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College Hockey:
Three Things: Atlantic Hockey – January 5, 2014

Three things  from Atlantic Hockey play this weekend:

Streaks, good and bad

Several streaks came to an end this weekend:

  • Bentley’s nine game unbeaten streak ended on Saturday in a 5-3 loss to Niagara. The teams had tied 2-2 the night before.
  • Niagara had not won on the road (0-10-3) so far this season coming into that game on Saturday with Bentley, and was winless in its last seven games overall, so the Purple Eagles were glad to see those steaks broken. Niagara also scored multiple power-play goals for the first time this season.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology saw its six game unbeaten streak also fall, as the Tigers were swept at Connecticut 2-1 and 6-2.
  • American International had gone nine games without a win (0-8-1) until Friday, when the Yellow Jackets rallied for a 4-3 victory over Air Force.

 

Powerful

Another streak that fell this weekend concerned RIT’s power play, which had scored in five consecutive games and came into this past weekend’s series with Connecticut ranked fourth in Division I at 25.7%.

But the Huskies were perfect on the penalty kill, stopping all six attempts en route to a home sweep. UConn has now killed 24 straight man-down situations.

“Special teams win games,” said UConn coach Mike Cavanaugh on Friday (Video here). “Games where we’ve won the special teams game, I think we’re undefeated.”

On the flip side, Niagara came into its series at Bentley with the second-worst power play in the nation at 6.8%. But two power play goals by the Purple Eagles were the difference in their win over the Falcons on Saturday.

“Special teams are a big part of college hockey and we were struggling during the first semester,” said Niagara coach Dave Burkholder.  “Our power play has gotten better on a daily basis during practice and the guys were rewarded tonight.  A lot of it was just outworking Bentley’s guys, winning face offs and winning loose pucks.  It was things like that which made the difference in the game.”

 

Fantastic Finish

Add a fantastic finish by American International to its list of wild and wacky games this season. The Yellow Jackets stunned Air Force with a late rally on Friday.

The Falcons led 3-1 with under a minute and a half to play when David Norris made things interesting with a goal at 18:33, bringing AIC to within one.

The Yellow Jackets pulled their goalie with 1:06 left, and Air Force took a penalty with 36 seconds remaining, giving AIC a six-on-four situation. Defenseman Jake Williams then tied the game,  converting off a scramble with 15 seconds to play.

Alexander MacMillan completed the comeback, scoring the game-winner 59 seconds into overtime. MacMillen assisted on the other two AIC goals in the rally. The junior leads his team in scoring with 17 points so far.

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