by Amy Moritz
Of course the Frozen Frontier game between RIT and Niagara went into overtime. Of course it did. That's what these two teams do when they play each other.
The 2-2 tie at Frontier Field on Saturday in the first outdoor game for both programs marked the eighth time in the last 11 meetings the teams went into overtime. The record in those games is even at 1-1-6.
The steady snow in the first and second periods made life difficult for both teams. Extended timeouts looked like Saturday Night Free Skate as members of the ice crew shoveled the rink. Players might have tried to ice the puck, but it died just beyond the blue line, trapped in a pile of snow.
Freshmen goalie battles
Niagara's Jackson Teichroeb made 25 saves while RIT's Mike Rotolo made 34. Rotolo, a native of Rochester, is now undefeated in his first six collegiate starts (5-0-1).
Niagara struggles on special teams
The difference in the game came down to special teams, an area where the Purple Eagles have struggled. Niagara went 0-for-5 on the man-advantage, bringing them scoreless in their last 18 power plays, while RIT went 1 for 6.
More outdoor games
Can't get enough of outdoor NCAA Division I hockey? More games are on the way. Niagara-RIT was the first of 11 outdoor games scheduled this season. Atlantic Hockey rivals Bentley and Holy Cross will face off as part of Frozen Fenway on Dec. 28.
In other outdoor games, there are matchups for the Great Lakes Invitational at Comerica Park in conjunction with the Winter Classic and four more games at Frozen Fenway while Ohio State and Minnesota will play at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Jan. 17.
Big win for Bentley
While RIT and Niagara were skating in 16 degrees in downtown Rochester on Saturday, Bentley was racking up a win against Hockey East. The Falcons defeated Boston University, 4-1, at the Terriers' Agganis Arena
Senior Branden Komm, a Williamsville native, stopped 42 of the 43 shots he faced as Bentley improved to 8-7-1 overall.
Atlantic Hockey standings
As teams head into semester break with no conference games until after the first of the year, Mercyhurst continues to hold the top spot in Atlantic Hockey with a 7-1-1 (15 points) record.
Canisius (4-4-1) is in sixth place, but the Golden Griffins are just two-points behind a three-way tie for third with Air Force, UConn and RIT. Niagara (3-4-2) is in seventh place.
How snowy was it?
Here's a Vine video from Saturday night's warmups at Frozen Frontier to give you an idea: