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[BN] Rinkside: Five things as Niagara hosts RIT

RIT at Niagara
7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday
at Dwyer Arena

1. RIT may have found its groove. The preseason favorite to win Atlantic Hockey, RIT stumbled with a four-game in-conference losing streak, dropping two games to Canisius and two to Air Force. The Tigers are now on a three-game win streak, including two wins over Army West Point now tied with the Tigers for first place in Atlantic Hockey.

2. The Tigers like to shoot and score. RIT leads the league in goals scored (46) and in shots on goal (489 overall, 34.93 per game). They also limit attempts from the opposition, outshooting opponents by an average of 9.29 per game. The defenseman have been key. Junior Brady Norrish ranks third among defensemen in the conference with 11 points while freshman Adam Brubacher has nine points and leads the league with a plus-nine rating. Brubacher also leads Atlantic Hockey defensemen with 44 shots on a goal.

3. Niagara’s defense has struggled. The Purple Eagles rank last in the conference in goals against per game, giving up 4.36. Their goal differential is also last, being outscored by an average of 2.07 per game. The bright side defensively has been blocked shots. Junior Vinny Muto ranks second in the conference with 27 blocked shots (1.93 per game) and freshman Tyler Hayes is tied for third with 26 (1.86 per game).

4. Niagara’s offense is coming from the freshmen. Four of the five top scorers for the Purple Eagles are rookies. Derek Brown leads the team with nine points (three goals, six assists). Fellow freshmen Kris Spriggs (three goals, four assists) and Noah Delmas (seven assists) are tied for third with seven points.

5. Shaking up the standings. Both Niagara and RIT are looking to break open some room in the Atlantic Hockey standings. RIT is tied with Army West Point for first place with 12 points – only one ahead of American International and two up on Canisius and Mercyhurst. Niagara is in a four-way tie for last place with six points.


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