The RIT Tigers men’s hockey team looks to clinch its third Atlantic Hockey Association regular-season title in four years when it hosts the Air Force Falcons tonight and Saturday night at Ritter Arena.
RIT (18-11-1, 18-5-1 AHA) needs just one win to clinch the top seed for the 2010 Atlantic Hockey Postseason Tournament. RIT has 37 points in conference play and leads second-place Sacred Heart by six points; the Tigers lead third-place Air Force by seven points with four regular-season games left to play.
RIT, ranked fifth nationally on defense, has allowed just 2.27 goals per game. Goaltender Jared DeMichiel was named the Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Week on Monday and is seventh in the nation with a 2.19 goals-against average. The Tigers have allowed just 45 goals in 24 Atlantic Hockey contests this season—the fewest in the league. RIT has five players with at least 20 points and 13 in double figures this season.
Air Force (12-12-6, 12-6-6 AHA), three-time defending conference champions, enter this weekend’s contests with 30 points. Jacques Lamoureux, a 2009 Hobey Baker Award finalist, leads the team in scoring with 18 goals and 35 points in 30 games. Derrick Burnett is second with 27 points and leads the team with 20 assists. Goaltender Andrew Volkening has played in all 30 games this season and has a 12-12-6 record, 2.54 goals-against average and .915 save percentage.
Last season, the Tigers and Falcons shared the regular-season title.
RIT will be looking for revenge on the Falcons after losing a pair of one-goal games on the road in October. Air Force scored with 1:45 left in regulation to win 5-4 on the first night. The following day, the Falcons scored with one second left in overtime to defeat the Tigers 3-2. It was the first and only time that RIT was swept in a weekend series in four years of Atlantic Hockey play. Air Force leads the all-time series between the two schools 12-10-2.
Tickets for this weekend’s games, both starting at 7:05 p.m., are available at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center Box Office, by phone at 585-475-4121 and via ticketmaster.com. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for RIT faculty, staff and alumni, and $5 for students with ID. Reserved seats, in section 100 and 101, are $12 for adults, $10 for RIT faculty, staff and alumni, and $7 for students
Both games will be aired live on Time Warner Cable Sports channel 26 with Gene Battaglia and John Ditullio calling the action. Games also can be heard on WITR-FM (89.7). WITR will host tailgate parties 4–6 p.m., in D Lot, prior to both games.