Three things from Atlantic Hockey play this weekend:
Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley sums it up:
Schooley’s Colonials are tied for sixth place. Second place Meryhurst and tenth place Rochester Institute of Technology are separated by a mere five points with four weeks left in the regular season. First place Niagara has just about wrapped up the regular season title with a home sweep of Bentley this weekend. The Purple Eagles have a nine game lead in the standings. American International (despite taking three points at Air Force this past weekend) and Sacred Heart will most likely finish at the bottom, but second through tenth is anybody’s guess.
Compare and contrast
Two of the greatest goaltenders in Atlantic Hockey history are wrapping up their careers over the next few weeks, but their final chapters are looking like a study in contrast. AIC’s Ben Meisner helped the Yellow Jackets to a win and a tie at Air Force this past weekend. It was just the second time in 26 tries that AIC had defeated the Falcons.
In Saturday’s 2-1 overtime win, Meisner made 38 saves, including his 3,360th and 3,361st midway through the contest, making him the AHA’s all time saves leader. He surpassed Mercyhurst’s Ryan Zapolski (’11). Meisner made 50 stops in a 2-2 tie the night before.
On the other hand, Connecticut’s Garrett Bartus has struggled since the Holidays, going 1-3 including a 7-1 loss at RIT on Saturday. Seldom used Huskies senior goaltender Matt Grogan has thrived, posting a record of 5-1-1 over the same period, including a 35-save performance in a 3-1 win over the Tigers on Friday, earning first-star honors.
Meisner sets a new record with every save he makes, and has at least ten more games in his career. Bartus has made 3,293 career saves but may not get many more chances.
Saturday was not good night for a lot of goaltenders around the league. A total of 44 goals were scored in six games on Saturday, with four of the six winners scoring six goals or more. On Friday, a typical 22 goals were scored in five games. Those 44 goals were the most scored in a single night of conference play this season.