Three things from Atlantic Hockey play this weekend:
Big winners: Connecticut. The Huskies are 4-1 in their last five games, including a sweep of Air Force this past weekend. Garrett Bartus stopped 35 of 36 shots for a 2-1 win on Friday, and then came back in the third to force overtime on Saturday. The Huskies won it 53 seconds into the extra period on a goal by captain Sean Ambrosie.
“Our kids put it all on the line in the third,” said interim coach Dave Berard after Saturday’s win. “They did what they had to do and deserved to win. We’re so proud of the effort they gave us in the the third to put themselves back in the game, and to win it like we did was really fun.”
This series was the sixth and seventh meeting between the schools in the past calendar year, and adds to what is becoming a good rivalry.
Atypical: The two teams that have finished at the top of the league the last six seasons are nowhere close in the early going. Air Force (2-3-1) and Rochester Institute of Technology (1-4-2) are in ninth and 10th place, respectively. The teams square off for a single game in Colorado Springs this Sunday.
Road Warriors: Mercyhurst split with Bentley in an entertaining series this weekend. It was the ninth and 10th consecutive road games for the Lakers, who have yet to play a game on home ice. Mercyhurst is at Air Force on Friday, and then makes its first appearance at the Mercyhurst Ice Center on Dec. 8 and 9 when the Lakers host American International.
1. Niagara – Idle last weekend after a 7-0 start in conference play.
2. Holy Cross – A tough loss at Brown, but still the best AHA team in the Eastern Pod
3. Bentley – The Falcons’ offense continues to fire on all cylinders.
4. Mercyhurst – Tough test at Air Force on Friday.
5. Connecticut – Huge sweep of Air Force to open a nine-game home stand.
6. Robert Morris – A big weekend at Holy Cross awaits.
7. Canisius – Picked up three points against AIC this weekend. Saturday was the first time the Golden Griffins had a pair of power-play goals in a single game since Dec.30, 2011.
8. Air Force – The Falcons have lost three in a row and have a big home weekend coming up against Mercyhurst and RIT.
9. Army – The Black Knights already have three conference wins this season, the same as they had all last season.
10. RIT – The Tigers showed signs of life with a good effort in a 3-3 tie against Clarkson on Friday.
11. AIC – The Yellow Jackets have just one win in their last seven games and are in the midst of a seven-game road swing that won’t see them at home again until Jan. 11.
12. Sacred Heart – SHU is still looking for its first win and again came close on Saturday, losing a 3-1 lead and falling 4-3 at Princeton. Things don’t get any easier with a trip to Niagara coming up this weekend.