No. 3 RIT Routs No. 6 Tufts in NCAA Quarterfinals to Advance

ROCHESTER, NY RIT (18-2) advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III championship with a 14-5 win over Tufts (16-5) in the quarterfinals on Wednesday afternoon. The Tigers, ranked third in the final USILA Division III poll, will face No. 1 and undefeated Cortland in the semifinals on Sunday, May 19 in Cortland, N.Y.

"I thought that was a complete team effort today," said RIT head coach Jake Coon. "Our defense was great, (Pat) Johnston was great in net, the face-off guys were great, and our offense played great."

RIT's defense held the Jumbos to five goals, forcing Tufts into 21 turnovers. Pat Johnston (Norwell, MA/Norwell) picked up his 18th win of the season, making 15 saves. Luke Wolfe (Buffalo, NY/Williamsville North) and Joe Dupra (Pittsford, NY/Pittsford Mendon) led RIT with two caused turnovers apiece, while Elliott Cowburn (Oakville, ON/Holy Trinity) had a caused turnover and six ground balls.

"Our defense had a game plan going into today and they stuck with it," said Coon. "They played under control and let Pat see the shots coming and he made the saves."

Jack Krzyston (Bedford, NH/Bishop Guertin), Eddie Kiesa (Syracuse, NY/Jamesville-Dewitt) and Kyle Aquin (Hamilton, Ontario/St. Jean De Brebeuf) led RIT's offense with four points apiece. Kryzston and Kiesa each had three goals and an assist, while Aquin tallied two goals and dished out a pair of assists. Allister Warren (Toronto, Ontario/Malvern Collegiate Institute) scored a pair of goals, while Taylor Wisman (Seattle, WA/Inglemoor) had a goal and two assists for the Tigers who advance to their second national semifinals in three years.

"Our offense executed the game plan very well today," stated Coon who is now 67-12 (.848) in four years at the helm of the Tigers program. "We stayed under control and buried shots when we had them."

Shots were 43-34 in favor of RIT, who also won the ground ball battle 48-32. The Tigers dominated at the face-off "X", winning 16 of 23. Junior Tyler Brooks-Lambert (Seneca Castle, NY/Midlakes) won 13 of 20 draws and had nine ground balls. PJ Hart (Camillus, NY/West Genesee) was 3 for 3 on the afternoon.

"Brooks-Lambert, Hart and Mac Keehfus (Jamesville, NY/Jamesville-Dewitt), Luke Wolfe (Buffalo, NY/Williamsville North), Brad Gillies (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) and Matt Hossack (Port Perry, Ontario/Port Perry) all did outstanding jobs today on face-offs," said Coon. "If the face-off guys didn't win it clean, our wings would come in and win the ground ball."

Andrew Fiamengo led Tufts with a goal and an assist. Chris Schoenhut, Cole Bailey, Garrett Clarke and Peter Bowers each had goals for the Jumbos who finish their season with a 16-5 record. Patton Watkins took the loss in net for Tufts, making 17 saves.

Wisman opened the scoring with 9:57 to play in the first quarter on his 27th goal of the season. Then, Kryzston scored off a feed from Aquin with 3:08 to play in the opening quarter to give RIT a 2-0 lead.

After an Andrew Fiamengo goal cut RIT's lead to 2-1, goals by Aquin and Gillies to close out the quarter gave RIT a 4-1 lead.

Krzyston and Zack Thompson (Orangeville, Ontario/Culver Academy) opened the scoring in the second quarter, extending RIT's lead to 6-1 at the 12:09 mark of the quarter.

Schoenhut scored a man-up goal with 11:09 to play in the half cutting the Tiger's lead to 6-2.

The Tigers rattled off four straight goals in the second quarter, taking a 10-2 lead on Kiesa's second goal of the quarter off an assist from Krzyston. Aquin, Hossack and Kiesa each had goals in that stretch for RIT.

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