Courtesy of RITAthletics.com
ROCHESTER, NY – The RIT men’s hockey team looks to stay hot by heading back to Massachusetts for a pair of road contests at Atlantic Hockey foe Bentley University on Jan. 18-19. Both Friday and Saturday’s games from brand-new Bentley Arena get underway at 7:05 p.m.
RIT (10-8-2, 8-6-2 AHA) enters the weekend series riding a five-game unbeaten streak. The Tigers recorded a sweep at AHA foe American International last weekend, winning 6-3 on Friday and 3-2 Saturday. On Friday, Erik Brown (Keene, Ontario/Kemptville 73’s) and Gabe Valenzuela(Brampton, Ontario/North York Rangers) became the 11th and 12th in RIT’s Division I era to reach the 100-point milestone. Brown tied a career-high with four points on two goals and two assists, while Valenzuela added two goals. Will Calverley (Scarborough, Ontario/Chilliwack Chiefs) and Shawn Cameron (Sherbrooke, Quebec/Cumberland Grads) also scored for the Tigers. On Saturday, Dan Willett (Bayville, NY/Bloomington Thunder) had a goal and an assist, while Kobe Walker (Lloydminster, Alberta/Lloydminster Bobcats) and Brown also scored. Goaltender Logan Drackett (Calgary, Alberta/Calgary Canucks) took a shutout into the third period in each game and made 30 saves in both contests.
Senior Abbott Girduckis (Belleville, Ontario/Wellington Dukes) has 11 points over his last five games and leads the team in scoring with 24 points on eight goals and 18 assists in 20 games. Brown leads the team with 10 goals and is tied for second with Adam Brubacher (Elmira, Ontario/Powell River Kings) in points with 17. Valenzuela is right behind with 16 points. Drackett has played in 19 games between the pipes and has a 2.50 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.
Brown, RIT’s all-time leading goal scorer at the Division I era, now has 62 goals and 41 assists for 103 career points, while Valenzuela has 37 goals and 63 assists in his career. Brown was named the NCAA Men’s Hockey First Star of the Week and Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week on Tuesday.
Bentley (7-11-2, 6-7-1 AHA) enters the weekend looking to extend its unbeaten streak to four games. Last weekend, the Falcons won a pair of road league games at Robert Morris, 5-2 on Friday and 5-1 Saturday. Luke Santerno leads the Falcons in scoring with 21 points on six goals and 15 assists, while Tanner Jago is second with 16 points. Drew Callin has a team-best eight goals, as six different Falcons have at least 10 points. Aidan Pelino has played in all 20 games between the pipes for Bentley this season and is 6-11-2 with a 2.95 goals against average and an .892 save percentage.
RIT leads the all-time series between the two schools, 21-15-2. This marks the only two regular season meetings between RIT and Bentley in 2018-19. Bentley won both meetings last season at the Gene Polisseni Center. RIT has won five straight games at Bentley.
Bentley opened its brand-new 2,117 seat arena on campus, named Bentley Arena last February. It will be RIT’s first trip to play at the arena.
The Tigers enter the weekend fourth in the Atlantic Hockey standings with 19 points, just two out of first. Bentley is eighth in the league standings with 13 points. Just three points separates the top six teams and 10 points separates top to bottom in Atlantic Hockey.