Newark, Del. — The Rider Broncs (20-4-2) continue to enjoy one of their best seasons to date, posting a 6-3 win over in-state rival Rowan (13-10-2) in Friday afternoon’s (Feb. 15) Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Conference North Division semifinal at Gold Arena.
Leading scorer Justin Tiso accounted for two of the Broncs’ six goals, while defencemen Nick Leelum and Michael Jinks both found the back of the Rowan net as well.
Tiso’s first goal came 6:45 into the first period, and was set up by an outlet pass from goalie Angelo Perri before carrying the puck into the Rowan zone along the right-wing boards, angling to the low slot, and firing a bar-down wrist shot past Kyle Rink. First-line centre Jake Lukis doubled the Broncs’ lead with 2:58 left in the period, connecting on the power play while Rowan’s Sam Ahern served a cross-checking minor.
Ahern made amends 4:42 into the second period, assisting Trevor Rucci on a power-play goal to bring the Profs back within one, but the Broncs responded with a four-goal run that put them out of reach. Tiso potted his second of the game at 8:41 before Jinks lifted Rider to a 4-1 lead just 31 seconds later, and Chris Walako — who recorded two assists on the day — combined with second-line teammates Cole Moskal and Vinny Arlotta to give the Broncs their third second-period goal with just nine seconds left.
Shortly after killing off a Walako hooking minor early in a testy third period that saw 37 penalty minutes doled out, Leelum connected on a Walako assist to increase Rider’s lead to 6-1 just 3:47 into the third period. A pair of late goals from Rowan’s leading scorer Ryan Conlin — both off assists from Rucci — proved too little and much too late.
Perri saved 37 of 40 shots faced in victory for Rider, while Rink saved 34 of 40 shots in defeat. Rider’s power play was successful just once in nine attempts, while Rowan connected twice in eight power-play chances.
The Broncs face Penn State (16-4-2) in Saturday’s (Feb. 16) North Division final; game time from Gold Arena is 12:30 p.m. with both the Rowan Television Network and Delaware Hockey Night Radio offering full coverage.
Visit both RTN and DHN Radio for live coverage of the tournament, and bookmark this page for game recaps and other tournament news. Follow @RTNCH5 and @DEHockeyNight on Twitter, and use hashtag #MACH2019 to keep tabs on tournament happenings and get involved in the discussion!
To return to the MACH Tournament News Centre, click here.