by Anthony Travalgia/CHN Reporter (@A_Travalgia)
Both Atlantic Hockey semifinal series will have Game 3s on Sunday.
RIT 4, Holy Cross 3 (OT)
For the second straight night, RIT and Holy Cross needed overtime to decide a winner, but this time it was RIT earning the win off the stick of Elijah Gonsalves.
Scoreless through regulation in Game 1, more offense was on the table in Game 2 as the two teams combined for seven goals.
“Tough game, I mean a hard game, no different than last night. We got the goal in overtime tonight,” RIT coach Wayne Wilson said. “It’s good character for us. Good to win these games and live to fight another day. I’m glad these semifinals are best out of three.”
Unlike the other leagues, being in first place in the regular season for RIT doesn’t mean it’s already locked in an NCAA Tournament bid. The Tigers must hold on to this series to have a chance to make good on its regular-season title.
Special teams played a big factor in RIT’s victory, each team going on the power play seven times. Down 2-1 in the third period, Holy Cross was awarded an extended five-on-three where Liam McLinskey scored twice, his second and third goals of the series. McLinsky came into the game having scored back-to-back OT game winners.
In overtime, the Crusaders had a golden opportunity to punch their ticket to the Atlantic Hockey finals when RIT’s Ryan Nicholson was sent to the box for slashing. McLinskey had a chance to end things on the ensuing power play, fanning on a one-timer as he faced an open net.
“In overtime we played really well, had looks just need to get a finishing instinct there on the power play and find a way to not hit the goalie in the chest a few times,” Holy Cross coach Bill Riga said.
RIT attempted 84 shots, 41 of those landing on net. Holy Cross’ goalie Jason Grande was outstanding again, following up a 40-save performance in Game 1 with 37 in Game 2. Each team blocked 22 shots.
“Certainly would have liked to have finished it off tonight, but it’s a good team and they put up a good fight, ”Riga said. “We had our chances and again we gave up more shots than we wanted to.”
RIT goalie Tommy Scarfone was tested often, especially in overtime where he turned away all seven shots he saw.
“We want to try and use the momentum that we got tonight into tomorrow night’s game and…
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