Three things from Atlantic Hockey play this weekend:
A first-round sweep by the four home teams sets up quarterfinal series match ups that line up per the top eight seeds:
No. 8 Rochester Institute of Technology at No. 1 Niagara
No. 7 Canisius at No. 2 Air Force
No. 6 Mercyhurst at No. 3 Holy Cross
No. 5 Robert Morris at No. 4 Connecticut
There have now been 29 best-of-three series in the ten years of Atlantic Hockey tournament play, and the home team has won an amazing 28 of them. The only exception was in 2010 when No. 5 Canisius swept No. 4 Mercyhurst in the quarterfinals.
This past weekend’s first round held little excitement with only two of the eight playoff games decided by a goal. The average score of the games was 4-1. Mercyhurst outscored Army 8-3, Robert Morris defeated Sacred Heart by a combined score of 10-2, Canisius topped Bentley by a 6-1 margin, and RIT outscored AIC 9-2.
Attendance was less than stellar as well. Combined attendance for the series were:
• RIT: 2,234 (53% capacity)
• Mercyhurst: 1,927 (74%)
• Robert Morris: 1,235 (56%)
• Canisius: 700 (19%)
All except Mercyhurst were below the average regular season attendance for each team.
Exiting the stage
AIC goaltender Ben Meisner left Saturday’s game at RIT with 5:54 to play and his team trailing 7-1, but few at Ritter Arena knew what a significant curtain call it was. The senior ended his career with 3,684 saves, good for 12th all-time in NCAA Division I play and best in Atlantic Hockey History.
That included 1,106 in his senior campaign, a career high. He also posted career bests in wins (11), GAA (2.98) and save percentage (.923).
I’ll be going through all 12 senior classes in this week’s Atlantic Hockey column.