In just the program's fifth year at the Division I level, the Rochester Institute of Technology's men's hockey team has reached the Frozen Four. The Tigers, who boast the nation's longest winning streak at 12 games, posted two convincing wins to reach the site of the national championship in Detroit, Mich.
RIT's associate head coach is Brian Hills, the former head coach of the Geneseo Ice Knights who led them to a SUNYAC title in 2005.
In the first game of the 16-team field RIT beat the Denver University Pioneers, who were the second-seeded team overall, 2-1 last Friday in the first game of the East Regional in Albany, N.Y. The very next night they ripped apart New Hampshire, 6-2, to advance to the Frozen Four.
The key for the team's run has been the red-hot goalkeeping of senior Jared DeMichiel. DeMichiel has posted the most wins so far this year for a goalie, getting credit for 27 of the team's 28 victories.
"In these one-game shootouts, scoring the first goal is very critical in order to be able to give you an emotional jump and certainly they're the ones that got it," said Denver's head coach, George Gwozdecky in an article on ESPN.com. "And even though we were able to create some offense throughout the game their goaltender was very, very good. We have nothing to hang our heads about but RIT played very, very well and give them full credit for their effort."
On Thursday, April 8 the Tigers take on a perennial powerhouse in the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers have appeared in the Frozen Four 11 times, winning six national titles. If they win, RIT will play for the school's first Division I hockey championship on Saturday, April 10.