No. 1 Rochester Institute defeats Rensselaer for 11th consecutive win
TROY, NY -- Top-ranked RIT (11-0, 2-0 Liberty League) went on the road on Saturday, beating Liberty Leaugue rival Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (7-3, 3-1 Liberty League), 15-8. The Tigers outscored the Engineers 10-4 over the final three quarters, allowing just two goals in the second half.
Allister Warren and Taylor Wisman led the Tigers with three goals apiece. Casey Jackson, Kyle Aquin and Eddie Kiesa each had two goals, while Ryan Lee scored a goal and dished out two assists.
RIT held a 49-31 shot advantage and won the ground ball battle 35-34. The Tigers won 16-of-27 face-offs and were 16-of-20 on clearing attempts. RIT went 1-for-5 on man-up chances and held RPI to two goals on five man-up chances.
Lee gave RIT a 1-0 lead just 47 seconds into the contest off a fastbreak opportunity for RIT. Off a Pat Johnston save, the Tigers got the ball up quickly into the Engineers end. Mac Keehfus found Lee open by the Rensselaer net, and he buried a shot from close range giving the Tigers an early lead.
Rensselaer stormed back with three straight goals, taking a 3-1 lead on Matt Hall's 19th goal of the season. Billy Gibbs and Aaron Shavel also had goals for the Engineers.
RIT's offense would wake up late in the opening quarter, tallying three consecutive goals. Warren tallied his first of the game with 6:23 to play, cutting RPI's lead to 3-2. Kiesa made it 3-3 on his seventh of the season with 5:44 to play, and Jackson scored off a feed from Warren with 4:28 to play giving RIT a 4-3 lead.
Matt Hall broke the scoring run for RIT with his 20th goal of the season with 1:45 to play in the first quarter, tying the score at 4-4. Sophomore long-stick middie, Matt Hossack tallied his sixth goal of the season with 1:09 to play, giving RIT a 5-4 lead after one quarter.
Breanainn McNeally opened the second-quarter scoring for RPI, scoring off a pass from Liam Mennig just 10 seconds into the quarter, tying the score at 5-5.
Two straight goals from Aquin gave RIT a 7-5 lead with 10:50 to play in the first half. Aquin is second on the team with 27 goals on the season. After an Aaron Shavel cut the RIT lead to 7-6, the Tigers ended the half scoring three straight goals taking a 10-6 lead into the break. Wisman sandwiched a pair of goals around a Warren goal to give the Tigers a four-goal edge.
Warren kept RIT's momentum going in the third quarter, tallying his third goal of the game early in the quarter, increasing RIT's lead to 11-6. Braden Wallace made it 12-6 RIT with 8:55 to play in the quarter, tallying his seventh goal of the season.
John Phillips broke the five-goal RIT run with his second goal of the season with 8:34 to play in the third quarter, cutting the Tigers lead to 12-7.
Goals from Wisman and Kiesa to end the quarter gave RIT a 14-8 lead heading into the fourth. RIT's defense tightened as the game wore on, allowing just four goals over the final three quarters, including none in the fourth quarter. Jackson tallied the lone goal of the quarter, scoring an open-net goal with 7:55 to play making it a 15-8 final.
The Tigers defense forced Rensselaer into 21 turnovers, including 13 in the second half. Junior defenseman Baird Wilber had three ground balls and a caused turnover, while Hossack had four ground balls and caused one turnover. Pat Johnston picked up his eighth win of the season in net for RIT, making 13 saves. Tyler Brooks-Lambert won 16-of-27 face-off and had eight ground balls.
Hall led Rensselaer with two goals and an assist, while Shavel finished with a pair of goals. McNeall had a goal and an assist for the Engineers, and John Phillips and Scott Crow each scored goals. Alex Castronovo was excellent in net for RPI, making 20 saves.
The Tigers scored at least 15 goals for the tenth time this season. RIT leads the all-time series between the two schools, 23-6.