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Downstate_RIT_Fan
02-04-2018, 02:44 PM
I've been tracking RIT recruiting for the last four seasons. The last two season I've expanded it to every recruit in the AHA for a hobby project. RIT has brought in many of the leagues recruits with top hockey resumes.

Good stuff Tom. How do you go about ranking the recruits. At a very high level I tend to look at where the recruit has been playing junior hockey. Ive always thought (and please correct me if Iím wrong) that USHL recruits coming from the only Tier 1 program in the US and recruits coming from the the Junior A BCHL league in Canada are the two leagues that seem to consistently produce top talent although itís not a perfect science. It seems recruits coming from the other leagues might be more of a diamond in the rough that RIT has been taking chances with the last several recruiting classes. Just wondering if there is a rule of thumb being used when making a determination as to how good a new class is?

blazer777
02-04-2018, 03:02 PM
They may have brought in a handful of impactful recruits but they have also brought in a much larger handful of very average/below average recruits. And we haven't had a true starting goalie since Madolora left in 2013. Ruby and to a lesser extent Rotolo had their well-timed hot streaks, but in general RIT has been completely unable to bring in a goalie capable of stepping into the starting role and having even above average statistics.

This year we have 2 freshmen goalies who have both started at least 3 weekends worth of games now. Both were highly touted coming in. How's it going?

Christian Short (2-4-0) / .890% / 3.03 GAA - This is bad, especially considering it includes a shutout!
Logan Drackett (6-7-2) / .868% / 3.59 GAA - This is even worse. Completely unacceptable numbers after 15GP.
Ian Andriano (2-4-0) / .877% / 3.39 GAA - After a decent start and even a shutout, Ian's numbers have fallen right into place alongside his compatriots.

As much as we all thought Ruby/Rotolo/Watson/etc haven't been the answer, this years group is even worse statistically. It doesn't matter how good the recruiting classes are unless one of them finally includes a #1 goalie. Until then, we're going to remain reliant on a well timed hot streak come March to make us look good.

Good observations hear but have you given much thought about how a poor defense plays into this. From what I've seen (and its not every game), the defrnse can be about as pouras as Swiss cheese.

Scott Biggar
02-04-2018, 04:08 PM
It now appears to me that RIT is in a classic sports slump. All teams are susceptible to them. It has been a long, long time since RIT has succumbed to one.

They are over thinking plays, being indecisive, hesitating, etc. The classic "gripping the sticks too hard" phrase comes to mind.

I noticed in the first period on Friday that the Tigers were holding on the puck too long in their own zone, hesitating on break out passes and being indecisive on where to throw it up ice. This caused problems all weekend.

Players are trying to compensate by doing too much as individuals.

There is no easy way to magically end a slump. Hard work, re-learning to rely on your teammates, and having a few good bounces going the Tigers way would help to regain some confidence and break out of it. Just hope it happens sooner rather than later.

RIT Winters
02-04-2018, 05:32 PM
It now appears to me that RIT is in a classic sports slump. All teams are susceptible to them. It has been a long, long time since RIT has succumbed to one.


Did you miss last season? :p

Tom Naeger
02-04-2018, 05:57 PM
Good stuff Tom. How do you go about ranking the recruits. At a very high level I tend to look at where the recruit has been playing junior hockey. Ive always thought (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that USHL recruits coming from the only Tier 1 program in the US and recruits coming from the the Junior A BCHL league in Canada are the two leagues that seem to consistently produce top talent although it’s not a perfect science. It seems recruits coming from the other leagues might be more of a diamond in the rough that RIT has been taking chances with the last several recruiting classes. Just wondering if there is a rule of thumb being used when making a determination as to how good a new class is?

I think when it comes to the AHA you have to understand that you are not going to get the top players from the USHL. There also are a lot of good leagues with a lot of good talent in it. Look at Air Force, especially when they had their little dynasty they were pulling a lot of great players from the NAHL. Also keep in mind the Norrish twins came out of the SJHL. There is a ton of talent out there. One thing that I think is really hurting the Women's program is that there is a big gap in the talent pool of potential women college hockey players. The talent pool gap in the men's game is much narrower so there is plenty of talent out there. But as Herb Brooks said "You win with people, not with talent." So it's about finding the right pieces. I also look at to see if the recruit has been drafted by any Major Jrs teams and where. That tells you what the other leagues think of him...

So I don't always just look at the league the players are coming from I am looking at what they have done in that league and what other impressive marks they have on their hockey resume. Let's take a look as I think it will dispel some myths.

I'm going to start with Liam Kerns, unfortunately he is having a very tough year, but he was arguable came in as RIT best recruit in his class and had backed it up on the ice for awhile. He was an OJHL First Team All-Star scoring 79 goals and added 83 helpers. I don't want to sound like I am picking on any player, but he is a good example of a player who was on fire in Juniors and played well when he first got here. As they said previous success doesn't always follow you to next level. You want more proof go see the University of Michigan, they routinely have some of the best recruits and recruiting classes in the nation and they have still not won a NCAA title since 1998.

Highlights from the rest of that class:

Abbott Girduckis 2012 EBJCHL Rookie of the Year
Erik Brown 2015 CCHL Third All-Star Team
Austin Wright GOJHL (Golden Horseshoe) Best Goal Scorer 14/15
Gabriel Valenzuela 2015 OJHL Most Improved Player & 2nd Team All Star

That class also had Gordie Ballhorn, AJHL All-Rookie Team 14/15, he unexpectedly got an offer from Kelowna of the WHL, he's been a solid player for them now in his 3rd year with the team and serving as their assist captain.

2016 Highlights

Jordan Peacock - 2nd in OJHL in playoff scoring
Adam Brubacher- 2012 SOJHL (McConnell) Rookie of the Year, 2016 BCHL Most Goals by Defenseman & Second Team All-Star
Ryan Kruper - 2016 AJHL All-Star Team, third in the league in scoring and lead league in Shorthanded Goals
Brody Valette - Last Season team record for most goals in a season by a defenseman and tied for team lead on PP Goals
Shawn Cameron- 2016 CJHL MVP, Most Goals & Points, First Team All Star - nominated for Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year
Darren Brady- 2016 NAHL All-East Division Team. Team MVP & Captain

2017 Highlights

Regan Seiferling- Two-time Defenseman of the Year with Yorkton/2016 World Junior A Challenge for Team Canada
Daniel Willett- USHL Futures Drafted #18 overall (2nd Rd), OHL Drafted #155 overall (8th Rd), Plymouth Whalers, 266 USHL career games league record
Jacob Hamacher- 2016 USHL Entry Draft #69 (rd 5) by Dubuque.
Logan Drackett- Team Canada West 2016 World Jr A Challenge 2015 AJHL All-Rookie and All Star, Best Save Percentage, 2017 AJHL Viterra South Division All-League Team, 2017 AJHL Best Goaltender
Alden Dupuis- 2017 Assitant Captain, Team Leading Scorer, lead AJHL in shorthanded goals
Nick Bruce- NSMMHL Second All-Star Team, 2014 NSMMHL First All-Star Team, 2017 NAHL All-East Division Team

Anyone who expects every recruit to be a big impact player or thinks that these players are average/below average players really has no sense of reality. You want better recruits go bother Dr. Munson and get him to get all programs to DI so we can offer scholarships. That would be much more helpful than downplaying the amazing job that our assistant coaches have done bringing in talented recruits.

Downstate_RIT_Fan
02-04-2018, 07:00 PM
I think when it comes to the AHA you have to understand that you are not going to get the top players from the USHL. There also are a lot of good leagues with a lot of good talent in it. Look at Air Force, especially when they had their little dynasty they were pulling a lot of great players from the NAHL. Also keep in mind the Norrish twins came out of the SJHL. There is a ton of talent out there. One thing that I think is really hurting the Women's program is that there is a big gap in the talent pool of potential women college hockey players. The talent pool gap in the men's game is much narrower so there is plenty of talent out there. But as Herb Brooks said "You win with people, not with talent." So it's about finding the right pieces. I also look at to see if the recruit has been drafted by any Major Jrs teams and where. That tells you what the other leagues think of him...

So I don't always just look at the league the players are coming from I am looking at what they have done in that league and what other impressive marks they have on their hockey resume. Let's take a look as I think it will dispel some myths.

I'm going to start with Liam Kerns, unfortunately he is having a very tough year, but he was arguable came in as RIT best recruit in his class and had backed it up on the ice for awhile. He was an OJHL First Team All-Star scoring 79 goals and added 83 helpers. I don't want to sound like I am picking on any player, but he is a good example of a player who was on fire in Juniors and played well when he first got here. As they said previous success doesn't always follow you to next level. You want more proof go see the University of Michigan, they routinely have some of the best recruits and recruiting classes in the nation and they have still not won a NCAA title since 1998.

Highlights from the rest of that class:

Abbott Girduckis 2012 EBJCHL Rookie of the Year
Erik Brown 2015 CCHL Third All-Star Team
Austin Wright GOJHL (Golden Horseshoe) Best Goal Scorer 14/15
Gabriel Valenzuela 2015 OJHL Most Improved Player & 2nd Team All Star

That class also had Gordie Ballhorn, AJHL All-Rookie Team 14/15, he unexpectedly got an offer from Kelowna of the WHL, he's been a solid player for them now in his 3rd year with the team and serving as their assist captain.

2016 Highlights

Jordan Peacock - 2nd in OJHL in playoff scoring
Adam Brubacher- 2012 SOJHL (McConnell) Rookie of the Year, 2016 BCHL Most Goals by Defenseman & Second Team All-Star
Ryan Kruper - 2016 AJHL All-Star Team, third in the league in scoring and lead league in Shorthanded Goals
Brody Valette - Last Season team record for most goals in a season by a defenseman and tied for team lead on PP Goals
Shawn Cameron- 2016 CJHL MVP, Most Goals & Points, First Team All Star - nominated for Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year
Darren Brady- 2016 NAHL All-East Division Team. Team MVP & Captain

2017 Highlights

Regan Seiferling- Two-time Defenseman of the Year with Yorkton/2016 World Junior A Challenge for Team Canada
Daniel Willett- USHL Futures Drafted #18 overall (2nd Rd), OHL Drafted #155 overall (8th Rd), Plymouth Whalers, 266 USHL career games league record
Jacob Hamacher- 2016 USHL Entry Draft #69 (rd 5) by Dubuque.
Logan Drackett- Team Canada West 2016 World Jr A Challenge 2015 AJHL All-Rookie and All Star, Best Save Percentage, 2017 AJHL Viterra South Division All-League Team, 2017 AJHL Best Goaltender
Alden Dupuis- 2017 Assitant Captain, Team Leading Scorer, lead AJHL in shorthanded goals
Nick Bruce- NSMMHL Second All-Star Team, 2014 NSMMHL First All-Star Team, 2017 NAHL All-East Division Team

Anyone who expects every recruit to be a big impact player or thinks that these players are average/below average players really has no sense of reality. You want better recruits go bother Dr. Munson and get him to get all programs to DI so we can offer scholarships. That would be much more helpful than downplaying the amazing job that our assistant coaches have done bringing in talented recruits.


Thanks for all the additional info Tom, you've really done an excellent job summarizing the last few classes. With the resumes/pedigrees listed with the 2017 class I believe we can all be hopeful that our freshmen will be quick to adapt to the college game and become impact players in the years ahead. Certainly Brubacher was last year. I don't think anyone was taking shots at the assistant coaches though as you imply in your last paragraph, maybe you heard that around the rink? I don't see it here on this thread though, I believe we're just a handful of RIT fans that want to see the program continue to succeed. I could be wrong though? I don't know, maybe some fans are unhappy with our recruiting? Certainly not me, if you have that impression, it's incorrect.

Scott Biggar
02-05-2018, 09:21 AM
Did you miss last season? :p

I saw 31 games last season, so didn't miss much of it.

But my post did not reference the 2016-2017 season. In reality, it only referenced this season from the beginning of January onward.

LtPowers
02-05-2018, 10:30 AM
I don't know that anyone is finding fault with the recruiting statistically. Even Short, Drackett, and Andriano have very good stats from juniors.

But there's something missing at RIT hockey that we had from 2007-2012 or so, and again in 2014-16. You might call it chemistry. Those teams, you could tell were all on the same page, all pulling in the same direction. By comparison, these last two seasons the team has seemed more cobbled-together. Flashes of brilliance and good play but never sustained.

Of course, a good goalie can compensate for a lot of flaws, too.

Another factor is development. Valenzuela, Brown, Girduckis, Logan, Kerins -- this year's juniors -- in their freshman year they looked really good. They were starting games as the first line and we were dreaming of what they'd do this year and next. But they haven't done a whole lot (Brown excepted). Not enough to carry the team -- and they should be carrying the team since we only have two Senior forwards (and one of them is Mikowski). Valenzuela had 13 goals as a freshman; 6 last year; 7 so far this year. Shouldn't he be improving statistically? I don't mean to single out Gabe, but he's just not the dynamic playmaker he looked like two years ago.


Powers &8^]

TigerFan86-87
02-05-2018, 01:46 PM
I don't know that anyone is finding fault with the recruiting statistically. Even Short, Drackett, and Andriano have very good stats from juniors.

But there's something missing at RIT hockey that we had from 2007-2012 or so, and again in 2014-16. You might call it chemistry. Those teams, you could tell were all on the same page, all pulling in the same direction. By comparison, these last two seasons the team has seemed more cobbled-together. Flashes of brilliance and good play but never sustained.

Of course, a good goalie can compensate for a lot of flaws, too.

Another factor is development. Valenzuela, Brown, Girduckis, Logan, Kerins -- this year's juniors -- in their freshman year they looked really good. They were starting games as the first line and we were dreaming of what they'd do this year and next. But they haven't done a whole lot (Brown excepted). Not enough to carry the team -- and they should be carrying the team since we only have two Senior forwards (and one of them is Mikowski). Valenzuela had 13 goals as a freshman; 6 last year; 7 so far this year. Shouldn't he be improving statistically? I don't mean to single out Gabe, but he's just not the dynamic playmaker he looked like two years ago.


Powers &8^]

To be fair to Gabe, I believe his shiftiness, speed, etc. appears to have been diminished ever since that long term injury he had. Before that injury, he was squirming all over the ice creating scoring chances left and right. I just don't see that same kind of skill on display from him anymore. Maybe it's the injury, or maybe defenses have figured out how to neutralize him. There's no way for me to know. I'm just going by what I can see.

As far as all of the recruits' numbers coming out of juniors, I don't know anything about those leagues, so can not put any credence in them. What I can comment on is how the players look as freshmen and how they progress. I think there has been a perceived trend that new Tigers look to show lots and lots of scoring promise then end up being mediocre role players by senior season. I'm not sure how much of that is reality and how much is hopefulness from us, the fans. We all saw Liam come out and have a couple exceptional scoring games early in his freshman year (maybe even just one) and all placed high expectations on his scoring ability that he maybe wasn't going to achieve. I don't mean to pick on him specifically, he's just the first example that came to mind. I believe we've done that with multiple players throughout the years.
I do believe, though, that the players' motivation, drive, and other intangible stuff seems to fade the longer they are here. That kind of thing rubs off from upper to under classmen eventually. Whenever we have heard complaints about the leadership of the upper-classmen we tend to hold out hope that the upcoming freshmen and sophomores will do better. Unfortunately, those under-classmen have to practice and play games with those un-motivated upper-classmen day in and day out. Even if they seem to come in with the appropriate fire and will to win, it can fade. Since 2012, the one class that broke that mold was obviously Garbowsky's class. Eventually, two or three classes in a row of truly motivated players have to come through and ignore what is coming at them from the upper classes and bring this team back to where it should be and keep it there.

TigerFan86-87
02-05-2018, 02:12 PM
I don't know if anyone from the Corner Crew reads this forum, but the disrespect of O Canada really needs to stop.

So although the CC has routinely disrespected our nation's anthem for years (the words are: "...and the home of the BRAVE" not TIGERS), even in front of service academy teams, and I've commented on it at least twice with a response from this board reminiscent of crickets chirping, they do something stupid during the Canadian anthem and suddenly it's a thing that people care about? I don't get it.

So, although I heard something coming from the CC during the ladies' rendition of the anthem, I couldn't make out what it was. What were they actually doing / saying? Were they making fun of the song itself, or making fun of the fact that it was a group of high pitched (female) voices singing it? (not that either isn't totally rude)

Ed Trefzger
02-05-2018, 02:15 PM
So although the CC has routinely disrespected our nation's anthem for years (the words are: "...and the home of the BRAVE" not TIGERS), even in front of service academy teams, and I've commented on it at least twice with a response from this board reminiscent of crickets chirping, they do something stupid during the Canadian anthem and suddenly it's a thing that people care about? I don't get it.

So, although I heard something coming from the CC during the ladies' rendition of the anthem, I couldn't make out what it was. What were they actually doing / saying? Were they making fun of the song itself, or making fun of the fact that it was a group of high pitched (female) voices singing it? (not that either isn't totally rude)

Two things on this: 1) I've given up the battle on home of the Tigers. I hate that they do that. 2) The majority of players and coaches are Canadian and some are really unhappy about the CC stomping and making noise during O Canada.

TigerFan86-87
02-05-2018, 02:20 PM
Two things on this: 1) I've given up the battle on home of the Tigers. I hate that they do that. 2) The majority of players and coaches are Canadian and some are really unhappy about the CC stomping and making noise during O Canada.

Oh, I didn't even think of the stomping part. If our Canadian players and families don't like it, they certainly should stop.
Whatever they were doing Friday night definitely should stop, too.

nheberle
02-05-2018, 02:49 PM
So although the CC has routinely disrespected our nation's anthem for years (the words are: "...and the home of the BRAVE" not TIGERS), even in front of service academy teams, and I've commented on it at least twice with a response from this board reminiscent of crickets chirping, they do something stupid during the Canadian anthem and suddenly it's a thing that people care about? I don't get it.

So, although I heard something coming from the CC during the ladies' rendition of the anthem, I couldn't make out what it was. What were they actually doing / saying? Were they making fun of the song itself, or making fun of the fact that it was a group of high pitched (female) voices singing it? (not that either isn't totally rude)

Since I sit near the CC figured I'd step out from lurking and chime in. So they do two main things (at least when the anthem is sung, honestly can't remember if they do it when the Pep Band plays it as well):
1) They stomp at one point to mimic drum beat that the band does after one verse in the anthem.
2) They do a really high pitched flute(?) like noise to mimic what the band does at that point in the anthem.

At least for item 2, had nothing to do with the group singing it (they do it for the male groups as well) and I'm assuming they don't do it to the make fun of the Canadian anthem, since that would just be stupid.

RIT Winters
02-05-2018, 04:06 PM
We've reached the point where the on ice product is so bad we're going after the fans who bother showing up to watch? Nice.

The CC has been neutered time and time again over the past decade and beyond, pretty soon we might as well not let students in it at all. Maybe then the thousands of mystery "community" members will come and flood the GPC.

Ed Trefzger
02-05-2018, 04:39 PM
We've reached the point where the on ice product is so bad we're going after the fans who bother showing up to watch? Nice.

The CC has been neutered time and time again over the past decade and beyond, pretty soon we might as well not let students in it at all. Maybe then the thousands of mystery "community" members will come and flood the GPC.

Being respectful to the flags and anthems of both countries and to the players and coaches is hardly neutering the Corner Crew.

komey1
02-05-2018, 07:27 PM
Being respectful to the flags and anthems of both countries and to the players and coaches is hardly neutering the Corner Crew.

I agree about the neutering but just in my opinion, i didn't consider those things offensive because they were stomping/singing notes of the song. I didn't do them, but thought it was relatively harmless. Evidently some coaches and players don't agree with my opinion. They did not do the flute part on Saturday (or if they did, I didn't hear it over the band).

komey1
02-05-2018, 07:50 PM
As far as all of the recruits' numbers coming out of juniors, I don't know anything about those leagues, so can not put any credence in them. What I can comment on is how the players look as freshmen and how they progress. I think there has been a perceived trend that new Tigers look to show lots and lots of scoring promise then end up being mediocre role players by senior season. I'm not sure how much of that is reality and how much is hopefulness from us, the fans. We all saw Liam come out and have a couple exceptional scoring games early in his freshman year (maybe even just one) and all placed high expectations on his scoring ability that he maybe wasn't going to achieve. I don't mean to pick on him specifically, he's just the first example that came to mind. I believe we've done that with multiple players throughout the years.


I think it's more of a perceived notion than reality. I'd be curious if there was a league trend of lower scoring the last couple years. I know there was some great goaltenders the last couple years.

I took some juniors and seniors stats.
Powell - 10 points his freshman year, 32 points sophomore, 24 junior, 26 senior. Also 8 points from 100 in his career
Girduckis - 9, 21, 18
Brown - 17, 27, 24
Gabe - 28, 21, 23
Abt - 9, 8, 18, 13
Logan - 7, 2, 8
Kerins - 22, 21, 1
Chase Norish - 12,21, 14, 7
Brady Norish - 22, 16, 16, 1
Mikowski - 5, 0, 3, 3

Obviously you have to discount Brady Norish due to injuries, but he was really proficient his first 2 years. To me, in terms of point production, the only shocker here is how much Liam Kerins dropped off. I thought Mikowski would have developed more after his big flash late in his freshman season.

RIT Winters
02-06-2018, 08:32 AM
Being respectful to the flags and anthems of both countries and to the players and coaches is hardly neutering the Corner Crew.

Really depends on how far you are willing to go to stretch the notion of these things being "disrespected". If hand instruments and stomping three drum beats is a bridge too far for you, then I sure hope you don't hear what the other goalies do with their Zweigles....yeesh.

TigerFan86-87
02-06-2018, 12:46 PM
We've reached the point where the on ice product is so bad we're going after the fans who bother showing up to watch? Nice.

The CC has been neutered time and time again over the past decade and beyond, pretty soon we might as well not let students in it at all. Maybe then the thousands of mystery "community" members will come and flood the GPC.

I'm not sure who you're referring to as "mystery community members", but I've been attending most RIT home hockey games for nearly 32 seasons.

If by "the past decade and beyond" you are referring to Coach Hoffberg's "request" that the CC curtail their constant profanity laced cheers back in the 90's, that needed to be done. The CC was always fantastic at making the Ritter a truly difficult place to play, especially for the visiting goaltenders. But at that time, the cursing had been getting a bit out of hand and the NCAA could have denied RIT the chance to host post-season games up to and including the championships. Not only that, but there was also the deterrent to families attending games. I didn't have a kid back then, but now that I do I am appreciative that that is not a part of the repertoire anymore. Not allowing excessive swearing isn't equivalent to cutting off the CC's balls. It's merely forcing the group to channel their creativity that much more in order to remain effectively distracting to opponents and supportive of the Tigers without leaning on the crutch of profanity.

RIT Winters
02-06-2018, 02:38 PM
I'm not sure who you're referring to as "mystery community members", but I've been attending most RIT home hockey games for nearly 32 seasons.

If by "the past decade and beyond" you are referring to Coach Hoffberg's "request" that the CC curtail their constant profanity laced cheers back in the 90's, that needed to be done. The CC was always fantastic at making the Ritter a truly difficult place to play, especially for the visiting goaltenders. But at that time, the cursing had been getting a bit out of hand and the NCAA could have denied RIT the chance to host post-season games up to and including the championships. Not only that, but there was also the deterrent to families attending games. I didn't have a kid back then, but now that I do I am appreciative that that is not a part of the repertoire anymore. Not allowing excessive swearing isn't equivalent to cutting off the CC's balls. It's merely forcing the group to channel their creativity that much more in order to remain effectively distracting to opponents and supportive of the Tigers without leaning on the crutch of profanity.

No I am referring to the oft-cited "community" who are supposed to come flood the GPC once it is made into an idyllic family friendly zone. It's a myth we've been chasing since the Gene opened. And the chants have been getting curtailed consistently since (apparently) the 90's. The trend continued during my years as a student and into today.