ROCHESTER, NY – RIT head coach Wayne Wilson has announced the men’s hockey captains for the 2015-16 season on Wednesday, May 13. Seniors Alexander Kuqali (Pittsburgh, PA/Sioux City Musketeers), Andrew Miller (Chicago, IL/Chicago Steel), and Josh Mitchell (Osoyoos, British Columbia/Alberni Valley Bulldogs) will serve as captains, while sophomore Brady Norrish (Strongfield, Saskatchewan/Yorkton Terriers) is an assistant captain. Both Kuqali and Miller were assistant captains during the 2014-15 season.
“I’m very excited about next year’s leadership group,” said Wilson, who recently completed his 16th season behind the bench for RIT in 2014-15. “Every successful team needs great leaders and next year will be no exception. Andrew Miller (Chicago, IL/Chicago Steel) and Alexander Kuqali (Pittsburgh, PA/Sioux City Musketeers) return as captains and will be joined by Josh Mitchell (Osoyoos, British Columbia/Alberni Valley Bulldogs) as a captain and Brady Norrish (Strongfield, Saskatchewan/Yorkton Terriers) as an assistant captain. Their leadership will be very important in us trying to get back to the NCAA Tournament next year and take it one step further.”
Kuqali excelled on both ends of the ice for the Tigers in 2014-15, leading all RIT blue liners with 22 points on five goals and 17 assists, while playing at a plus-16 rating. Kuqali was named to the NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team and scored twice in the season-opener against St. Lawrence, including the first ever goal at the Gene Polisseni Center. He also scored RIT’s opening goal in the 2-1 win over top-ranked Minnesota State in the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal. In addition, he was a leader off the ice, winning RIT’s Green B. Williams Award for Academic Excellence. The defenseman will enter his senior season with 43 career points on 10 goals and 33 assists in 114 games.
Like Kuqali, Miller was a standout on both ends of the ice in 2014-15, serving as one of RIT’s top penalty-killers, while scoring several big goals. Miller was third on the team in scoring with eight goals, including the insurance marker in the Atlantic Hockey Championship vs. Mercyhurst on March 21. Miller enters his senior season with 22 career points on 11 goals and 11 assists in 105 games.
Mitchell enjoyed a breakout season in 2014-15, earning All-AHC second team accolades and NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team honors. Mitchell was second on the team in scoring with 52 points on 15 goals and a DI team record 36 assists. His 36 assists were tied for third nationally and 52 points were tied for sixth. Mitchell recorded 15 multiple-point contests, including a trio of four-point outings and excelled on the defensive end as well, playing at a plus-27 this season, sixth best in Division I. He enters his senior season with 85 career points on 25 goals and 60 assists in 115 contests.
Norrish enjoyed an excellent rookie season for the Tigers, leading all RIT first year players with 22 points on four goals and 18 assists to go along with a spectacular plus-18 rating. He led all first-year Atlantic Hockey defensemen in scoring and was seventh overall among all AHC defenders. Norrish was named to AHC All-Rookie Team and was an overall second team selection. He also won the Tim Cordick Award as RIT’s top defenseman and Craig Lauzon Award as the squad’s rookie of the year.
For the second time in 10 Division I seasons, the RIT men’s hockey team advanced to the 2015 NCAA Tournament, winning the Atlantic Hockey Conference Championship. Buoyed by a dominant second half of the 2014-15 season, the Tigers made a furious postseason run, coming one period shy of a spot in the NCAA Frozen Four, finishing with a 20-15-5 record.