Three (OK, four, but they’re short) Things from Atlantic Hockey play this weekend:
On Friday, Canisius led host Army 3-2 after two periods before blowing the game open with five goals in the third to win, 8-2. The Griffs chased Black Knight goaltender Rob Tadazak with their sixth goal, the first career tally for rookie Shane Conacher (yes, relation).
It’s always interesting to see how a team responds to a blowout loss. Would Army coach Brian Riley make wholesale changes? How would the Black Knights react, especially if they fell behind early?
Riley elected to go back to Tadazak, and he and sophomore Shane Hearn led the Black Knights to a rebound 2-0 win on Saturday.
Hearn got Army a lead it wouldn’t surrender midway through the second period, and added an insurance goal with 58 seconds left to seal the deal. Tadazak stopped all 15 shots he faced for the shutout. Those 15 shots were a season low for the Golden Griffins. Army surrendered 35 to Canisius the night before.
“I am sure there are some people that would not come back to Tadazak tonight,” Riley said after the game. “But he is a competitor, and he gave us a chance to win tonight and I was happy to see him bounce back the way he did.”
Usually it’s near the end of a season that you see players achieve career records or milestones, but a pair of achievements happened this past weekend:
- Canisius senior Kyle Gibbons scored his 49th and 50th career goals on Saturday, becoming the third player in program history to get to the half-century mark. He’s now tied with Jason Weeks (50 goals from 2006 to 2010) and trails only Cory Conacher (62 goals from 2007 to 2011).
- Bentley’s Brett Gensler moved into the top position for career points in Bentley’s Division I era with three assists in Friday’s 4-1 win over Robert Morris, moving past Dain Prewitt (’09). Gensler added a goal in Saturday’s 7-2 win and now is at 129 points and counting. The all-time record for career points at Bentley is still held by coach Ryan Soderquist, who recorded 173 back in the Falcons’ Division II days.
A heap of helpers
Bentley defenseman Steve Weinstein, who set the school career mark for points by a defenseman on Nov. 30, added to his total with a goal and four assists last weekend. The junior already has 19 assists this season. He’s tied for second nationally, trailing only St. Lawrence’s Greg Carey (23 assists).
Weinstein has had at least one assist in his last eight contests, averaging two a game over that span. His goal on Saturday was his first of the season.
As we approach Holiday break, who’s the hottest team in Atlantic Hockey?
Canisius was riding a four-game winning streak before being shut out at Army on Saturday. Rochester Institute of Technology has won five in a row, the Tigers’ longest in two years. Mercyhurst has won six of its last seven contests, scoring 34 goals over that stretch.
But I’m going with Bentley. The Falcons are undefeated in their last six contests and have played arguably a tougher schedule over that stretch.
Bentley faces a tough challenge on Saturday, traveling to Boston University for its final game before Christmas.