The RIT men’s hockey team (12-9-3, 10-7-3 AHA) swept the Army West Point Black Knights (9-13-3, 7-8-3 AHA) on Jan. 25, 2019 and Jan. 26, 2019 at the Gene Polisseni Center. RIT won both games of the series by a score of 4-2.

Second year Business Management major and goalie for the Tigers, Logan Drackett, did not play in this series due to an ankle injury sustained earlier in the week.

RIT Men's Division 1 Ice Hockey team defeats Army West Point 4-2 at Gene Polisseni Center in Henrietta, N.Y. on Jan. 26, 2019.

Photo by Jesse Wolfe

The Knights Ride in

The Black Knights are known to be a physical team. Third year Business Marketing major and defenseman for the Tigers, Adam Brubacher, knew how to fend off the toughness of the Black Knights.

“We just have to do what we did last weekend [against Bentley]. We know Army is going to be a physical team so we just have to continue to get pucks deep on them and get our forwards to work down low [by the opposing net], which will expose their defense,” he explained.

This series against Army was the last series of January, meaning there are only two more months of the 2018–19 season. Preparation for the Atlantic Hockey Association [AHA] Tournament is key, and first year Business Management major and forward for RIT, Kobe Walker, explained the game plan.

“We have to just get better every day,” he said. “We know we have practice, where we will work on the little things we need to fix in our game. We need to be ready to play every weekend because everyone is trying to move up in the standings and get a good placement for playoffs [AHA Tournament].”

Winning Again

The first contest between the two rivals started off quickly. According to RIT Athletics, fourth year Biomedical Engineering major and forward for the Tigers, Erik Brown, scored on a wrist shot to give RIT a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Less than a minute later though, Michael Wilson scored on a rebound off RIT's second year Marketing/Management Information Systems major and goalie, Ian Andriano. Wilsons goal tied the game at one a piece.

To keep the game leveled after the first period, Andriano had to make some great saves, including a breakaway stop.

In the second period, the game continued at the same quick pace as the first period.

Mid-way through the second period, fourth year Accounting major and forward for the Tigers, Gabe Valenzuela scored a powerplay goal by shoving the puck past Army goalie Jared Dempsey. The puck slid right in between his legs.

In response to the Tiger goal, Zach Evancho was able to shoot the puck off the post and into the Tiger net. The second period ended in yet another tie, 2-2.

Our men’s hockey team took control in the third period, starting with a quick goal from second year Business Exploration major and forward, Jake Hamacher. Hamacher found an opening in the net and took advantage of it. The Tigers led 3-2.

Later in the third period, third year Finance major and defenseman for the Tigers, Brody Valette, was pushed from behind and smacked into the boards. He suffered a lower-body injury on the play and did not return to the game.

To put the icing on the cake for RIT, second year Business Management major and defenseman, Regan Seiferling, scored his first collegiate goal. He was able to get his own rebound and put it in the back of the net. The insurance goal gave the Tigers a 4-2 win.

The Tigers had 31 shots to the Black Knights’ 34 shots. RIT scored on one of their three powerplay chances, while Army couldn’t score on either of their two powerplay opportunities. In the Tiger net, Andriano saved 32 of 34 (.941) shots and Dempsey stopped 27 out of 31 (.871) shots for the Black Knights.

Third Period Rally

The second game of the series got off to a very physical match between both sides, with numerous penalties handed out.

According to RIT Athletics, Brendan Soucie finally got the game going for the Black Knights. Seven minutes into the first period, he scored a powerplay goal and gave Army the lead, 1-0.

Early in the second period, our team answered back. Hamacher sniped the puck past Army goalie, Trevin Kozlowski. That goal tied the game at one.

Both teams went into the locker room after the second period deadlocked. It wouldn’t be until the third period when the game would open up.

At the start of the third period, RIT controlled the pace of the game up until the finish. Early in the third period, Hamacher found the back of the net yet again. This time, he located the puck off a rebound and shot it into the open side of the Black Knights’ net.

Less than a minute later, Brown added to the tally for the Tigers. He took advantage of a powerplay and tapped in the puck when he found an opening. His goal gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead.

With three minutes to go in the third period, Army pulled their goalie and it paid off at first. Taylor Maruya snuck the puck past Andriano to cut the lead to just one. Ultimately, third year Finance major and forward for the Tigers, Shawn Cameron, gave the Tigers the win by scoring on an empty net. The horn sounded with a score of 4-2.

RIT had 29 shots to Army having 35 shots. In terms of the powerplay, both teams were able to score once. In the Tiger net, Andriano stopped 33 of 35 (.943) shots, while Kozlowski saved 24 of 27 (.889) shots for the Black Knights.

Desert Coming to Rochester

For the first time in RIT hockey history, the Arizona State University Sun Devils (17-10-1) will travel to play the Tigers at the Gene Polisseni Center. The series will take place on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, 2019.

Following that series, our men’s hockey team will travel to Worchester, Mass. to play the College of the Holy Cross Crusaders (5-16-3, 5-11-2 AHA) on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, 2019.