Scott Campbell scored with 1.3 seconds left in regulation to help UMass Lowell (0-1-2) skate to a wild 4-4 tie against the RIT men?s hockey team (0-2-1) before a capacity and RIT regular season crowd of 10,556 fans at Blue Cross Arena as part of Brick City Homecoming and Family Weekend on Saturday night. RIT held two different third period leads, but could not pick up its first win of the season.
Chad Ruhdewel dumped the puck into the Tiger zone, just before an RIT power-play expired in the final seconds. Riley Wetmore beat a Tiger defenseman to the puck behind the net and backhanded a pass out front to Campbell, who had a defenseman draped all over him, but was able to slide a backhander through the legs of Tiger goaltender Shane Madolora (Salinas, CA), stunning the capacity crowd.
Madolora made a huge save in overtime, robbing David Vallorani with a tremendous glove save from point-blank range with 3:09 left. Vallorani picked off an errant pass in the Tiger zone and came in all alone on Madolora. Vallorani tried to go high, but Madolora made the big save.
RIT had a flurry of its own about a minute later, as Trevor Eckenswiller (Lions Head, Ontario) wristed a shot towards the net that was tipped in front, causing Lowell goaltender Marc Boulanger to make a tough pad save. The rebound came to Cameron Burt (Detroit, MI), who had a chance in front stopped by Boulanger.
Tyler Brenner (Linwood, Ontario) scored two third period goals for RIT, including what was to be the game winner before Campbell scored the tying goal. Brenner took a tremendous feed in front from behind the net by Andrew Favot (King City, Ontario) and scored into the wide open net with 5:08 left in regulation. Ben Lynch (Blaine, MN) also assisted on the goal, which was a product of hard work and great cycling behind the Lowell net.
Brenner was one of four Tigers to tally two points on the night. Favot and Burt each dished out a pair of assists, while Adam Hartley scored a goal and added an assist. Freshman forward (Crofton, MD)Michael Colavecchia# scored his first collegiate goal.
Ruhdewel led the River Hawks with three assists and was plus-4 on the night. Michael Scheu, Wetmore, and Vallorani also scored for Lowell, who received 30 saves from Boulanger.
Sophomore goaltender Shane Madolora (Salinas, CA) made 24 saves in his first action of the season. The Tigers were 2-for-6 from the power-play, while holding Lowell scoreless in seven attempts with the man advantage.
RIT held a 34-28 edge in shots.
RIT Head Coach Wayne Wilson was happy with his team?s effort, but was disappointed that they could not hold on for the win.
?I thought we played well for stretches, especially in the second and most of the third period,? said Wilson. ?Unfortunately, we relaxed on the final rush when the puck went behind our net and that cost us a win,? said Wilson. ?We have two tough non-conference games next weekend and we will have to continue to improve.?
Both teams tallied twice in a wild third period that featured a little of everything, including a 20-minute delay to repair glass behind the Lowell bench after RIT?s third goal.
Just as Lowell got a player back on a 5-on-3 power-play, Hartley wristed a shot from the left point towards the net that caromed off a defenseman and through the legs of goaltender Marc Boulanger. Cameron Burt (Detroit, MI) kept the puck in with a pass to Chris Haltigin (Oakville, Ontario), Haltigin fed Hartley, whose shot was heading wide, but received the fortunate carom with a scrum of bodies in front.
Lowell tied the game with 7:38 left, with the extra attacker due to a delayed penalty. Scheu took a nice feed inside the Tiger zone and roofed a backhander under the crossbar.
Both teams scored once in an evenly played first period of play. The River Hawks opened the scoring 4:00 in, as Wetmore broke out of his own zone, sped through the neutral zone, tried to go around a Tiger defenseman and flipped a harmless shot towards the net that handcuffed Madolora. Matt Ferreira and Josh Holmstrom assisted on the goal, Wetmore?s first of the year.
The Tigers knotted the game up at 1 at the 12:58 mark, as Hartley scored his first of two power-play goals, ripping a shot from the high slot that snuck between the arm and body of Boulanger and just over the goal line. Burt and Andrew Favot (King City, Ontario) assisted on the tally.
Both teams scored once in the second period, striking 50 seconds apart. Vallorani gave the Red Hawks a 2-1 lead at the 13:31 mark, slamming home a rebound in close off a shot by Chad Ruhwedel that was originally stopped by Madolora. Colin Wright also assisted on the goal.
Colavecchia tied the game for the Tigers right after, at the 14:21 mark, converting on a rebound off a shot by Tyler Brenner (Linwood, Ontario). Chris Saracino (St. Louis, MO) made a nice pass to Brenner in the slot. Brenner?s shot was stopped by Boulanger, but the rebound came right to Colavecchia, who buried it for his first collegiate goal.
The crowd of 10,556 fans shattered the previous Blue Cross Arena record for a game featuring RIT. Last season, 7,421 fans attended the Brick City Homecoming and Family Weekend game. It is the second largest crowd in arena history. RIT?s previous record for a regular season game was 10,024 against Minnesota at Mariucci Arena on Dec. 29, 2007. A record crowd of 34,954 fans saw RIT play Wisconsin in the Frozen Four last season.
?We?ve come a long way in five-plus years, being able to sellout a 10,000-plus seat arena,? said Wilson. ?The support we have received from not only the RIT community, but Rochester community has been tremendous.?
Lowell leads the all-time series between the two schools, 4-1-1. The River Hawks are 1-0-1 against RIT since the Tigers moved to Division I in 2005.
The Tigers donned special black jerseys which will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to former Rochester Americans star Craig Charron, who is battling stomach cancer. In addition, ESPN hockey analyst and former NHL player and coach Barry Melrose was the special guest of honor.
RIT returns to action on Friday, as they travel east on I-90 to play the Union Dutchmen of the ECAC at 7 p.m.
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