So, for those unfamiliar, I'm a fan of college hockey in general, but particularly the Rochester Institute of Technology's team. There was big news in the land of RIT Tigers Hockey today as Simon Lambert was listed as a top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker award. Not bad for a guy who started his college career in division III, wasn't drafted by the NHL and isn't even on scholarship. (While he's undrafted, I'd expect him to be signed as a free agent shortly (c'mon Sabres!)).
RIT had a solid year in Atlantic Hockey - their first season of eligibility for the NCAA Tournament. While they clearly had difficulty adjusting to tournament conditions - particularly in the single-elimination format - RIT put together a great year. RIT finished at 15-8-5 in conference, 2 points behind Army for the conference lead, and 19-12-6 overall. They entered the Atlantic Hockey tournament as a number 2 seed and fought their way past Holy Cross in the best-of-three round in 2 overtime games before succumbing to Air Force, the number 3 seed, 5-0. A rough end to a great season.
The brightest spots this season came earlier in the season. A win against Cornell at Blue Cross Arena 4-1 early in the season and a 4-3 win against MINNESOTA(!) at the Dodge Holiday Classic in Minneapolis were major advances for the newest addition to Division I hockey. We can only hope that the team will build on their successes this year and continue to recruit well despite the fact that they cannot issue scholarships.