RIT, hosting a physical Amherst team, scored five unanswered goals on the way to a 5-1 victory Friday night.
During the first half of the season, the Tigers had trouble answering the hits dished out by physical opponents, but RIT answered Amherst hit for hit to overcome the Lord Jeffs.
Amherst junior Jeff Hoffman scored to give the Lord Jeffs the lead early in the first period, but RIT netminder Tyler Euverman made two big saves shortly after to keep RIT in the game.
“Tyler looked very confident,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “The pucks were sticking to him tonight, instead of him fighting them. He came up with saves when we needed them.”
Amherst penalties allowed RIT to climb back into the game, and eventually take the lead. A poor line change just as the Lord Jeffs killed off a major penalty tagged Amherst for too many men, and RIT took advantage of the resulting power play to tie the game.
Mike Tarantino slid the puck across the slot to linemate Michael Tucciarone, standing at the far side of the crease, who slapped it home for the goal at 13:37.
RIT took the lead early in the second period, as Amherst was trying to kill off its second major penalty of the game.
The Tigers kept the puck down low in the Lord Jeffs zone and as the play stayed behind the net, Tiger defenseman Ryan Fairbarn snuck down the slot and swatted a loose puck lying at the top of the crease for the goal just :39 into the second period. The puck was lying there off a shot by Mike Tucciarone that Amherst netminder Jaffrie Perrotti had saved.
“We had two five-minute power plays coming, and we retaliated,” said Wilson. “Some times you just have to suck it up for the team.” Both Amherst major penalties were cut short by RIT retaliation penalties.
RIT added another goal in the closing minutes of the period. Directly off a faceoff just to the right of Perrotti, Sam Hill wristed the puck low to the far side of the net to score the goal and give RIT a 3-1 lead after two periods.
The Tigers scored two more insurance goals in the third period, by J.R. Holmes and Michael Tucciarone.
Amherst opened the scoring 1:33 into the first with an opportunistic goal. The Lord Jeffs were able to pin the puck deep in the corner of the RIT zone. Brett Farson pushed the puck over to Scott Aldrich parked behind the Tiger net. Aldrich collected the pass and slid it past the side of the net to Josh Hoffman waiting at the top of the crease, who slid the puck home for the goal.
The strong play of Euverman sparked RIT and play evened out between the two teams. Both teams were able to carry the puck up and down the ice, but each defense also smothered the rushes before they reached the nets.