RIT Hockey travels to Niagara University for a best two out of three series against the Purple Eagles this weekend. The Tigers have never won at Dwyer Arena; this will be an uphill battle to say the least. RIT swept AIC last weekend to reach the quarterfinals of the AHA conference tournament. Life has been very busy the last 3 weeks with admissions committee review and personal situations so I missed the blog last week. I would have taken the RIT sweep over AIC but I can’t take credit for that since I never wrote the blog.
I have never had the opportunity to see the new locker room and facilities over at the Ritter. This week I went over to meet with a recruit for the coaching staff and Brian Hills gave me the tour of the facility. The players have a pro style locker room over there. These facilities are huge in the recruitment process. As the recruits go on their visits and see the different universities and what they have to offer, the locker room is a big part of the process. It brought me back to the days when I went on my visits. I only took two official visits because I signed early (before my final season at the Northwood School in Lake Placid, NY) with RPI. My other official visit was to UVM and their Gutterson Field House. I remember seeing the facilities and being in awe of all that was available to the players. It is such an incredible time for the players in their hockey careers and a true honor to even be considered for one of the Division 1 hockey programs.
I have a weird feeling about this weekend against Niagara. RIT has played well against Niagara this year, for the most part. There is a ton at stake for both teams this weekend. Currently, Niagara is in the top 16 in the PWR, which determines the at large bids for the 16 team NCAA Tournament. The winners of all the conference tournaments will get an automatic bid, so RIT has to win the AHA conference tournament to receive a bid to the NCAA tournament. If Niagara loses to RIT this weekend I think they will fall out of the top 16 in the PWR and will not get an at large bid. As a result, this series is a must win for both teams. I have RIT winning Friday, Niagara winning Saturday and RIT winning Sunday. I have RIT pulling a huge upset this weekend, ending the Purple Eagles season.
LAST WEEK’S PREDICTION RECORD: 0-2 (.000)
THIS WEEK’S PREDICTION:
RIT wins Friday night. Niagara wins Saturday night. RIT wins Sunday.
SEASON PREDICTION RECORD: 15-13-4 (.531)