Men’s hockey looks to stay hot on the road this weekend

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Trevor Eckenswiller and the Tigers look to stay hot this weekend at Bentley.

The RIT Tigers men’s hockey team opens the 2009 portion of its schedule with a weekend series at Atlantic Hockey foe Bentley College. Contests will be played at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 2-3.

RIT (8-9-1, 5-4-1 AHA), second in the AHA standings with 15 points, enters 2009 on a roll, having won three straight. Last time out, on Dec. 12-13, the Tigers dispatched high-flying Mercyhurst, which had won six in a row, 6-2 and 5-3. The Tigers scored 11 goals in the games, the most in a single-weekend since tallying 16 in two wins over American International in October 2006. Thirteen different RIT players recorded a point and eight separate men scored goals.

Andrew Favot, Chris Haltigin and Jared DeMichiel were named the Atlantic Hockey Association Player, Rookie and Goaltender of the Week, respectively, for the week ending Dec. 13, 2008. DeMichiel was recognized after holding Air Force, the highest scoring team in the nation, to only 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.

Bentley (6-8-1, 5-4-1 Atlantic Hockey) comes into the weekend series looking to snap a three-game losing streak. Three weekends ago, the Falcons were swept in a pair of non-conference games at Ohio State, losing 10-1 and 3-2 in overtime. The Falcons are fifth in the conference with 11 points in 10 games. Dain Prewitt and Dustin Cloutier lead the Falcons in scoring with 10 points apiece. Freshman Kyle Rank and junior Joe Calvi have split the goaltending duties this season. Calvi is 4-3-0, while Rank leads the way with a 2.85 goals against average and .907 save percentage.

RIT leads the all-time series between the two schools 7-3-1. Last season, Tigers went 3-0-1 against Bentley, winning 3-2 and earning a 2-2 tie on the road in late 2007, while concluding the regular season with consecutive 5-2 wins at home. RIT outscored Bentley 15-8 in the four meetings a year ago. The Tigers clinched the 2006-2007 Atlantic Hockey Regular Season Championship with a 3-0 win at Bentley on Feb. 23, 2007.

After this weekend, the Tigers return home to the friendly confines of Ritter Arena for a four-game homestand, with two contests against Connecticut on Jan. 9-10 and American International on Jan. 16-17.

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