2024 American International vs RIT - Final

RIT Wins Atlantic Hockey Title, Earns Bid To NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament

RIT Wins Atlantic Hockey Title, Earns Bid To NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament

RIT earned a 5-2 win over AIC to claim their first Atlantic Hockey tournament title since 2016 and punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament.

Mar 24, 2024 by Chris Peters

For the first time since 2016, the RIT Tigers are Atlantic Hockey champions and will be headed to the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament. The Tigers earned a 5-2 win over AIC to claim the Jack Riley Memorial Trophy and punch their ticket to the NCAA regionals.

RIT got to host the championship game as regular-season champions in the conference and the Gene Polisseni Center was absolutely hopping. A sold-out crowd helped cheer the Tigers onto the championship, but AIC certainly did not make it easy on them.

The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a Jordan Biro goal 4:06 into the game. AIC also had goaltender Nils Wallstrom playing on top of his game. RIT kept chipping away, though, and scored two straight with Elijah Gonsalves potting the go-ahead goal at the 16:06 mark of the opening stanza.

With just 1:01 remaining in the first, Biro notched another goal to draw AIC even with their hosts and steal some of the momentum and crowd noise just ahead of the first intermission.

The second period was controlled more by RIT, however. The Tigers took advantage of an early power play as Matthew Wilde notched the go-ahead goal just 1:48 into the middle frame.

Atlantic Hockey goalie of the year Tommy Scarfone had all the cushion he would need as he turned aside all 18 shots he faced in the second and third periods.

The Tigers had to keep weathering a strong AIC attack in the third, but were able to score a pair of empty-net goals to put the game out of reach and start the celebration a little early in their home building.

With the win, RIT claimed their fourth Atlantic Hockey championship and fourth trip to the NCAA tournament. They will likely enter the NCAAs as the No. 15 overall seed, which could see them face Boston University. They won’t know who or when they are playing officially until Sunday’s NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament Selection Show on ESPNU at 6:30 p.m. ET.

When Is The 2024 NCAA Hockey Tournament Selection Show?

The Selection Show is at 6:30 p.m. EST on March 24. 

How To Watch The 2024 NCAA Hockey Tournament Selection Show

The Selection Show will be on ESPNU and streaming on ESPN+. 

How Does The NCAA Hockey Tournament Work?

Of the 16 teams, 6 conference champions will receive automatic qualification with the remaining best 10 teams being selected on an at-large basis by the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee. A total of 4 teams will be seeded with each of the seeded teams being placed at 1 regional site.

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