The Tigers got back on the ice Tuesday for the first time since their upset win over New Hampshire last Saturday, but its still another nine days before their national semifinal against Wisconsin. However, the long layoff may not be such a bad thing.
"If we had to play this Thursday, I think wed be in big trouble," head coach Wayne Wilson said. "Trying to reel the guys in on Tuesday or Wednesday and play Thursday, I dont know if we could do that."
Senior goaltender Jared DeMichiel agreed. "Our heads are pretty huge. It might be good to deflate them a little bit," DiMichiel said. "Definitely the week layoff will help us mentally and physically. Itll help us come down, come back to normal, remind us that we do need to work hard and play hard if we want to win next weekend."
That doesnt mean the Tigers arent anxious to take college hockeys top stage.
"Im sure it will go real slow though, because everyone is real excited to get to the Frozen Four," said sophomore Tyler Brenner. "Hopefully, it comes a lot sooner than it feels, actually."
RIT is the darling of college hockey right now. Next Thursday, theyll likely go back to being the team no one expects to win.
"We dont have any NHL draft picks," said junior Andrew Favot. "Maybe have a guy or two sign a contract, but most of us are not big names. You look at Wisconsin, they got 14, 15 guys that have been drafted by the NHL. Theyre probably thinking... Cmon... really?"
"If a team wants to consider us underdogs, overdogs, David vs. Goliath, we could care less about that kind of stuff," DeMichiel said. "Were focused on ourselves and we want to play as hard as we can."
The Tigers practice again Thursday and Friday, and then will take the weekend off. Theyll hit the ice one more time Monday before getting on bus Tuesday for Detroit. Its very similar to the routine they used in the bye week before the conference playoffs, and that seemed to work out just fine.