COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — The RIT men’s hockey team (3-6-1, 3-4-0 Atlantic Hockey) rallied from a 3-0 deficit, but ultimately dropped game one of the weekend series at host Air Force Academy (5-3-1, 3-2-0 Atlantic Hockey), 4-3 at Cadet Ice Arena Friday evening. Jordan Himley would score the game-winning goal with 1:13 left in regulation.
Todd Skirving (Thunder Bay, Ontario/Sioux Falls Stampede), Chase Norrish (Strongfield, Saskatchewan/Yorkton Terriers) and Ryan Kruper (Sherwood Park, Alberta/Sherwood Park Crusaders) scored for RIT, while Garrett McMullen (Churchville, NY/Trail Smoke Eaters), Max Mikowski (Cheekotwaga, NY/Buffalo Jr. Sabres), Brady Norrish (Strongfield, Saskatchewan/Yorkton Terriers), Myles Powell (Courtenay, British Columbia/Cowichan Valley Capitals) and Caleb Cameron (Sundridge, Ontario/Listowel Cyclones) added assists for the Tigers. Mike Rotolo (Rochester, NY/Cedar Rapids Roughriders) made 20 stops in goal.
Himley scored a pair of goals for the Falcons, while Trevor Stone and Tyler Rostenkowski also scored. Kyle Haak added three assists. Shane Starrett made 29 saves to earn the win.
RIT out-shot Air Force, 32-24, including 24-12 after the first period. The Tigers finished the game 1-for-5 on the power-play, while the Falcons were 0-for-8. RIT has now killed off 22 straight penalties.
Air Force opened the scoring with two goals in the first period. Himley potted his second goal of the season for the Falcons 11:36 into the frame. As the clock was dwindling down in the period, Air Force capitalize on a turnover in the RIT defensive end, and Stone made it 2-0 with 14.8 seconds left.
The Falcons struck first again in the second period, upping their lead to 3-0 lead 3:02 into the frame. The Tigers came back just 43 seconds later, as Todd Skirving (Thunder Bay, Ontario/Sioux Falls Stampede) fired a rebound home for his first goal of the season, making it 3-1. Garrett McMullen (Churchville, NY/Trail Smoke Eaters) and Max Mikowski (Cheekotwaga, NY/Buffalo Jr. Sabres) both registered their first points of the season, with assists on the tally. The end of the period saw two separate scrums after hits on each end of the ice, which resulted in 85 penalty minutes.
The Tigers came back with two straight goals in the third period to tie the game. Chase Norrish (Strongfield, Saskatchewan/Yorkton Terriers) ripped a slap-shot from the point on the power-play, making it 3-2 with 13:25 left in regulation. Just over three minutes later, Kruper tallied his first collegiate goal on a rebound off a 2-on-1 rush, after Caleb Cameron (Sundridge, Ontario/Listowel Cyclones) had his initial shot stopped, tying the game at three.
As time was fading in the third, Jordan Himley scored the game-winning goal for the Falcons, with 1:13 remaining. Haak stole a puck behind the net and fed Himley, who was all alone in front.
RIT would get two great chances in the final 30 seconds, but could not get the tying goal.
RIT and Air Force will return to play on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. EST/3:05 p.m. MT for the second game of the weekend series at Cadet Ice Arena.