RIT and Mercyhurst square off tonight in semifinal action at Blue Cross Arena

Winner of tonight’s game advances to Atlantic Hockey Final this Saturday; champion earns an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament

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RIT goaltenders Louis Menard (above) and Jared DeMichiel have 10 and 13 wins, respectively, this season.

The RIT Tigers men’s hockey team battles the Mercyhurst College Lakers in Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament action at 7:35 tonight at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.

The contest features two of the hottest teams in the nation as second-seed RIT is 18-3-1 over its last 22 games and third-seed Mercyhurst is 14-2-1 over its last 17 contests. The Lakers are the highest scoring team in the country, averaging 3.95 goals per game; the Tigers are third, averaging 3.89 goals per contest. RIT leads all of Division I with 12 shorthanded goals.

This marks the second consecutive year RIT has advanced to the semifinal round. If RIT wins, the Tigers will face either Air Force or Bentley College for the Atlantic Hockey championship at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Top-seed Air Force and fourth-seed Bentley square off at 4:05 p.m. today at Blue Cross Arena.

RIT (23-12-2) advanced into this weekend’s action after beating Holy Cross in a three-game quarterfinal round last weekend at Ritter Arena. RIT dropped game one of the series 5-3 on Friday, before rebounding to win 6-4 on Saturday and 9-5 on Sunday—when the Tigers set a Division I school record for goals in a game.

Mercyhurst (21-14-3), riding a four-game winning streak, is one of the hottest teams in Division I. The Lakers, who have won nine of their last 10 contests, advanced into the semifinals after sweeping Army in two games in quarterfinal action last weekend.

Earlier this season, RIT swept Mercyhurst by scores of 6-2 and 5-3 at Ritter Arena. The Tigers lead the all-time series between the two schools 23-12-4.

The winner of Saturday’s Atlantic Hockey Association Final earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Tickets are available for this weekend’s games at the Blue Cross Arena box office or via ticketmaster.com. The two-day, four-game pass (which includes the Section V Exceptional Senior game at 2 p.m. Saturday ) is $32 for adults and $22 for students. Single-day passes are $18 and $12.

Tonight’s game can be heard on WITR-FM (89.7).

For more, visit RIT Athletics.

Note: Audio available for this story