Tigers Fall In Both Games Against Rival Air Force Over The Weekend
It was another weekend to forget for the RIT Men’s Hockey team, as they could not find an answer in either game of the back-to-back against Atlantic Hockey foe, the Air Force Falcons.
Friday night’s loss at Gene Polisseni Center was not necessarily a result of poor play, however. As the Tigers out-shot their opponents 26-13 throughout the duration of the contest.
Erik Baskin and Trevor Stone each picked up a goal in the first period to give Air Force a 2-0 lead. The only other tally came at the 12:36 mark of the third period, when Myles Powell got the Tigers to within one.
Junior goaltender, Billy Christopoulos, of the Falcons made 25 saves in what turned out to be his sixth victory of the season.
Saturday night the Tigers once again out-shot Air Force, this time by a 30-21 margin, however it was Christopoulos who stole the show for the second night in a row. The Raleigh, NC native denied every shot that came his way, earning the first career shutout of his collegiate career.
“It’s kind of hard to put a finger on it,” said Tigers captain Myles Powell when asked about what went wrong for his team. “They are a very defensive team. I thought we did really well getting pucks to the net. Maybe we just didn’t have enough bodies in front. We didn’t get any bounces I guess, so some of those could’ve went in and then it’s a totally different game both nights. It’s tough to say.”
The Falcons struck first at the 7:23 mark of the opening period, when Ben Kucera capitalized on a pass from teammate Evan Giesler. Marshall Bowery would add two goals of his own in the third period, before Matt Serratore hit the open net with the goaltender pulled, to give the Falcons a 4-0 win.
Despite giving up three goals in a losing effort, Powell assured that the blame for tonight’s result would not be placed on goaltender Christian Short.
“You can’t put any blame on the goalie,” Powell said. “They (Air Force) made some nice shots tonight. We gave them some odd man rushes and they capitalized. It’s not his fault. It’s definitely a team game here, and we let him down.”
RIT will not have a lot of down time going into next week, as they are back in action Tuesday night on the road in Erie, PA. It will be the first make-up game from the New Years Eve weekend series against Mercyhurst that was cancelled due to inclement weather.
“We need to rest up and try to get our legs back under us,” Powell said. “We have to keep battling. Mercyhurst is going to be a totally different game because they’re not as physical as Air Force. But it’s still going to be tough and we need to be ready for the quick turnaround.”
The Tigers will be back at Gene Polisseni Center next weekend for a back-to-back against the first place Canisius Golden Griffins. Friday and Saturday’s contests are both scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. face-off.
Photo Credit Kelsie Redburn – RIT Athletic Communications