The Tigers return home on Friday for the first time in six weeks as they prepare for Atlantic Hockey rival, the Air Force Falcons.
A rematch is scheduled for Saturday night at Gene Polisseni Center as well. Both games will get underway at 7:05 p.m.
The Tigers are coming off of a forgettable weekend in Niagara, where they only managed to pick up one point out of a possible four. It was an opportunity to make up some ground on the Purple Eagles, who are now tied for first in the Atlantic Hockey standings with the Canisius Golden Griffins.
With less than five minutes remaining in the second period of Friday’s contest, the Tigers appeared to be sitting comfortably with a 3-0 lead. However, at the 18:50 mark of the same period, it was Derian Plouffe who ignited the comeback for Niagara. They would go on to score another before the middle frame’s conclusion, and add two more in the third. Despite out-shooting the Purple Eagles 24-20, it wasn’t enough for RIT to avoid an embarrassing 4-3 loss.
After giving up the first two tallies on Saturday night, the Tigers showed a lot of passion and heart in the latter stages of the third period. Erik Brown and Adam Brubacher each found the back of the net in the last five minutes of regulation to even things up. Sudden death overtime was not enough for either team to come out on top, as they both settled for a point after the extra period.
RIT is now tied for sixth in the Atlantic Hockey standings with the Army Black Knights. Their conference record is currently at 7-4-1.
The defending Atlantic Hockey champion, Air Force Falcons, have dealt with their own struggles throughout the 2017-18 season. Overall their record is 9-10-3, but in conference play it currently sits at 4-8-2.
This weekend will be the third and fourth meetings of the regular season between these two teams. On Nov. 17, Air Force earned a 4-3 victory, while RIT countered with a 3-2 win on the following night at Cadet Ice Arena in Colorado Springs, CO.
The Falcons lead the all-time series between the two programs, 28-21-4. Interestingly enough, 30 of 48 meetings between the two schools since RIT moved to Division I in 2005 have ended in a tie or with one goal being the difference.
Photo Credit: Riley Joslin