst. Both games from the Mercyhurst Ice Center get underway at 7:05 p.m.