Courtesy of RITAthletics.com
ERIE, PA – The RIT men’s hockey team (3-3-0, 1-2-0 AHA) fell to Atlantic Hockey foe Mercyhurst University (2-5-1, 1-2-0 AHA) by a score of 4-3 from the Mercyhurst Ice Center Friday night.
Jake Hamacher (Corona, CA/Dubuque Fighting Saints), Abbott Girduckis (Belleville, Ontario/Wellington Dukes) and Jordan Peacock (Burlington, Ontario/Burlington Cougars) scored for the Tigers. Goaltender Logan Drackett (Calgary, Alberta/Calgary Canucks) made 15 saves on 19 shots.
Tommasso Bucci and Wes Baker scored a pair of goals and added an assist apiece to lead the Lakers, while Joshua Lammon had three assists. Goaltender Stefano Cantali made 25 saves in net to earn the win for the Lakers.
RIT out-shot Mercyhurst, 28-19. The 19 shots allowed are a season low for the Tigers. RIT was 0-for-2 on the power-play, while Mercyhurst was 0-for-1.
“I thought we weren’t sharp, made too many sloppy plays and gave (Mercyhurst) too many good chances in transition,” said RIT head coach Wayne Wilson. “We need to be much better tomorrow night.”
The Lakers scored the only goal in a first period that featured just 11 shots on goal. Bucci gave the Lakers the 1-0 lead on a wrist shot from the slot off a 2-on-1 rush with 4:57 remaining in the opening period.
Baker gave Mercyhurst a 2-0 lead just 1:33 into the second period on his first goal of the season. Hamacher would get the Tigers right back into the game just under three minutes later, taking a feed from Will Calverley (Scarborough, Ontario/Chilliwack Chiefs) on an odd-man rush and snapping a wrist shot over the shoulder of Cantali for his first goal of the season. The assist was Calverley’s first collegiate point.
Hamacher was awarded a penalty shot after getting hooked on a breakaway with 5:05 left in the second period. Hamcher came in on Cantali and tried to make a nifty move, but the Mercyhurst goaltender came up with a clutch a toe save.
Girduckis would tie the game at 2-2 with 2:15 remaining in the second, taking a nifty feed from Gabe Valenzuela (Brampton, Ontario/North York Rangers) on the rush and firing a shot into the open side of the net in front for his team-best fourth goal of the season. Erik Brown (Keene, Ontario/Kemptville 73’s) also assisted on the goal.
Unfortunately for RIT, the momentum did not last long, as Bucci tipped in a pass from James Anderson just 37 seconds later to give the Lakers a 3-2 lead.
Mercyhurst would extend its lead to 4-2 five minutes into the third period, as Joseph Duszak fired a long stretch pass to Baker who slipped behind the RIT defense. Baker would beat Drackett with a wrist shot on the breakaway for his second goal of the night.
Peacock would cut the Lakers lead to 4-3 with nine minutes left, intercepting a pass in the Lakers zone and firing a shot off the glove of Cantali and in for his second goal of the season.
RIT would pull Drackett for the extra attacker in the final 90 seconds, but could not get the tying goal.
RIT leads the all-time series between the two schools, 40-24-6. This weekend marks the only two meetings between the two schools during the 2018-19 regular season.
RIT and Mercyhurst wrap up the 2018-19 regular season series from the Mercyhurst Ice Center at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night.