Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving break and the week that followed. We are quickly closing in on the end of the calendar year and a well deserved break for the student-athletes and athletics staff.
The men’s hockey squad ended November on a high-note with a win and tie at Bentley over the weekend. RIT has a five-game unbeaten streak (2-0-3). On Friday, a three-goal second period was the difference for the Tigers. On Saturday, the Tigers thought they had the game won in overtime, but the goal by Sean Murphy was waved off by the referee, even though the goal light went on. Everyone I talked to, however, agreed with the referees ruling.
The Tigers ended November with a 4-3-3 mark. It is the first time RIT has recorded three ties in a month since January, 1998. The Tigers played five overtime games in November, most in the program’s history.
December was the month where RIT started to make its run towards the Atlantic Hockey regular season title a year ago. RIT entered play in December 2006 with a 4-5-2 mark. The Tigers went 5-1 last December en route to a 12-3-0 run through the end of January.
Goaltender Louie Menard went 4-2-3 with a 2.36 goals against average and .922 save percentage in November. He lowered his goals against average from 4.06 to 2.77 and raised his save percentage from .872 to .909. He allowed just nine goals in his last five outings (four overtime) of the month. In addition, the sophomore netminder earned Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week honors for the second straight week and third time this season.
RIT travels to American International for a pair of games this weekend. The Tigers have never lost to the Yellow Jackets, with an 8-0-1 all-time mark. RIT won all four meetings between the two clubs last season, outscoring AIC 25-7 in the four contests.
Even though the men’s basketball lost to conference foe St. John Fisher in a close game on Friday, RIT is off to a tremendous start. The Tigers defeated SUNY Potsdam on Tuesday and started 3-0 for the first time since the 1999-00 season. That was the last time RIT made the NCAA Tournament.
If RIT defeats Nazareth on Tuesday, it will be 13 straight wins for the Tigers over the Golden Flyers. Nazareth has not defeated RIT since Feb. 19, 2003. RIT then travels to Hartwick and Utica on Friday and Saturday. It sets up as a big week ahead, as the Tigers could be right in the middle of the Empire 8 race or in a tough spot before the New Year.
Women’s hockey is back to #5 in the nation. The women split a pair of games agains ECAC West rival #6 Elmira over the weekend. RIT played its worst game of the season, as Head Coach Scott McDonald admitted in Friday’s loss, but rebounded with an excellent effort on Saturday.
The Tigers play two games at Division I Robert Morris on Friday and Saturday. It is RIT’s first two contests against a Division I squad. It will be a tough task, no question, but the tough competition should set the Tigers up well for later in the season.
The wrestling team had a good showing in the 42nd annual RIT Invitational on Saturday. The men are back in action on Wednesday at SUNY Cortland. Sophomore Mike McInally is ranked sixth in the latest Brute/Adidas NCAA III rankings at 125 lbs. He is now 15-2 this season. Senior Nate Bachmann is 17-3 at 157 lbs.
The RIT women’s basketball team dropped to 1-2 after losing at St. John Fisher on Friday. Like the men, the women face a big challenge this week with conference games against Nazareth, Hartwick and Utica big week ahead, as the Tigers could be right in the middle of the Empire 8 race or in a tough spot before the New Year.
Jeff Kaemmerlen was named the RIT Male Athlete of the Week.
Men’s lacrosse standouts Andy Ruocco, Jacob Tuller, Jacob Brunner, Wes Adam and Brad Conlon were named Inside Lacrosse/Face-Off Magazine Division III pre-season All-Americans on Tuesday.
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