RIT senior defenseman Dan Willett (Bayville, N.Y.) notched a goal and an assist while junior forward Will Calverley (Scarborough, Ontario) scored a goal, but it was Canisius riding a big second period to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Tigers, Friday, in game-one of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament Quarterfinals.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Canisius opened the scoring by finishing a right-wing rush with 6:28 left in the first period.
RIT responded 1:16 later after Willett dug loose puck off the boards behind the RIT net to junior forward Kobe Walker (Lloydminster, Alberta), who shot down the right boards and threaded a cross-ice feed to Calverley for a short, left-post finish.
Canisius scored three straight goals in the second period. Freshman forward Cooper Haar skated a puck into the slot from the left boards and flipped a shot over RIT senior goalie Ian Andriano (Barrie, Ontario/Ottawa Jr. Senators) with 16:26 on the clock before sophomore defenseman David Melaragni scored from close range at 11:21.
Canisius junior J.D. Pogue later finished a two-on-one breakout off a turnover during a Tiger power-play for a short-handed goal with 8:18 to play in the period.
Willett scored on a blast from the right point before the power play expired for the Tigers’ second goal, but Canisius quickly re-took a three-goal lead with another odd-man rush goal by senior forward Austin Alger with 7:13 on the clock.
RIT out-shot Canisius, 37-23, but Golden Griffin sophomore goalie Jacob Barczewski’s 35 saves kept the Tigers at bay.
Willett logged his 60th career assist, which leads all active RIT players.
RIT is now 29-17 in 13 Atlantic Hockey Tournament appearances. The Tigers are 16-6 in the quarterfinals, including a 6-4 mark on the road.
RIT lost to Canisius in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament for the first time. RIT earned semifinal victories in 2010 (4-0) and 2015 (2-1) during its first two championship runs.
Playing in East and West pods for the first time in Atlantic Hockey Tournament history due to the COV)D-19 pandemic, RIT and Canisius are the third and second seeds in the West, respectively.
The best-of-three quarterfinal series continues with game-two on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. back at the LECOM Harborcenter along with game-three on Sunday (if necessary) at 5:05 p.m.