A very exciting weekend of hockey awaits us this weekend, as both the RIT men’s and women’s hockey teams put long unbeaten streaks on the line against some tremendous competition. The women, ranked sixth in Division III, host two-time defending national champion and current #1 SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday at 2:05 p.m. Friday’s game will be broadcast by Time Warner Cable Sports-26, but shown on tape delay Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Saturday game will be aired live. The men travel west on I-90 to play Canisius on Thursday and Sunday. Thursday’s game gets underway at 7:05 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable Sports-26. Sunday’s contest starts at 4:05 p.m. and will be not be aired.
The women come into the weekend red-hot, riding an 11-game unbeaten streak (9-0-2). There are several excellent storylines for this weekend, including this story featured in Wednesday’s Democrat and Chronicle. RIT looks to stake its claim as one of the elite teams in Division III, and a win or two this weekend would definitely go a long way in validating that. Let’s pack the Ritter Arena and give the women the home ice advantage the men receive.
The men’s squad will look to push their nation-long winning streak to 10 games against a red-hot Canisius team, who completed a weekend sweep of nationally-ranked Air Force in Colorado Springs last weekend. Obviously, the rivalry between RIT and Canisius was kicked up a notch after the festivities that took place on Feb. 8, 2008 (Go to youtube.com, type in RIT-Canisius brawl and you will see what I mean). That was nearly a year ago, and while many people still talk about that night, the stage is set this weekend for some great hockey. That being said however, the Canisius upper athletic administration is not allowing RIT to bring its pep band either night, despite please from our administration. Are they worried our fans will drown theirs out? Probably. RIT has 150 fans traveling by bus to Sunday’s game.
Why are we playing on Thursday and Sunday, instead of the traditional Friday-Saturday schedule you ask? That is because Canisius (not unlike a handful AHA teams) does not have their own rink on campus and plays at the Buffalo State Ice Arena (owned by Division III Buffalo State). On Friday and Saturday, Buffalo State hosts SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY Potsdam, both games at 7 p.m. Canisius is left with the scraps and well, there you have it.
The Tigers lead Atlantic Hockey for the first time since winning the regular season title in 2006-07. RIT is on a roll and Canisius is playing as good as anybody in the conference right now. If you get a chance, take the short drive to Buffalo State, or check out Thursday’s game on Time Warner-26. You will not be disappointed.
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