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College Hockey:
Blog Special: The final day

Tonight’s action will conclude the Atlantic Hockey regular season, and there’s still much to be settled. Here’s a breakdown for each team:

Niagara (20-4-2; 42 points)
Best: First
Worst: First
Final game: at Air Force
Outlook: The Purple Eagles have locked up the top seed but their final game at Air Force is still critical. A 5-2 loss to the Falcons last night has dropped Niagara from 8th to 12th in the USCHO PairWise rankings, putting the Purple Eagles squarely on the bubble for an NCAA tournament at-large bid.

Air Force (14-7-5; 33 points)
Best: Second
Worst: Third
Final game: Home vs. Niagara
Outlook: Air Force defeated Niagara 5-2 last night to solidify at least a No. 3 seed. The Falcons need just a single point or a Holy Cross loss or tie to finish second.

Holy Cross (14-9-3; 31 points)
Best: Second
Worst: Third
Final opponent: Home against Army
Outlook: The Crusaders defeated Army 6-3 on Friday, clinching a first-round bye. Holy Cross will finish third unless it wins tonight and Air Force loses to Niagara. In that case, it wins a tiebreaker with Air Force for second place.

Connecticut (13-10-3; 29 points)
Best: Fourth
Worst: Sixth
Final opponent: At Sacred Heart
Outlook: The Huskies’ 4-4 tie with with Sacred Heart leaves them still fighting for a first-round bye. A win will do it. A tie will clinch if Mercyhurst beats Robert Morris.

Robert Morris (13-11-2; 28 points)
Best: Fourth
Worst: Sixth
Final opponent: At Mercyhurst
Outlook: The Colonials tied Mercyhurst 3-3 on Friday, keeping them in fifth place. A win and a Connecticut loss or tie would give RMU fourth place and the final bye. A tie and a UConn loss would also do it based on tiebreakers.

Mercyhurst (12-11-3; 27 points)
Best: Fourth
Worst: Seventh
Final opponent: Home against Robert Morris
Outlook: The Lakers need to beat Robert Morris and have Sacred Heart defeat UConn to clinch a bye. Anything less will have them hosting a first-round series.

Rochester Institute of Technology (11-11-4; 26 points)
Best: Sixth
Worst: Eighth
Final opponent: At Canisius
Outlook: The Tigers lost 6-5 to Canisius on Friday, eliminating their chance at a first-round bye. But American International’s win over Bentley locked up a home-ice playoff series. RIT is playing for positioning tonight, nothing more.

Canisius (11-13-2; 24 points)
Best: Seventh
Worst: Ninth
Final opponent: Home against RIT
Outlook: Canisius can clinch the final first-round home ice spot with a win. A tie would require a Bentley loss or tie. A loss would require a Bentley loss.

Bentley (10-13-3; 23 points)
Best: Eighth
Worst: 10th
Final opponent: Home against American International
Outlook: The Falcons are still alive for home ice but need either a win and a Canisius loss or tie, or a tie and a Canisius loss.

American International (8-12-6; 22 points)
Best: Ninth
Worst: 10th
Final opponent: At Bentley
Outlook: Despite a win against Bentley last night, the Yellow Jackets were eliminated from home-ice thanks to a Canisius win over RIT. Their game at Bentley tonight is for positioning only.

Army (7-14-5; 19 points)
Best: 11th
Worst: 11th
Final opponent: At Holy Cross
Outlook: The Black Knights will finish 11th no matter the outcome of tonight’s game.

Sacred Heart (2-20-4; 8 points)
Best: 12th
Worst: 12th
Final opponent: Home against Connecticut
Outlook: The Pioneers are locked into the 12th position but can play spoiler against their intra-state rivals.

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