Three things from Atlantic Hockey play this weekend:
Points for (almost) everybody
Every AHA team played a two game series this weekend, and ten of the 12 teams came away with points. There were three splits (Mercyhurst-Holy Cross, Robert Morris-Connecticut and Rochester Institute of Technology-Bentley), one three-point series (Air Force with a win and tie against Army) and two sweeps (Niagara over American International and Canisius against Sacred Heart). Something for (almost) everyone.
“This was the first real adversity we faced all year, we were getting our rear ends kicked at home and we had to salvage two points tonight,” said Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley after his team defeated Connecticut 4-3 on Saturday. “But we stepped up and put out the fire in the second and third. We had a lot of guys step up and give good efforts.”
Reversal of fortune
The Bentely-RIT series featured a pair of shutouts, one for each goaltender. Friday it was Bentley’s Brandon Komm’s time to shine as he stopped all 41 shots he faced in a 3-0 Falcons win.
Saturday, RIT took just 34 seconds to solve Komm, with Brad McGowan getting the first of four Tiger goals in a 4-0 victory. RIT goaltender Josh Watson made 31 saves.
“We had a couple of turnovers early on in the game and cost us the game as we were down 2-0,” Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist said. “We couldn’t find a way to find the back of the net. Their goaltender played a great game. RIT showed up with a lot of energy tonight, and we didn’t, and they deserved to win.”
Three to one
That was the score midway through Saturday’s Army – Air Force game with the Black Knights opening a lead and looking for a split on the weekend. But the Falcons came back for a 3-3 tie to win the points battle between the two rivals, 3-1.
“It didn’t look good for the Falcons when we were down 3-1, but we showed some resiliency coming back,” Air Force coach Frank Serratore said after the game. “Our even-strength defense needs to get better, but (goalie Jason) Torf was there to bail us out when we dropped a bomb. We gave them a couple of easy even-strength chances. Our penalty kill was pretty good and when we needed our power-play to score for us, they did in the third.”
Kyle De Laurell’s power play goal early in the third that made it 3-3 ended the scoring, but Army goalie Rob Tadazak had to make some big saves in overtime to keep the Falcons from the sweep.
All twelve teams again play two game series next weekend. After all the starts and stops of conference play in the first half of the season, I could get used to this.