Three things from Atlantic Hockey play this weekend:
Western weekend winners – The Western side of Atlantic Hockey went 5-0-1 against its Eastern counterparts this past weekend. On the season, the West “pod” leads the East 16-6-4 in inter-region play. Things are more distributed in the standings, with Western teams holding down the 1, T4, T4, 7, 8 and 10 spots, and Eastern Teams in the 2, 3, T4, 9, 11 and 12 slots.
Pulling away – Niagara took care of business with four home points against winless Sacred Heart to put some distance between itself and second-place Holy Cross, which managed only a point in a two game series with Robert Morris. The Purple Eagles now lead the Crusaders by four points with two games in hand. Big movers this week besides Niagara were Army (wins over Bentley and AIC) and Canisius (sweep of Connecticut).
Poor prognostications and poor judgment – I opened November on fire in the picks department, going 22-7-2. But the last two weeks I’ve been humbled, going just 8-7-3. Not a good job on my part, and not a good job was done on several fronts in Sunday’s 3-2 Air Force overtime win over RIT. Penalty minutes in the game were an astounding 42-4 in favor of RIT. The Twittersphere has been quite active debating where to lay blame for a game that both teams admitted was poorly played. My vantage point was a remote one, following the game via Internet video and listening to both team’s home broadcasters (some of the most experienced broadcasters in the AHA). I was also in contact with our USCHO writer at the game, who was adamant that the officiating was very poor. Players and coaches were vague, taking a more “read between the lines” approach to summarizing the debacle.You can read the recap and see video here.
Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson learned the hard way about speaking his mind. I am beyond the reach of the league office in terms of sanctions but have been contacted by the AHA in the past for comments critical of the individual officials involved in the game last night. I saw and heard nothing on Sunday night to change my mind. But I wasn’t physically there, so in this forum I’ll simply say that I hope that adjustments are made by all parties so that games that one-sided, deserved or not, are few.
Read my Twitter feed for an unvarnished assessment.