So much for the University of Denver's hopes for another NCAA hockey championship. In the national tournament's first game Friday afternoon, Rochester Institute of Technology has stunned DU in a 2-1 upset.
Denver, which finishes 27-10-4, came into the NCAA as the No. 2 overall seed behind only Miami of Ohio. But the Pioneers, on the heels of a disappointing showing last weekend at the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's Final Five tournament in St. Paul, Minn., fell behind to RIT by 1-0 after two periods and never could take command in the first-round game at Albany, N.Y.
It was the second straight year for the Atlantic Hockey Association to open the NCAA tournament with a major upset. Last year, as the AHA champion, Air Force pulled off a similar feat by toppling Michigan.
RIT (27-11-1) advances to the regional final Saturday against the winner of Cornell-New Hampshire later today.
Other first-round games Friday include St. Cloud State vs. Northern Michigan and Wisconsin vs. Vermont.
Saturday's schedule includes the other four first-round games (Miami vs. Alabama-Huntsville, Bemidji State vs. Michigan, North Dakota vs. Yale, Alaska Fairbanks vs. Boston College) and two regional finals. Most of the games this weekend are being televised by ESPNU.