Men’s hockey winning tradition: Tigers advance to NCAA Tournament

RIT making its 14th trip to ‘big dance,’ first since 2001-2002 season

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RIT captains pose with Atlantic Hockey Association Commissioner Bob DeGregorio (far left) and Bruce Levine of the B2 Network following Saturday’s 6-1 victory over Sacred Heart that sent the Tigers to the 2010 NCAA Division I Tournament.

For the first time since moving to Division I in 2005, the RIT men’s hockey team (26-11-1) will be one of just 16 teams to compete in the 2010 NCAA Division I Tournament.

The Tigers, who earned an NCAA berth by winning the Atlantic Hockey Tournament with a 6-1 victory over Sacred Heart Saturday at Blue Cross Arena, will face No. 2-seed Denver (the first seed in the East Region) at 3 p.m. Friday in Albany.

RIT is the hottest team in the nation, having won 10 straight games. The 26 wins are a team record at the Division I level and third most in the nation this season. RIT is among the national leaders in scoring offense, scoring defense and power-play percentage.

The Tigers have enjoyed a storied legacy, as a national power at the Division II and III levels. RIT will be making its 14th trip in the past 28 years to the “big dance” and its first since the 2001-2002 season.

RIT won the 1983 National Championship at the Division II level and the 1985 National Championship at the Division III level. RIT earned National Runner-Up honors in 1989, 1996 and 2001. The Tigers made the National Final Four in 1984, 1986 and 1999.

RIT joins Bemidji State and Minnesota State (formerly Mankato State University) as the only NCAA teams to compete in the NCAA Tournament at the Division I, II and III levels.

“To win the AHA Tournament and get to the NCAA Tournament is a culmination of all the players that have come before all the way back in the Division III days,” said RIT Head Coach Wayne Wilson. “RIT has a great hockey tradition and this is another step in that tradition.”

For a complete game summary, see Men’s hockey advances to NCAA Tournament after defeating Sacred Heart in the AHA Championship.