ROCHESTER, NY — No. 2 RIT (3-0-0, 1-0-0 ECAC West) opened up ECAC West conference play and its home schedule by defeating Utica 7-1 in front of 1,065 fans at Ritter Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Kolbee McCrea scored a pair of goals for the Tigers, who ran their unbeaten streak against the Pioneers to nine games. Kourtney Kunichika, Kim Schlattman, and Celeste Brown), Megan Kobar, and Julie Hall also scored for the Tigers. Hall’s goal was the first of her collegiate career.
|No. 1 Norwich 8, New England College 1|
|Plattsburgh 4, Neumann 1|
RIT dominated play throughout, firing a season-high 63 shots on the Pioneers, out-shooting them 63-14.
Kunichika added a pair of assists for the Tigers, give her a three-point game for the second time this season. Kristina Moss dished out three assists, while Morgan Scoyne, Emillee Bulleid and Ariane Yokoyama recorded a pair of assists apiece.
Jennifer Hamel was strong in defeat for the Pioneers, stopping 56 shots. She made several huge saves from point-blank range. Kasey Dowdall scored Utica’s lone goal.
RIT goaltender Laura Chamberlain improved to 3-0-0 this season, stopping 13 shots. The Tiger defense was stout all game long, allowing very few quality chances.
RIT was 4-for-9 with the power-play, while killing off all five of Utica’s chances with the man-advantage.
The Tigers got into penalty problems early on, having to kill off over three minutes of either a 4-on-3 or 5-on-3 Utica power-play in the first period. RIT dominated the rest of the period, out-shooting Utica, 15-3, and scoring the lone goal of the period.
Kunichika tallied her third goal of the season, on the power-play at the 11:45 mark, slipping a shot from the left side in front through the legs of Hamel. Moss and Yokoyama assisted on the goal.
RIT nearly made 2-0 a handful of times later in the period, as McCrea and Marissa Maugeri (Ajax, Ontario) rang shots off the crossbar.
The second period was all RIT, as they outshot Utica 27-3 and scored three times to take a 4-1 lead into the intermission after 40 minutes of play.
Just 54 seconds into the second period, Schlattman gave RIT a 2-0 lead ripping through the neutral zone and firing a laser of a shot over the shoulder of Hamel, off the crossbar and in for her first tally of the year. Scoyne and Bulleid assisted on the goal.
RIT made it 3-0 at the 10:58 mark of the period, as McCrea completed a nifty four-way passing play for the power-play goal. Yokoyama fed Moss at the point, who passed to Yokoyama down low. With one motion Kunichika fired a pass to McCrea who was wide open in the slot. Hamel had committed to Kuncihika and slid across the crease, giving McCrea a wide-open net.
Brown put RIT up 4-0 late in the period, as she buried a rebound off her own shot after Hamel made the initial save. Ali Hills and Kunichika assisted on the goal.
Utica got on the board with 15 seconds in the frame, as Kelsey Dowdall converted from in close taking a feed from Nicole Schwartz and going top shelf on Chamberlain for the goal. Megan Myers also assisted on the goal.
McCrea tallied her second goal of the game early in the third period, tipping in a shot from Moss to make it 5-1.
Kobar was left all alone in front to make it 6-1, then Hall rifled a shot under the crossbar for her first collegiate goal in the final minute.
RIT is 13-2-0 all-time against the Pioneers and have won nine straight in the series dating back to Feb. 2, 2008. Last year, RIT went 3-0 against the Pioneers, outscoring them 11-3.
Before the game, RIT honored Sarah Dagg, the winner of the 2011 Laura Hurd Award as Division III Player of the Year. The 5-foot-2 forward finished her stellar career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 63 goals and 91 assists for 154 points in 109 career games. She is RIT’s all-time leader in assists