A steady parade of players to the penalty box, from both teams, was the last thing that Hobart coach Mark Taylor wanted in his game against RIT. The RIT power play came into the game ranked fourth in the nation, and playing most of the game on special teams would not give Hobart the chances it needed to win the game.
However, that was the way the game went. The longest span that went by without the referee calling a penalty was nine minutes, and that occurred during the middle of the first period. RIT scored five goals on nine power plays, and rolled to an 8-2 victory.
“We knew we were going to be in the box against their power play,” said Taylor. “RIT executed very well. Our want was there, but our execution wasn’t. Our goal was to keep them to four or less power plays, and that just didn’t work out for us.”
Senior captain Sam Hill tallied four goals for RIT, one even strength and three on the power play. Michael Tucciarone also added a hat trick for the Tigers with one of those coming with the extra attacker.
“On our power play, we were taking what they were giving us,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “Hill is a big guy in front of the net. I’m glad he has been getting rewarded. It has really been going his way lately.”
RIT opened the scoring midway through the first period. Tucciarone scored his first of the night, taking a feed from Mike Bournazakis out of the corner and tucking it inside the right post 12:47 into the game.
Hill began his scoring onslaught late in the first period, while the Tigers were skating with a four-on-three advantage. Ryan Franke sent a blast from the top of the slot towards the Hobart net. Hill deflected the puck on its way, and it evaded Statesmen netminder Adam Lavelle for the goal.
The difference in the first period was that RIT converted on its chances, while Hobart was unable to.
“This game showed that if you don’t play you’re A game, you lose,” said Taylor. “Every single game, you have to play to win.”
The parade to the penalty box continued in the second period. Hill scored his second goal of the night, also on the power play, 13:24 into the period.
Hobart got on to the score board less than a minute later. Craig Levey swatted the puck past RIT goaltender Tyler Euverman, off a rebound, for the goal. The goal gave Hobart a big jump, and they started to carry play.
The Tigers were able to weather the strong Hobart counter attack, and took the momentum back from Hobart with a goal at the 16:57 mark. Tucciarone tallied his second of the night off a scramble in front of the Hobart net.
Hobart and RIT exchanged goals late in the second period, and the Tigers carried a 5-2 lead into the second intermission.
The third period was all RIT on the scoreboard. Hill tallied two more goals, while Tucciarone tallied his third, to complete their domination of the game.