The RIT men’s hockey team (6-3-1, 4-2-1 AHA) shut out the Canisius College Griffins (4-5, 3-4 AHA) by a score of 2-0 on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. A Tuesday game is rare in college hockey, but nonetheless fans showed up to root for the Tigers.

It was the first shutout of the season for RIT, as well as their first game against Canisius in the 2018–19 season.

At the start of the game, veterans were honored with a ceremonial national anthem. Due to it being the Military Appreciation night, all those who served or who are currently serving in the military were also given free tickets.

The Key to Consistency

The Tigers recently swept the American International College (AIC) Yellowjackets on Nov. 9 and 10 of 2018. To stay ahead and improve in the conference standings is key, but it takes hard work and determination to accomplish it.

Before the game, third year Finance major and defenseman for RIT Darren Brady spoke about what the team needed to do in order to come out against Canisius with a win.

“I think just building off the energy of both our wins from Friday and Saturday [against AIC]. I think just coming into the game Tuesday [against Canisius], ready to go and focused will help us,” he stated. “We know it will be a tough game.”

“We know it will be a tough game.”

RIT's head coach, Wayne Wilson, was not only looking towards the match against Canisius, but he was also looking towards the Nov. 24, 2018 match at a difficult Northeastern University.

“I think for us, cause we get a break after Canisius, that we are focused and not getting too ahead of ourselves is important. We have got to be self-motivated, hungry and prepared. We will be shifting from one type of team [Canisius] to another [Northeastern],” he said.

The Glorious Shutout

Second year Business Management major and goalie for RIT, Logan Drackett, made a huge save coming out of the gate for the Tigers in the first period.

Later in the first period, Drackett stopped a two-on-zero opportunity, flashing the glove and stunning the Canisius forwards. He was playing lights-out early.

Our men’s hockey team benefited off of the momentum from the huge saves and scored twice in the second period.

According to RIT Athletics, fourth year Accounting major and forward for RIT, Gabe Valenzuela struck first. He flanked to the left of the ice and ripped a shot past the Canisius goalie, Blake Weyrick.

Exactly three minutes later, first year Business Exploration major and forward for the Tigers Will Calverley scored his first collegiate goal. The Tiger fans were on their feet to see the new Tiger achieve such an accomplishment.

Calverley was ecstatic after his first goal.

“It felt good. Kobe [a teammate] did a great job on the wall. He had a nice pass to me and I had a wide-open lane to the net,” he said.

RIT went into the locker room with a 2-0 lead after the second period.

The third period, despite no goals being scored, was eventful. The two conference foes battled toe-to-toe until the horn sounded.

The Canisius Griffins pulled their goalie with just under two minutes left in the game, but it was no use. The Tigers came out victorious, shutting out Canisius by a score of 2-0.

Our men’s hockey team put up 33 shots compared to the Griffins 25 shots. Both teams were unsuccessful on the powerplay, each getting five opportunities. For the Canisius net, goalie Weyrick stopped 31 of 33 (.943). For the Tigers net, Drackett stopped all 25 shots and earned his first collegiate shutout.

Drackett gave credit to his teammates for helping him earn the shutout.

“I think it’s great. I think the team played really well in front of me and gave me the chance to make saves. It’s just a confidence booster for the team. A shutout is a good accolade, but our team-play is what we are really happy about and what we need to focus on getting better moving forward,” he stated.

A shutout is a good accolade, but our team-play is what we are really happy about and what we need to focus on getting better moving forward.”

A Difficult Road Ahead

RIT will have to travel to Boston, Mass., to play the Northeastern University Huskies (6-3-1) on Nov. 24, 2018. They will meet for the first time since the 2017 Homecoming game, where the teams tied, 3-3.

After that, our men’s hockey team comes back to the Gene Polisseni Center to face the Air Force Academy Falcons (6-4, 6-2 AHA) on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2018. It will be the first time of the 2018–19 season that these two rivals play. The Falcons are a tough opponent, but a good test for the Tigers.