RIT Men's Hockey has announced their new additions to the roster. There will be seven freshman coming in and one transfer student. The Tigers will be adding four forwards, three defenseman and a goalie. All eight incoming student athletes come to us from various Junior Hockey Leagues.
The four forwards are Anthony Hamburg (USHL/Colgate University), Andy Miller (USHL), Dan Schuler (BCHL), and Josh Mitchell (BCHL). Mitchell led his team with 58 points in 59 games played and appears to be the most prolific offensive player of the group.
The three defenseman are Rajan Sidhu (BCHL), Alexander Kuqali (USHL), and Brad Shumway (USHL). Shumway had an impressive +22 rating for the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League. All the defenseman are over six feet tall and weigh at least 190 pounds.
We have Ken MacLean coming in to add to the goalie depth. They all will have big shoes to fill with the loss of Shane Madalora. Ken is a big goalie at 6-2 and 195 pounds. He is expected to compete for playing time.
The Tigers will travel to Ann Arbour, Michigan early in the season for a pair of games against the Wolverines. This will be a stiff task for RIT. I would love to say that I think they can win a game, however, my unbiased prediction is that the Tigers will struggle big time in these two games. With that being said, it has always been our coaching staff's mindset, from the periphery, to schedule really difficult games early. The Tigers usually come out of the gate pretty slowly and then build up momentum as they get into conference play. Tougher competition early does prepare the team well for play in the AHA, where the competition will not be comparable to the likes of the Michigan Wolverines.
I do expect another 20 win season for our hockey team. I also believe a trip to the NCAA tournament is a possibility. It will depend on where the goal scoring comes from after some key offensive losses. The goalie situation will also play a huge role in the success of this hockey team.