Courtesy of RITAthletics.com
ERIE, PA – Senior forward Erik Brown (Keene, Ontario/Kemptville 73’s) became RIT’s all-time leading goal scorer at the Division I level, as the men’s hockey team (3-3-1, 1-2-1 AHA) skated to a 2-2 tie at league foe Mercyhurst University (2-5-2, 1-2-1 AHA) from the Mercyhurst Ice Center Saturday evening.
Brown’s goal, the 56th of his career, came with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation with the extra attacker, on the power-play to tie the game at 2-2. Gabe Valenzuela (Brampton, Ontario/North York Rangers) was able to fire a pass down low to Jake Hamacher (Corona, CA/Dubuque Fighting Saints), who slid a goal mouth feed to Brown, who tapped it in on the doorstep for the game-tying goal, his fourth of the season.
He was previously tied with Simon Lambert and Tyler Brenner for the career goal-scoring mark. Brown now has 33 goals over his last 44 games dating back to the start of the 2017-18 season.
Neither team generated any major chances in the overtime, as RIT skated to its first draw of the year, moving to 2-0-1 in the extra session.
Hamacher scored a second period shorthanded goal and added an assist for the multiple-point effort. Goaltender Logan Drackett (Calgary, Alberta/Calgary Canucks) stopped 27 of 29 shots.
Joseph Duszak had a goal and an assist to lead the Lakers, while Taylor Best added a third period tally that put Mercyhurst up 2-1. Stefano Cantali made 28 saves on 30 shots.
RIT out-shot Mercyhurst, 30-29. The Lakers were 2-for-7 on the power-play, while RIT was 1-for-5 and scored its second shorthanded goal of the season.
“I thought it was a much better effort from us tonight,” said RIT head coach Wayne Wilson. “We needed to be better because I thought Mercyhurst was much tougher tonight as well.”
Mercyhurst dominated the opening period, firing 15 shots on goal to just two for RIT. The Tigers got themselves into penalty problems, taking four minors in the period. Despite that, RIT was just eight seconds away from escaping the period unscathed until Duszak fired a shot through traffic with through traffic on the fourth power-play that eluded Drackett to open the scoring.
Before that goal, Drackett was outstanding, making a handful of key stops to keep the game scoreless. His best stop was a toe save on a stuff-in attempt from Joshua Lammon late in the period.
The Tigers came out with much more resolve in the second period, out-shooting Mercyhurst, 16-3, while scoring the lone goal of the frame to tie the game at 1-1 after 40 minutes of play.
Shawn Cameron (Sherbrooke, Quebec/Cumberland Grads) had a great chance for the Tigers just over a minute in, as he was denied by Cantali on a partial breakaway. Moments later, Hamacher was stopped by the pad of Cantali on a tight angle shot on the goal line.
RIT would tie the game at 1-1 with 6:42 left in the period, shorthanded, as Hamacher fired a pass on a 2-on-2 rush towards a streaking Abbott Girduckis (Belleville, Ontario/Wellington Dukes) which went off a skate of a Lakers defenseman and past a sliding Cantali for his second goal in as many nights. Girduckis started the rush by blocking a Lakers shot in his own zone and darting out with Hamacher to earn the assist.
The Tigers would get two power-plays later in the period, but failed to score, as the Lakers defense did a tremendous job getting in shooting lanes and blocking shots.
Merychurst would regain the lead with 8:10 left in regulation, on the power-play, as Best picked up a loose puck in the slot off a broken play and fired a shot past Drackett for his third goal of the season.
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. Last night, the Lakers pulled out a 4-3 win. Hamacher, Girduckis and Jordan Peacock (Burlington, Ontario/Burlington Cougars) scored for the Tigers.
The Tigers return home to play their first two games of the season from the Gene Polisseni Center, as league for American International comes to town for a pair of games. Friday’s contest starts at 7:05 p.m., while Saturday’s game gets underway at 5:05 p.m.