After setting Atlantic Hockey record for career games played, RIT hockey’s Dan Willett looks to finish strong

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — COVID crushed the hopes and dreams so many athletes had. But it also gave some another chance to finish what they started. RIT Hockey’s Dan Willet is one of those guys.

"Just a dream come true," he said. "Getting to play another year. I mean, anybody who really got that opportunity was able to take it."

As the Tigers head into tournament play, Willet wraps up his fifth regular season in Henrietta.

"He just brings a lot to the table," head coach Wayne Wilson said. "Not only on the ice, but just his personality in the locker room and keeps everyone going

"Great thing about this organization is that they bring in such great character guys, and every year it’s been a genuinely just amazing group," Wilson said.

Through all the fun and games came a record that crept up on him, the most games played by an Atlantic Hockey player, he doesn’t take that for granted.

"In general, the experience has just been awesome," Willett said. "Being able to play all those games and it speaks to durability a little bit throughout my career. But yeah, I mean, I just it’s been an honor playing this many games in a Tiger uniform, and that’s just a special thing to me."

"But just as importantly, academically, he wanted to come back as a finance major," Wilson said. "He worked at the school, did a co-op here with the school and he’s enjoyed his stay here…that’s a big piece of the puzzle here, is, as you know, the academic and the hockey pieces have to go hand-in-hand."

That’s all fallen into place for him. Now, there’s one ending that would be fitting.

"When you’re at your last kick of the can, you just want to make sure you get it done," Willett said.

Willett and the Tigers host the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals this weekend. In what will be a best-two-of-three, the first two face-offs are Friday and Saturday evening at 7:05 p.m. followed by a possible third on Sunday at 5:05 p.m.