Men's Ice Hockey Update/Recap
The first of a two part College & Careers series is complete and I have survived the two day marathon. As I am sure many of you know College & Careers is an opportunity for high school students who will be seniors next year, to come to RIT and experience campus life. Students will take part in many entertainment options, program workshops, admissions and financial aid sessions, coupled with the opportunity for parents to attend information sessions on the RIT campus. The students stay overnight in the dorms on Friday night which will further increase their experiences away from mom and dad. The program was very well attended with over 500 high school students from over 30 states.
As one of the Assistant Director’s in the Undergraduate Admissions Office at RIT, I also stayed in the dorms for the event. I was treated to a blast from my past as I walked into the Gleason Dormitory; that being the men’s hockey team. The men’s hockey team is the only Division 1 sport at RIT; as a result this tends to be a school spirited way to kick off a Friday or Saturday night. I graduated from RIT in 1999 and played on the men’s hockey team, this is where the blast from my past comes into play. The guys were in town for some mid-summer testing required by Coach Wayne Wilson. On Friday night they were just hanging out in the dorms as a team, playing jokes on each other and just being hockey guys in general, I will leave it at that! The testing activities were to begin at 8am and the guys were in bed before me, a TOTAL shocker! The testing involved weight training and cardiovascular testing which is used as a litmus test to identify what the guys have been doing over the summer. Saturday was extremely hot in
2:30pm-3:15pm Eat a quick snack
4:00pm-6:00pm Practice at the Ritter
6:00pm-7:30pm Weight/Cardio training
11:00pm Freetime/Social Time/ Bedtime
Once the season actually kicks into full swing they will be out of town when they have away games from Thursday until late Saturday night, early Sunday morning. It is a GRIND! There are some that think athletes get a free pass on some things, NOT at RIT! With the competitive nature of this university, these guys are pulled in so many directions it is easy to forget what day you are living! With all this being said, I miss it so much! The biggest thing is the camaraderie with your fellow teammates; this is what I miss the most! I will be writing an athletic blog and will do my best to include all sports in my blogging. I am well versed in most, however, some I will have to do some research. I wanted to start with the hockey team; RIT’s College & Careers event just happened to be the perfect segue for me to get started. For this first blog I want to start with a recap of last year’s season for the men’s ice hockey team.
The 2007-2008 RIT men’s hockey team had another successful season, winning 19 games and finishing 2nd in Division 1 Atlantic Hockey Association conference play. While not quite making the NCAA tournament was a disappointment in their first year of eligibility for the post season tournament, that first time achievement seems right around the corner.
RIT beat perennial ECAC power Cornell 4-1 in front of 5,142 fans at the Blue Cross Arena in downtown
Senior forward Simon Lambert recorded 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points, good for 5th in the nation in NCAA Division 1. Lambert was selected as a Hobey Baker finalist, NCAA Division 1 hockey’s top player. This is the first RIT men’s hockey player to be selected for this prestigious honor. Lambert played professionally with the Victoria Salmon Kings of the East Coast Hockey League following his senior season at RIT. He played in 6 games, totaling 3 assists for 3 points.
Senior forward Matt Smith led the team in goals with 27. He led the nation in power play goals with 17. He had a total of 27 goals, 12 assists for 39 points. Matt played professionally after his senior season at RIT for the South Carolina Stingrays in the East Coast Hockey League. He tallied 5 goals and 2 assists for 7 points in 7 games played. The Stingrays kept Matt around for their playoff run where he played in 13 games, scoring a goal and 3 assists for 4 points.
Coach Wayne Wilson has another strong freshman class lined up, “RIT’s hockey program continues to recruit strong student-athletes that will not only contribute to the hockey team’s success, but to the RIT community as well.” AHA All-Academic honors were awarded to 17 members of the 2007-2008 RIT men’s hockey team.
In general, it was a successful season for the men’s hockey team, although I am sure they were disappointed to miss out on the NCAA tournament. Judging from what I saw in their midsummer work-out, the team is poised to make a run at NCAA’s in 2008-2009. To a man, the guys looked to be in great shape and Coach Wilson has recruited a strong freshman class. Stay tuned as the season progresses for updates about the team and their run towards a first NCAA tournament bid for the RIT Tigers!