It is the last weekend of the regular season for RIT Hockey. The Tigers have a home and home against rival Canisius College. It is very tight in the Atlantic Hockey standings; RIT is fighting for a first round bye. RIT will have to sweep Canisius this weekend to achieve a top four seeding for the playoffs. They will also need some help from other teams for this to happen. A top four seeding will ensure that RIT will not have to leave Rochester for the Atlantic Hockey playoffs.
RIT has made some real gains in the second half of the season. If the team played the way they played the second half right from the start of the season, I believe they would have a top four spot locked up right now. The goalie situation seems to be resolved, with Jordan Ruby emerging as the starter. It seems that the team has figured out the defensive zone and odd man rush issues that plagued them early in the season. With this team playing so well right now, they do have a legitimate shot to win the conference tournament and earn a berth for the NCAA tournament.
Speaking of the NCAA tournament, the Pairwise Rankings, which determine the at large bids for the sixteen team tournament, are very tight. If someone other than Niagara wins the AHA Tournament then we will have two AHA teams in the NCAA tournament. If this happens it would really throw a wrench into the tournament seedings and leave a team out of the NCAA tournament who would otherwise have made the sixteen team field. Atlantic Hockey is not the only conference where this could happen, so nothing is set in stone until all the conference tournaments are completed. College Hockey is going to get very interesting over the next month. The parity in College Hockey is incredible where any team could beat any team on any given night. As always, a hot goalie will determine the fate of most of these teams. I think that we are going to have somewhat of a surprise for a national champion this year. There are probably 10-12 teams that have a legitimate shot of winning the NCAA Championship.
RIT is home tonight at the Ritter Arena. I believe they will win handily tonight. I am going to call a shutout for Jordan Ruby tonight. The Tigers travel to Buffalo State, I mean Canisius College, tomorrow night and will win that game too. I think RIT will sneak into that 4th spot in Atlantic Hockey for the playoff run.
LAST WEEK’S PREDICTION RECORD: 1-1 (.500)
THIS WEEK’S PREDICTION:
RIT Sweeps Canisius
SEASON PREDICTION RECORD: 15-11-4 (.567)