. - The Robert Morris University men's hockey team has become nationally-renowned for its exploits on the ice, with an NCAA tournament appearance and two Atlantic Hockey Conference championships over the past two seasons, but the Colonials have been just as impressive in the classroom.
For the fourth consecutive year, Robert Morris was the most decorated school in the conference when it comes to grades, as it placed 25 student-athletes on the 2014-15 Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team.
In order to qualify, individuals must have posted at least a 3.0 grade-point average in all academic semesters during which their team was competing. The AHC released a list of 190 honorees
Monday afternoon, an announcement that included graduated RMU senior David Rigatti among its eight student-athletes of the year.
"I am very proud of our players' performance in the classroom," head coach Derek Schooley said. "Our staff places a priority on recruiting good students, good people and good athletes."
Rigatti, who majored in biology, posted a 4.0 grade-point average during the 2014-15 academic year, joining former teammates Brandon Denham (2012-13), Tyler Hinds (2012-13), Zac Lynch (2012-13), Jeff Jones (2011-12) and Tyson Wilson (2011-12) as winners of the AHC's top academic prize.
Among RMU's studious group of 25, seniors Rigatti, Jones, Cody Wydo and Scott Jacklin were four-time all-academic honorees. Lynch, Denham, David Friedmann, Chase Golightly, Jay Llewelyn and Evan Moore are on the list for the third time apiece, while Matt Cope, Dalton Izyk, Daniel Leavens, Rob Mann, John Rey, Ben Robillard and Terry Shafer are two-time selections.
In addition, all seven freshmen - Alex Bontje, Spencer Dorowicz, Brady Ferguson, Elias Ghantous, Timmy Moore, Andrew Pikul and Robert Powers - earned their way onto the all-academic list, perpetuating a program tradition.
"The players know they are here to get an excellent education while excelling on the ice," Schooley said. "They have bought into that and it shows with their performance in the classroom and at the rink."
Among the 11 Atlantic Hockey member institutions, Canisius ranked second to RMU with 22 academic honorees; American International and Sacred Heart tied for third with 20 each.
The Colonials will begin defending their first ever AHC regular-season crown in the fall. RMU's 12th Division I season will include 15 home games at the Island Sports Center and the fourth-annual Three Rivers Classic at CONSOL Energy Center in late December. View the full schedule here
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