Three things I learned this week:
– 10,556 people can make a lot of noise. Rochester Institute of Technology sold out the Blue Cross Arena, site of the Atlantic Hockey Championships, on Saturday and won a thrilling 6-5 overtime game against St. Lawrence. It’s the only non-conference win for the league so far, and game in dramatic fashion with the Tigers scoring the tying goal with nine seconds to play in regulation, and then the game winner just 14 seconds into overtime. The crowd’s volume seemed to peak when Adam Harley got the equalizer, but found a Nigel Tufnel-esque “11” on the meter when Adam Mitchell got the game-winner.
– Teams that I suspected would be in rebuilding mode have looked that way so far. Mercyhurst dropped both games in the Alaska Gold Rush tournament to fall to 0-4. The Lakers have been outscored 18-6 so far this season. Sacred Heart is also off to a rough start, opening 0-4 and managing just two goals so far this season.
Canisius, with 12 freshman on the roster, opened its season at Quinnipiac and was swept, outscored 11-1. “It’s the same feeling every year for first-time players adjusting to the speed of Division I hockey,” said coach Dave Smith. “When you have a lot of young players like we did today, it is tough to establish the needed momentum.”
– Air Force can survive the loss of goaltender Jason Torf, who, according to coach Frank Serratore , “Tore out his groin,” and will be out of action for several weeks. He suffered the injury late in a 3-2 loss to Michigan State on October 8. This past weekend, senior Stephen Caple was in net for a pair of wins against Niagara and Robert Morris. Caple allowed four goals on 38 shots, which, while unspectacular, was good enough to win 3-2 in overtime against the Purple Eagles and 4-2 over the Colonials. The Falcons outshot both opponents by healthily margins.