Power play struggles in 5-2 loss to RIT
Brent Patry's power-play goal with just over five minutes left in the third period lifted RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) to a 5-2 win over Air Force in the consolation game of the 10th annual Quinnipiac Cup, Saturday, Oct. 15, in Northford, Conn.
Air Force fell to 1-3 overall this season while RIT improved to 1-1. Quinnipiac will play Bentley in the championship game of the tournament at 7:05 p.m. EST.
"Our power play ire really hurting us," head coach Frank Serratore said. "The effort is certainly there, but we have to find a way to score goals. We out-shot a team for the second straight night. We only scored three goals in two games and that's not going to get it done. The guys work so hard, but it is demoralizing not to have any success. Our power play needs to convert. It's that simple. The question entering the season was "Who's going to score for us?" and that is still the question."
RIT added two empty-net goals in the final two minutes. The Falcons had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the game and never trailed until the five-minute mark of the third period.
It was again special teams that doomed the Falcons as RIT scored three power-play goals, a short-handed goal and an empty-net goal. The Tigers did not score an even-strength goal on the Falcons. AFA, meanwhile, was 0-for-13 on the power play.
Air Force scored first as Mike Knaeble scored an unassisted short-handed goal at 4:59 of the first period. The teams were skating four-on-four when an RIT player came out of the penalty box for a man-advantage. Ten seconds later, Knaeble scored his first of the season. It was the fourth short-handed goal of Knaeble's career.
RIT tied the game at 4:24 of the second period on the power play. Bobby Raymond scored from Patry and Tristan Fairbarn. AFA again took the lead four minutes later as Jay Medenwaldt scored his first of the season. At the 8:28 mark, Medenwaldt scored from defensemen Brooks Turnquist and Bryan Becker. The Tigers answered again as Simon Lambert tied the game at the 13:50 mark from Marc Hyman and Matt Smith.
The Tigers' first lead of the game came early in the third period as Patry scored his first of the season on the power play from Lambert and Jesse Newman. The teams were skating four on four until RIT's Justin Hofsetter came out of the box for an RIT power play. Just seconds later, Patry scored the eventual game-winner.
The Tigers held onto the 3-2 lead until the Falcons pulled goaltender Ian Harper in favor of the extra skater with 1:42 remaining. Just nine seconds later, RIT took a 4-2 lead on Lambert's empty-net goal from Hofstetter. With Harper still out of the game, RIT's Matt Harris was called for tripping and the Falcons had a two-man advantage. However, RIT again found the empty net as Darren Doherty scored short-handed to make the final score, 5-2.
The Falcons again struggled on the power play. Air Force scored its first short-handed goal of the season, and the first since the 2003-04 season, but the Falcons were 0-for-24 on the power play in the two games at the Q Cup Tournament.
Air Force out-shot its opponent for the second straight night, but it was not enough. The Falcons out-shot the Tigers, 37-28, in the game and had a shot advantage in the second and third periods.
Harper, a sophomore from Colorado Springs, made 23 saves in his second start of the season. He allowed three goals as two were scored in an empty net. RIT goalie Jocelyn Guimond stopped 35 of the 37 shots he faced.
The Falcons return home to face a pair of nationally-ranked teams. AFA hosts the two-time defending national champion, and second-ranked, Denver Pioneers Friday, Oct. 21, at 7:05 p.m. at Cadet Ice Arena. The Falcons then travel to the south side of Colorado Springs to face sixth-ranked Colorado College, Saturday, Oct. 22, at 7:05 p.m. at the World Arena.