Note: Audio available for this story
The number-one seeded RIT Tigers men’s hockey team hosts the ninth-seeded University of Connecticut Huskies in the Atlantic Hockey Association Quarterfinals this weekend. The best-of-three series takes place at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday (and Sunday, if necessary) in RIT’s Ritter Arena.
The Tigers (22-11-1, 20-5-1 Atlantic Hockey) enter the weekend’s contests having won six straight games. RIT is 13-2-0 at home this season, outscoring foes 65-26. The Tigers are 4-1 in AHA postseason games at Ritter Arena, scoring 28 goals in those contests.
RIT’s defense has seven shutouts this season, including six over its last 15 games. The seven shutouts tie a team record set in 1983-1984. RIT is tied for fourth nationally, allowing just 2.18 goals per game, and goaltender Jared DeMichiel was the Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Month in February.
RIT’s offense is ninth in the nation, averaging 3.47 goals per game. Sophomore Cameron Burt recorded 15 points in February—a span of eight games—and was named the Atlantic Hockey Player of the Month. Andrew Favot leads the Tigers in scoring with 37 points.
Connecticut (7-25-3, 6-19-3 AHA) defeated No. 8 Bentley 2-1 in an Atlantic Hockey Play-in game on Saturday. Justin Hernandez scored the game-winning goal and added an assist. Garrett Bartus made 27 saves. Andrew Olson leads the team in scoring with 18 points. Olson and Hernandez are tied for the team lead with eight goals. Bartus emerged as the starting goaltender and has a 5-12-1 mark, 3.20 goals against average and .898 save percentage.
RIT finished 3-1 against Connecticut this season, outscoring them 18-4. RIT defeated Connecticut 7-0 and 6-1 at Ritter Arena on Oct. 30-31. Defensemen Alan Mazur and Dan Ringwald recorded back-to-back hat-tricks in those wins. The two teams split a pair of games in Storrs, as RIT won 4-0 on Jan. 15, while the Huskies earned a 2-1 win the following night. The Tigers are 12-6-1 all-time against Connecticut.
Tickets for this weekend’s games 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 and $5 for students with ID. Fans can buy reserved seats, in Section 100, for $12 ($7 for students with ID). If Sunday’s game is necessary, the Gordon Field House box office will be open 1–5 p.m.
Friday’s and Saturday’s games will be aired live on Time Warner Cable Sports channel 98 with Gene Battaglia and John Ditullio calling the action. If RIT plays on Sunday, the game will be aired on Time Warner Cable Sports channel 26.
All games can be heard on WITR-FM (89.7). WITR will host tailgate parties 4–6 p.m., in D Lot, prior to each game.
If RIT advances, the Tigers will play in the Atlantic Hockey Final Four March 19–20 at Blue Cross Arena. Tickets are on sale at the Gordon Field House, Blue Cross Arena box office and ticketmaster.com for $16 for either day or $28 for the entire weekend ($11 for either day or $22 for the weekend for students).