Men’s hockey to host red-hot Mercyhurst this weekend in final contests of 2008

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Jesse Newman (right) and Justin Hofstetter combined to score against Holy Cross on Oct. 31. They will look to lead the Tigers against Mercyhurst at Ritter Arena this weekend.

The RIT Tigers men’s hockey team takes on the Mercyhurst Lakers at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12-13, at Ritter Arena, in a pair of Atlantic Hockey contests. The teams are tied for second in the AHA standings with 11 points.

There will be a 40th anniversary celebration of Ritter Arena on Saturday, with classic photos and mementos on display throughout the lobby.

RIT (6-9-1, 5-4-1 AHA) comes into this weekend fresh off a dramatic, 3-2 overtime win at #10 Air Force Dec. 6. Andrew Favot scored the game-winner with 38 seconds left in overtime after Brennan Sarazin tied the game with just two minutes left in regulation. It was the highest ranked team that RIT has defeated in four years of Division I play.

Goaltender Jared DeMichiel made 39 saves in the win. He was named the Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Week, after holding Air Force, the highest scoring team in the nation, to just four goals on 65 shots in two contests. DeMichiel, who has started five of the last six games, is 4-4-0 with a 2.56 goals against average and .912 save percentage.

Mercyhurst (7-8-1, 5-2-1 AHA) is one of the hottest teams in Division I, riding a six-game winning streak and seven-game unbeaten streak. Last weekend, Mercyhurst crushed American International in back-to-back games, 6-3 and 11-1. The Lakers have out-scored their opponents 39-14 during their six-game winning streak. Mercyhurst is the third highest scoring team in Division I.

RIT leads the all-time series between the two schools 21-12-4, and the Tigers are 5-3-1 against Mercyhurst since moving to Division I in 2005. Last season, RIT went 2-1-1 against Mercyhurst, losing 6-3 and winning 3-2 at Ritter Arena, while skating to a 3-3 tie and winning 4-2 at Mercyhurst. The Tigers fired 174 shots on goal in the four games last season, including a season-high 54 on Nov. 17.

Tickets are available for this weekend’s games at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center Box Office or by phone at (585) 475-4121. Fans can also purchase tickets via Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for RIT faculty, staff and alumni and $5 for students with ID.

Both games will be aired live on Time Warner Cable Sports channel 26, with Gene Battaglia and John Ditullio bringing you the action.

Games also can be heard on WITR-FM (89.7). For more, visit RIT Athletics.