Nov. 20, 2009
The Sacred Heart men’s ice hockey team dropped a 3-2 seesaw battle Friday night to the RIT Tigers. Matt Gordon (Lynnfield, MA) scored his first goal of the season on a rush up the right side in the second period. Kyle Verbeek (Bloomfield, MI) tied the game at two in the third period with his first collegiate goal after a sweeping back hand pass from Eric Delong (Oakville, MB). The Tigers would capitalize on a five on three power play in the third period to net the game winner off the stick of Andrew Favot.
Sacred Heart (3-5-2, 2-3-1 AHA) controlled the action offensively in the first period outshooting the Tigers 12-8 and got the better of RIT physically with multiple big hits. In the final two minutes of the period Patrick Knowlton nearly lit the lamp on a three on two rush for the Pioneers but was turned away by a good blocker save from RIT goalie Jared DeMichiel, who made 21 saves on the night. Sacred Heart nearly notched the game’s first goal In the final moments of the frame as SHU was swarming around the net but couldn’t convert on a power play.
RIT (7-5-0, 7-2-0 AHA) struck first nine minutes into the second period on a Chris Tanev power play goal. Tanev fired a wrist shot from the right circle that deflected off of a Pioneer defender and through the five-hole of goaltender Olivier St. Onge (Wickham, QC) who had lost his stick earlier in the play. Sacred Heart would bounce right back and tie the game at one just 2:10 later as Gordon’s shot rang off the left post and bounced off the back of DeMichiel and past the red line for his first goal of the season. Paul Ferraro (Pleasantville, NY) and Delong each earned an assist on the play.
The Tigers would retake the lead 4:31 into the final period as Tyler Brenner found himself alone in the slot and beat St. Onge on the stick side for his first goal of the season. Sacred Heart would again show resilience and tie the game 2:15 later as Verbeek slammed home his first collegiate goal on a fantastic pass from Delong. But RIT would deliver the final blow with 6:41 remaining in regulation as Favot found the back of the net with the Tigers on the two man advantage. The Pioneers did have a power play in the final two minutes of the game and pulled St. Onge with under a minute remaining to have two extra skaters but the RIT defense stood tall to secure the victory.
The difference in the game was special teams as RIT went two for six on the power play while killing off all four SHU man advantages. Sacred Heart and RIT will take to the ice again tomorrow afternoon at 4:05 in the series finale.