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RIT edges Niagara in OT, 6-5

RIT sophomore defenseman Aiden Hansen-Bukata scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lead the Tigers to a 6-5 win at Niagara on Saturday night.

RIT opened the scoring with 13:00 left in the first after senior forward Nick Bruce took a feed from senior forward Will Calverley and scored on a wrist shot in the slot.

Niagara scored twice in the closing minutes of the first to take a 2-1 lead. Lars Rodne skated through two defenders in the slot for a shot that deflected off Tiger junior goaltender Kolby Matthews’ pads, but Ryan Cox was there to clean up a short rebound inside the left post with 2:01 on the clock. With 54 seconds left, Jason Pineo brought the puck down the left wing into the Tiger zone and fed Shane Ott in the slot for a finish over Matthews’ glove.

Bruce tied the game 1:35 into the second, skating a puck down the left boards and across the front of the crease to stuff a shot inside the right post for his second of the night.

RIT took a 3-2 lead skating 4-on-4 with 13:14 on the clock. Hansen-Bukata sent a long outlet pass down the left wing to freshman forward Carter Wilkie, who skated on goal to beat Niagara goaltender Chad Veltri from close range.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Niagara finished an odd-man break to re-tie the game with 9:55 left in the second, but the Tigers finished the period with two goals to carry a 5-3 lead into the third. Senior forward Jake Hamacher scored on a long cross-ice feed from Calverley at 7:41 before junior forward Caleb Moretz dug a face-off out of a crowd to the right of Veltri and scored from the top of the face-off circle 36 seconds later.

Niagara pulled back within a goal after RIT was whistled for having too many men on the ice in the opening minutes of the third. Walker Sommer crossed a puck to Albin Nilsson for an open finish inside the left post with 17:15 remaining in the period.

Niagara tied the game with 15:47 left in regulation. Chris Harpur shot a puck from the right point that fell down behind Matthews for a short finish by Zac Herrmann.

RIT won the game 49 seconds into overtime after sophomore forward Cody Laskosky sent an outlet pass into the neutral zone to a streaking Hansen-Bukata, who beat the Niagara defense back for a short tip past Veltri and the deciding tally.

RIT’s next game is Friday, January 28 at Bentley. Face off is set for 7:05 p.m.