SCHENECTADY, NY– The RIT women's hockey team (9-1-1, 4-3-1 CHA) dropped their first game of the 2014 calendar year, 2-1, in an overtime heartbreaker to Union (7-12-0, 2-6-0 ECAC) at Frank L. Mezza Rink on Friday evening. Celeste Brown (Great Falls, MT/National Sports Academy) scored the lone goal for RIT and Ali Binnington (Oakville, Ontario/Mississauga Chiefs) was fantastic in net for the Tigers making a handful of fantastic saves throughout the game.
Brown's goal came in the third with just 10:15 to go. It was her seventh goal of the season. Kourtney Kunichika (Fullerton, CA/LA Selects) assisted on the goal.
Binnington made 20 saves on 22 total shots in net, and kept her team in the game with her dominant play.
"I thought after we got our only goal we relaxed a bit," said Head Coach Scott McDonald. "We let Union get back into the game, and then in the overtime they wanted it more than us."
Stefanie Thomson scored the first Union goal late in the third period to force overtime, where Kathryn Tomaselli put the game away with a goal right out in front of the net.
Shenae Lundberg was solid in goal for the Dutchwomen as well, as she saved 19 of the Tigers 20 shots in the win.
The first period began with some quick offensive pressure by RIT but it didn't last, as they only managed one shot on goal through the first seven minutes of play. At the 11:30 mark Binnington made a terrific pad save off a shot from Rebecca Babiak who intercepted an RIT pass out in front of net, to keep the game scoreless. A clean period turned messy quick as a tripping penalty by Union would put the Tigers on the first power play of the game. Just minutes later Union would commit a second penalty that would put RIT a 5-on-3 situation for five seconds. The RIT power play showed some rust however, as Union was able to easily kill off the penalties and create some scoring chances themselves.
In the second it was much of the same after RIT killed off the penalty, as neither team could seem to get anything going offensively. A Tiger penalty with 8:57 to go put Union back on the power play as the Dutchwomen finally generated some consistent offense. Binnington however, stepped up again making some huge saves during the penalty kill, as the teams remained tied at 0-0. Late in the period RIT would nearly break the scoreless tie after an Erin Zach (Elmira, Ontario/Cambridge Fury) deflection trickled just outside the left post.
Both teams were locked in as the third period began, as their offenses seemed to come alive. With 15:12 left, Binnington added another great save to her highlight reel corralling the puck off an out of the air deflection to keep it scoreless. Finally with just 10:15 remaining Brown broke through to give RIT the 1-0 lead. That would be short lived by the Tigers though as just five minutes later Thomson's goal evened it up at 1-1.
The teams headed to overtime and with just over a minute to go Tomaselli cashed in to give the Dutchwomen the 2-1 win. RIT was outshot by Union, 22-20 in the loss.
RIT is right back in action tomorrow, Saturday Jan. 4, to finish up the two game series with Union. Puck drops at 4 p.m. as the Tigers will wrap up their 2013-14 non-conference schedule.
Courtesy RIT Athletic Communications
Courtesy Penn State Athletic Communications