|Wayne Wilson, head coach, talks to his teammates after the first period when RIT was losing, 0 - 2.
Upon entering the Ritter Arena on January 30, the usual sea of orange was replaced with light pink, draped over everything conceivable. From pink ribbons, to pink shirts, pink pom-poms and pink jerseys, it wouldn’t have been surprising if Barbie sang the national anthem. The presence of all this pink was in a grander effort to raise money, as well as awareness, for the Rochester General’s Lipson Cancer Center, as well as the Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation.
Both the Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams, along with the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, came together to raise money and bring attention to this prominent cause. The Men and Women Tigers ditched their usual armor and donned pink jerseys. Even head Coach Wayne Wilson sported a pink shirt and tie in support of the cause, and looked fabulous doing it.
The remaining jerseys were then entered in an online auction, where people could bid on them individually, with all the proceeds going towards the Rochester General’s Lipson Cancer Center. The men’s jerseys went for anywhere from $145 to $500; the women’s jerseys sold for anywhere between $150 to $315.
Zeta Tau Alpha also sold limited edition pink Tiger t-shirts, with all the proceeds going towards the Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation. These shirts were sold on campus throughout the course of the week and at the game, where the sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha sold out in all sizes. These combined efforts raised thousands of dollars for both causes.
A change of color scheme from a ferocious orange and black to a soft pink surprisingly did not change the mood. From start to finish, there was an electric atmosphere in the arena for this sold out hockey game against Bentley. The corner crew stood and chanted for the entire game along with the majority of the crowd.
The first period opened with RIT winning the drop and the Tigers instantly feeding off of the energy of the crowd, applying continuous pressure on Bentley. Five minutes into the first, and nary a whistle was blown. The Tigers proceeded to keep up a strong defense, taking frequent shots. Unfortunately, they didn’t quite get lucky enough to sink any goals. Then, the whistle blew, and Bentley’s Preece scored on fourth year Business major Jared DeMichiel during an RIT power play.
Five minutes later, Preece scored again on DeMichiel, slamming the puck in right under the crossbar. Tiger fans were not spiritually defeated and preceded to chant and rally. This was only the third time this season that RIT has allowed two goals in during the same period.
With several minutes left on the clock, Bentley slipped up and handed the puck right over to RIT, who set up the goal perfectly. Third year Business major Tyler Mazzei retrieved the loose puck immediately and sent it right over to third year Business Marketing major Andrew Favot, who put the puck right behind the Falcon goalie, making it his sixth goal of the season. That goal noticeably fired up RIT for the rest of the period as they applied heavy defense and out-shot Bentley 15 - 7 in the first. The period came to an end with a score of two to one, the Tigers trailing, but not defeated.
The second period started off on a slow note for the Tigers. Bentley scored almost immediately into the second, reclaiming their two point lead on the Tigers. DeMichiel, caught in a two-player gang up, skillfully deflected a shot by Bentley’s Campanelli, but he just missed the rebound shot made by Bentley’s Stonacek. Thus, making the score three to one.
When the game began to look grim, second year Finance major Cameron Burt stepped up his game and scored on Bentley with a crowd pumping backhanded shot. Bentley then scored; however, the goal was waved off due to an interference. Two minutes later, Burt scored again on a power play quick shot to tie up the game, Burt’s 10th and 11th goals for the season. The fans, riled up by Burt’s goals, proceeded to do the wave and the arena became filled with the chanting and shouting of Tiger fans.
The Tigers cycled to puck around in an attempt to tire Bentley out. And just when the rope-a-dope looked to be working, Bentley scored again. However, the goal was waved off again due to a high stick. Just as the second came to a close, fourth year Business major Dan Ringwald received a penalty, and the Tigers found themselves starting off the third short-handed.
The third period started off with a tied score and a Bentley power play. Bentley scored soon after to make the score 4 to 3 early in the period. Bentley began to apply some heavy pressure to the Tigers and another shot took by Preece went by DeMichiel, to put the score at 5 to 3. The crowd started to grow quiet when the Tigers got a power play with eight minutes remaining in the third. During the power play, first year Finance major Chris Tanev slipped one past the goalie to make it his sixth for the season.
The scoreboard lit up 5 to 4 and all the fans were whooping and hollering, hoping for overtime. The Tigers pulled DeMichiel with a minute left in hopes of scoring a goal on Bentley to tie up the game. Four shots were made by the Tigers in the last minute of the game, unfortunately all were unsuccessful and Bentley walked away with a
5 - 4 win.
The Tigers put forth continuous effort and regardless of the outcome of the game, they were pleased to be a part of something bigger, bringing awareness to and raising money towards cancer. The game was relatively close; unfortunately, RIT could not fend off Bentley’s Bobby Preece and chalked up a loss with a final score of 5 - 4. This was RIT’s first Atlantic Hockey Association home game lost this season.
The Tigers split the weekend series against Sacred Heart, winning 5-2 on Friday, February 5 and losing 4 - 5 the next day. The next home game for the Tigers lands on February 19 against Air Force.