RIT coach Wayne Wilson has been around the game long enough to know that completing a weekend sweep of an opponent is no easy task, no matter who and where you’re playing.
Add in the fact that his Tigers had to travel across the country to take on a talented Arizona State team, and that makes this past weekend’s sweep of the Sun Devils even more impressive.
“It was a good weekend for sure. Any time you win two games, I mean that’s not the norm in D-I. I think the norm is really splits it seems and whoever wins the first night seems to lose the second night,” Wilson said.
“This past weekend our fourth line scored two goals in our second game, that was a bit of a dogfight with an empty net [goal].”
The Tigers won in two different ways, jumping out to a 5-0 lead Friday night before the Sun Devils managed to get one back late in the third.
Saturday’s contest was a more tight, one where the Tigers trailed by one in the third period before three unanswered goals led them to a 5-2 victory.
“There’s been that one independent team that’s had our number and that’s been Arizona State — we were 0-6 against them,” Wilson said. “So getting two wins was, I don’t want to say redemption, but it was nice to get two wins against a team that we haven’t been able to beat.”
RIT has been able to beat most teams it has skated against this season, doing so with a balanced attack that’s led from the net out. The Tigers sit atop the Atlantic Hockey standings with 40 points and rank 17th in the Pairwise. Every year there’s a darling of Atlantic Hockey that rises up. Lately, that’s been American International many years in row. This year it’s RIT.
Since making the transition from D-III to D-I, RIT has never finished inside the top 20 of the Pairwise, even in 2010 when it made the Frozen Four by upsetting Denver and New Hampshire in the NCAA Regionals.
At this pace, that’s about to change.
“Things have gone very well. It’s been a real kind of overall team effort in a lot of regards, but I think special teams have been strong for us this year,” said Wilson. “We’ve got great balance up front with our forwards. We’ve got a lot of different lines going.”
Up front the Tigers are led by last year’s Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year Carter Wilkie and freshman Tyler Mahan. Wilkie leads in the team in points with…