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RIT rode three goals in the latter half of the first period and a hat trick by captain Sam Hill to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Williams Ephs. Tiger senior Mike Bournazakis scored a goal and assisted on another, making him just the eighth RIT player to tally 200 points in his collegiate career.
The first period was a contrast of styles. The Ephs played a dump-and-chase game, digging the puck out of the corners to create chances on the RIT net. The Tigers, by contrast, carried the puck across the Williams blue line, taking the puck to the net and then looking for rebounds.
Williams’ best chances of the period came during a late power play. The Ephs put pressure on the RIT net with strong play down low. But the Tiger defenders won the races to the rebounds in front of the RIT crease, and kept Williams off of the scoreboard.
With the Tigers up 3-0 at the end of the first period, the evidence suggested that the RIT strategy was more successful.
“Taking away the breakaways we gave up, I was happy with how we played,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “And Tyler [Euverman] covered for us on those breakaways.”
RIT goaltender Euverman was the story of the second period. Williams opened up play during the second, posting wingers high in the defensive zone. This resulted in several breakaways for Williams, and top-notch scoring chances. Euverman stymied each of three successive shooters, one in dramatic sprawling style.
“Tyler played great all weekend long,” said Wilson.
Williams finally got on the board late in the period, off another odd-man rush. Justin Blanch and Josh Truitt broke into the Tiger zone, with only one defender back. Blanch carried the puck, and beat Euverman high-stick side for the Ephs’ first goal at 18:15.
The Tigers added a fourth goal earlier in the second period when Hill quickly converted a turnover behind the Eph net into a goal 4:04 into the stanza.
Early in the third, Williams closed the gap with a breakout goal :35 in. Devon O’Rourke caught a long pass from Bill Gilchrist at the RIT blue line, and skated in all alone. O’Rourke outwaited Euverman and slid the puck into the back of the net for the goal.
RIT added two more goals in the third period, including Hill completing his hat trick. Jared Conlon scored off a rebound at the 2:26 mark, and Hill tallied on a two-on-nonr breakout 9:48 in for his third goal of the night.