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Frozen Four hockey collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0366

Scope and Contents

The Frozen Four hockey collection consists of press notes, statistics, hockey jersey, t-shirt, hockey stick signed by players, a banner, a framed photo collage, and clippings pertaining to the RIT Tigers semifinal game versus the Wisonsin Badgers in the NCAA Frozen Four tournament.


  • Creation: 2010

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Historical Information: RIT men's hockey

The hockey club was founded in the fall of 1959. They were given a budget of $1,020 to purchase the initial equipment to outfit 16 players. At that time, the team participated in the Monroe County Amateur Hockey Association, playing 13 games against three other league teams. The players paid $195 out of their own pockets for these games, and coached themselves because they didn’t have the money to hire a head coach.

In 1960-61, a new organization was formed joining the hockey club and the skating club. The goals of the club were to promote interest and enjoyment through skating, and to further the sport of hockey at RIT. Games were played against Hamilton JV, Colgate freshmen, Ithaca, Cornell freshmen, University of Rochester, University of Toronto, and local hockey club "The Rockets." The club squeaked by with a budget of just $927, and playing all games away due to the lack of adequate facilities on campus at the time.

In 1961, Lou Alexander Jr., the Director of Athletics, wrote a letter to the Athletic Committee recommending that the committee approve the establishment of an intercollegiate hockey team at Rochester Institute of Technology. The official proposal was drawn up in April 1963 and finally approved as an official varsity sport in 1965.

In 1961-62 the budget was increased to $1,113.20 with the help of the RIT Student Council. There were 14 games played on home ice, which at the time was the Rochester War Memorial. Those interested in playing on the team exceeded 45 men. This is the first year they had actual guidance as James E. Musker became the volunteer coach. With the new NCAA rules, the school was required to purchase helmets for the team at a cost of $62.50. Although hockey had never been played at the Ritter-Clark rink (as it was previously called) it can be said that it was built with hockey in mind. This was verified by two important factors: a) the rink was built to hockey specifications as to length and width of ice surface, b) inserts were provided in the concrete floor to accommodate hockey goals. In 1961, backed by the Student Association and President Marvin Pozefsky, renovations were made to the Ritter-Clark rink so that the RIT Men’s Ice Hockey team could call it their own.

In 1962 the team formed a league with other teams in the area who faced similar problems to their own, that either being money, ice time, or scholarships. The league was known as the Finger Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (FLCHL). It consisted of six schools, including: Brockport, Hobart, Ithaca, University of Rochester, and Syracuse. The team became a member of the ECAC Division III in the 1972-1973 season. The ECAC was composed of two divisions, East and West, RIT played under the East Division. By the end of the decade, the RIT men's hockey program made a giant step forward by moving to the Division II level of play. This meant playing a challenging 25 game schedule, featuring 16 matches against Division II teams. Along with it, RIT began playing in the New York State College Hockey League (NYSCHL), comprised solely of Division II schools. The league folded in 1985-86.

The 1982-83 season marked a milestone in the program, as the Tigers won their first NCAA Championship in Division II. In the two game quarterfinal series, RIT defeated Mankato State and went on to beat Lowell 4-1 in the semifinals advancing them to the championship game where they defeated Bemidji State, 4-2. The next year RIT moved to the Division III level. The Tigers repeated again as Champions in 1984-85 this time at the Division III level, defeating Bemidji State once again by a score of 5-1.

In 1988-89 the ECAC Division III, formed two more divisions, adding a North and a South Division. With this change, RIT moved to the ECAC West and continued its status as a powerhouse in the ECAC West, winning seven conference titles in 17 seasons, including four straight, from 1998-2002. The Tigers have made multiple trips to the big show, 13 in . In 1988-89 RIT tied the first game in the two game series against Wisconsin-Stevens Point, but ended their post-season play in the second game of the series, losing 3-2. In 1995-96, RIT made it to the Championship game, losing 3-2 to Middlebury.

In the 2000-01 season, the team was undefeated until the finals. RIT tied Plattsburgh in both games of the two game series, but went on to lose the deciding mini-game 1-0. The 2005-06 season marked a new beginning for the RIT Men’s Ice Hockey Program. On December 15, 2004, RIT President Albert Simone and Director of Athletics, Lou Spiotti, announced that the Tigers would be moving to the Division I level starting with the 2005-06 season. RIT joined the Atlantic Hockey Association and became a full-fledged member of the conference in time for the 2006-07 season.

On March 7-8, 2008, the Tigers played their first post-season games, as a Division I program, defeating Holy Cross both nights in overtime by scores of 5-4 in the Atlantic Hockey Association Quarterfinals. In 2008-09, RIT set a Division I school record by winning 23 games, and was victorious in 11 straight contests. The Tigers advanced to the AHA semifinals and were second nationally in goals per game.

In 2010, the Tigers made history by not only winning their first AHA Championship, but then shocking the nation by upsetting No. 2 Denver and No. 12 New Hampshire to win the NCAA East Regional and advance to the Frozen Four in just its fifth season as a Division I squad. Head Coach Wayne Wilson was named the Spencer Penrose Award as the national coach of the year. RIT was the only team in Division I to win both its conference regular season and conference championships. At the Frozen Four in Detroit, Mich., RIT played in front of a school-record attendance of 34,954 fans. The Tigers were nationally ranked for the first time, and finished the season No. 10 in the USA Today/ USA Hockey Magazine national poll, after climbing as high as ninth. RIT set school records with 28 wins, and a 12- game winning streak. RIT has proven to be a top team at the Division I level, just as it was at the Division II and III levels.


2.5 Linear Feet (1 Clamshell box, 1 Document box, 1 Hockey stick, 1 Banner, 1 framed item)




Clippings, news releases, hockey stick, jersey, t-shirt, banner, and statistics regarding the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four hockey tournament. The RIT Tigers men's hockey team advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.


Materials are loosely arranged by type.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number(s): 11:017, 11:027, 11:093, 14:020, 19:071

Frozen Four hockey collection materials were donated to the RIT Archives in multiple accessions by Greg Moss (RIT Athletics), Mike Saffran (University News), and David Page (alumnus).

Related Materials

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Amy Vilz in December 2011.

Frozen Four hockey collection
RIT Archives
Amy Vilz
07 December 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA