The RIT Men’s Hockey team will resume play on the 2017-18 season this weekend with a double header against Atlantic Hockey foe, the Niagara Purple Eagles. Both contests will be at Dwyer Arena on Niagara’s campus, and face-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
The Tigers were supposed to play at Mercyhurst on December 29-30, but both games were cancelled due to inclement weather in Erie, Pennsylvania. Each game will be made up at later dates, as the two teams will meet at Mercyhurst Ice Center on Tuesday, January 16 and Monday, February 12. Both games will get underway at 7:05 p.m.
Beginning this weekend, all 18 of RIT’s remaining regular season games will be against Atlantic Hockey opponents.
The Tigers come into the weekend with an 8-7-1 overall record and a 7-3-0 line in conference play. It will be almost exactly a month since the team was last in action. As they split a pair of road games at No. 9 Providence College on December 8-9. They fell by a score of 8-3 in the first game, but rebounded the following night to defeat the Friars 4-0.
Senior, Myles Powell, is currently leading the team in scoring with 19 points on seven goals and 12 assists. In his last three games alone, he has recorded five goals and a plus-8 rating. Erik Brown is leading the club in goals with 11 on the season. He and Gabe Valenzuela are tied for second on the team in points, with 17 apiece.
In net, Logan Drackett is 6-5-1 with a 3.63 goals against average and an .872 save percentage. Christian Short has put up a 2-2-0 record with a 2.77 goals against average and a .911 save percentage. Short has been red-hot over his last three starts, posting a 1.63 goals against average and a .945 save percentage.
Niagara is 9-9-1 overall this season and 8-4-1 in Atlantic Hockey play. The team was in Columbus, Ohio last weekend for a pair of games against the Ohio State Buckeyes. OSU got the best of the Purple Eagles in both games, winning 3-2 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday. Six Purple Eagles have recorded at least 10 points this season. Derian Plouffe leads the team with 21 points on 11 goals and 10 assists, while defenseman Noah Delmas is right behind with 20 points on one goal and 19 assists. In the cage, Brian Wilson is 7-8-1 with a 2.78 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.
Niagara is leading the all-time series between the two programs, 17-10-2, including a 15-8-10 edge since RIT moved to Division I in 2005. The Tigers won three of five meetings against the Purple Eagles last season. However, it was Niagara who ended RIT’s season in a best two out of three series during the first round of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs.
Photo Credit: RIT Tigers Hockey