(Article courtesy RIT Athletics)
Freshman forward Gabe Valenzuela(Brampton, Ontario/North York Rangers) of the RIT men’s hockey team, was named to the 2015-16 Atlantic Hockey Conference All-Rookie Team on Thursday, March 3. It is the second straight season that RIT has had a player named to the All-Rookie Team. Valenzuela is the seventh player to earn All-Rookie Team honors since RIT joined the league in 2006.
Valenzuela has enjoyed an excellent debut season to date, with 25 points on 12 goals and 13 assists in 34 games played. His 12 goals are tied for the team lead, while the 13 assists are tied for third. Valenzuela is third on the squad with three power-play goals and tied for the lead with two game-winning tallies. In 28 league games, Valenzuela has 22 points on 11 goals and 11 assists and was a two-time Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week selection (Jan. 5, Jan. 26).
In league play, Valenzuela led all rookies with 11 goals and was third with 22 points. He is tied for 22nd nationally among all Division I first-year players with 0.74 points per game. Valenzuela has turned it on over the second half of the season, with 17 points in 18 games since Jan. 1. He has six multiple-point games, including a season-high three points on a two goals and an assist in a 5-2 win over Niagara on Feb. 20.
RIT (14-14-6, 14-9-5 Atlantic Hockey), the No. 5 seed in the upcoming Atlantic Hockey Tournament has a first-round bye and will travel to face No. 4 seed Mercyhurst in a best-of-three semifinal series from the Mercyhurst Ice Center starting Friday, March 11.
Past RIT Atlantic Hockey All-Rookie Team Selections
2006-07 – Anton Kharin
2006-07 – Al Mazur *
2006-07 – Louis Menard
2008-09 – Tyler Brenner
2009-10 – Chris Tanev *
2014-15 – Brady Norrish (Strongfield, Saskatchewan/Yorkton Terriers)
2015-16 – Gabe Valenzuela (Brampton, Ontario/North York Rangers)