Albany, New York

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jill's alma mater, the Rochester Institute of Technology, made it's way to the East Regional Final in the NCAA hockey tournament, which was being played in Albany. So, not one's to miss a hockey game (especially one this important!), she snagged us up some tickets and we headed up there for the Saturday night tilt against the University of New Hampshire. RIT made the trip (and price of tickets) well worth it by defeating UNH and securing a trip to the Frozen Four in Detroit city! After the game, we went to Buca di Beppo for some dinner before heading back to Binghamton.

ALBANY — In what undoubtedly is the biggest victory in Rochester collegiate sports history, the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers earned a berth in NCAA hockey’s Frozen Four by defeating the University of New Hampshire 6-2 tonight.

As the final seconds ticked down, the RIT band and the notorious “Corner Crew” serenaded their hockey heroes with chants of “RIT, RIT.” The fans from RIT appeared to outnumber the UNH fans by a 10:1 ratio. The celebration continues on campus tonight. The team will be back at about 1:45 a.m. and a rally is planned for outside the Sentinel. A police escort will pick up the bus at Exit 46 of the Thruway.

Right winger Tyler Brenner scored two goals — breaking a 1-1 tie in the second period and clinching the win midway through the third period as RIT won the East Regional at the Times Union Center in downtown Albany.

Defenseman Chris Haltigin, right winger Brent Alexin and left wingers Stevan Matic and Tyler Mazzei scored the other RIT goals.

The Frozen Four will be played April 8 and 10 in Detroit’s Ford Field, home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions.

RIT hockey is Rochester’s only NCAA Division I sports program, and the Tigers moved up from Division III just five seasons ago.

Their rise to national prominence is astounding, especially since the Tigers (28-11-1) play in what is regarded as a weak league (Atlantic Hockey Association) and they can’t offer athletic scholarships (because they aren’t allowed under NCAA rules unless an entire athletic department plays at the Division I level).

The victory was RIT’s 12th in a row, extending what was already the longest winning streak by any program this season.

Brenner’s goal off a set-up by Andrew Favot broke a 1-1 tie at 13:23 of the second period. Before another two minutes had been played, RIT stretched the lead to 4-1.

Alexin scored on his own rebound at 13:36, then Matic swept in a rebound at 14:57. When Brenner scored again at 10:01 of the third period, the Tigers weren’t going to lose.

Blake Kessel of UNH and Tyler Mazzei traded inconsequential goals in the final 2:28.

New Hampshire, which defeated Cornell 6-2 in the semifinals on Friday night, finished 18-14-7.

As RIT did in Friday’s 2-1 semifinal win over the University of Denver, the Tigers scored first, and a defenseman got the goal. Off the forecheck, winger Tyler Mazzei passed back to Chris Haltigin at the right point.

He waited a moment as traffic took away the sight line for goalie Brian Foster, then snapped a wrist shot that eluded the goalie and skimmed in off the left post.

The Wildcats tied the score with 58.6 seconds left in the first period when Phil DeSimone, skating into the deep slot, redirected a Brett Kostolansky point shot and the puck bounced past goalie Jared DeMichiel and in.

Total Mileage: 271 Miles

Total Miles Travelled:
150,380 Miles!

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Page Last Updated: March 28, 2010