MILFORD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart men's hockey closed to within a goal of the RIT Tigers with 11:45 to play Friday at Milford Ice Pavilion, but RIT scored two late goals to win the opener of the weekend series 5-2.
Sacred Heart (4-9-0, 3-4-0 AHA) had a couple quality chances to score in the opening period. Josh Phillips (Toronto, Ont.) rang a shot off the bottom of the crossbar seven minutes into the game, but the puck didn't cross the goal line. Coltyn Hansen (South Delta, B.C.) also had an opportunity right in front of an open RIT net go wide. RIT (3-7-2, 2-3-0 AHA) had a barrage of shots late in the first, but Alex Vazzano (Trumbull, Conn.) stopped all 13 Tigers shots in the opening period as the two teams skated to a scoreless tie.
The Tigers got on the board 3:06 into the second period. Greg Noyes fired a shot just past Vazzano's glove to give RIT a 1-0 lead, with assists from Mike Colavecchia and Dan Schuler. Sacred Heart had a chance to get even with a power play at the 14:36 mark, but managed just one shot in that two minute span. RIT took a 2-0 lead with 2:35 left in the second period when Anthony Hamburg scored his first goal of the season. The Pioneers responded with 42 seconds left in the period. Mitch Nylen (Lawrenceville, Ga.) slammed in the rebound of a Jeff Carroll (Kingston, Ont.) shot to make the score 2-1 going into the second intermission.
Sacred Heart had another power-play chance to tie the game 3:01 into the third period when RIT's Brad McGowan was called for hooking. The Pioneers had three shots on that power play but Tigers goaltender Mike Rotolo stopped them all. RIT then capitalized on a power play with 12:41 to play in the game, as Noyes scored his second goal of the game 14 seconds into the Tigers' man advantage to take a 3-1 lead. Less than a minute later, Nick Lotito (Staten Island, N.Y.) got the Pioneers back within a goal. The freshman's first career goal, with assists from Ben Lake (Calgary, Alb.) and Drew George (Regina, Sask.), made the score 3-2 with 11:45 to play. The Pioneers outshot RIT 15-11 in the final period but RIT extended the lead with 8:51 left on a Todd Skirving goal. Colavecchia added a power play goal late in the period to make the final score 5-2.
RIT outshot Sacred Heart 37-28 in the hockey game. Vazzano made 32 saves as Rotolo had 26 for RIT. The Tigers were 2-for-6 on the power play as the Pioneers were 0-for-3. Noyes had two goals and two assists for RIT. Lake's assist gives him a point in each of the last four games.
The two teams wrap up their weekend series on Saturday, November 30 at Milford Ice Pavilion at 3:05 p.m.