Three things from last week:
1. It’s getting better. Last year, the opening weekend of the college hockey season saw Atlantic Hockey teams go 1-14 in non-league action, and that single win was in the consolation game of a tournament between two AHA teams. This season opened with a more respectable 4-8-2 record for the league, including wins over two ranked teams. Highlights included:
- Rochester Institute of Technology’s 5-4 win over No. 3 Michigan
- Robert Morris’ 4-0 blanking of No. 18 Quinnipiac
- American International’s 3-2 win against Penn State in the Nittany Lions’ first-ever NCAA game
- Canisius’ 3-1 victory against Alaska, making the Golden Griffins runners-up in the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage
- Air Force earning ties against Alaska and Alaska-Anchorage in the same tournament
Hopefully, there will be more to come for the league with some big games on the horizon: Niagara at Michigan State, Mercyhust at Ferris State, Bentley at Michigan and Air Force at Denver. Penn State visits RIT.
2. Ben Meisner sure knows how to spoil a party. The senior goaltender led AIC to a 3-2 overtime win at Penn State, ruining it’s long-anticipated entry into NCAA hockey. Mesiner made 61 saves in the contest, setting both school and conference records for saves in a game.
3. Michigan coach Red Berenson has apparently introduced a new type of stat for college hockey: “unearned goals”. An obviously upset Berenson did not think his team played well in its opening 5-4 overtime loss to RIT. The Wolverines squandered a 3-0 lead and gave up three third-period goals to the Tigers. He said in his post-game presser that RIT’s goals were “unearned”. I think he meant that rookie goalie Jared Rutledge and defense was not up to snuff, but the only type of “unearned” goal I can come up with involves putting the puck unprovoked into your own net. That kind of goal shouldn’t count against a goalie’s GAA, if such a stat did indeed exist.