The Dutchmen (11-14) took a surprising 2-0 lead late in the first period with goals 22 seconds apart by Dan Dickinson and Jon Fogel.
"They're (Guilderland) a very opportunistic team, and the chances that we gave them they capitalized on" said de la Rocha. "Their goalie (Brendan Glennon) came up huge for them, especially in the first period, and that's what really tipped the scale in their favor early on and throughout the game."
The Plainsmen (19-4-2) struck back at 14:59 when Caruso fired a blast from just inside the blue line as time expired. Shen drew even at 1:33 of the second period with a power play goal by junior Adam Hitchko, who deposited a rebound behind Guilderland goalie Brendan Glennon. Caruso then put a weak wrister on net that handcuffed Glennon to give the Plainsmen a 3-2 lead.
Guilderland tied the game at three 49 seconds later when senior captain Ben Fogel passed the puck out of the right corner to sophomore Collin Burg, who was waiting at the doorstep of the goal to fire it by Greg Hitchko.
The Dutchmen then took a 4-3 lead at 3:33 of the third period when senior center John Potts hit Fogel with a cross-ice pass for a score over the shoulder of Hitchko, who finished with 18 saves.
The Plainsmen tied the game at 7:20 of the third after Caruso intercepted a weak clearing attempt by Jon Fogel and tucked a short-handed goal behind Glennon, who finished with 34 saves. Caruso finished his four-goal night at the 10:18 mark of the third period to put Shen ahead for good.
"My young team wasn't able to respond from that," said DeRubertis. "We fought adversity all night by coming back from a couple of deficits, and for that to happen, it was devastating."