Three things I learned from Atlantic Hockey this weekend:
A full slate is a good thing: This weekend was the first of the season to see all twelve teams in two-game series against conference opponents. The unbalanced schedule makes for several weekends where teams have only one game.
“I hate (playing one game on a weekend)”, said Rochester Institute of Technology coach Wayne Wilson. “If you lose, you have to sit on that for a whole week instead of getting at it the next night.”
Next weekend, we’re back to most teams playing just one league game or games out of conference. But it was nice while it lasted.
Getting it done: Air Force and Mercyhurst were the only teams to get all four points this weekend, with the Falcons winning a pair of one-goal games over Sacred Heart and Mercyhurst getting some revenge with a home sweep over Connecticut. The Huskies knocked the Lakers out of the playoffs last season. RIT took three of four points from Army in a pair of close games. The other series (Niagara-Holy Cross, Bentley-Canisius and American International-Robert Morris) all resulted in splits.
Tough luck: Sacred Heart has had problems this season and last with defense and goaltending, but this weekend the Pioneers got a pair of strong outings from goaltender Steven Legatto. The junior made 75 saves in two games but it wasn’t enough as Air Force swept Sacred Heart 2-1, and 3-2.
In Rochester, Army played well enough to earn more than a single point, but that was all that was in the cards for the Black Knights. On Friday, they fought back from a 2-2 third period-deficit to tie RIT 2-0. But on Saturday, Army couldn’t hold a two goal lead built off of hat-trick by Andy Starcweski and dropped a 5-3 decision to the Tigers.
Getting my vote: Here’s how I’ll vote in tomorrow’s USCHO.com Division I men’s poll:
2. Boston College
3. Colorado College
5. Western Michigan
7. Notre Dame
8. Ferris State
10. Minnesota Duluth
12. Lake Superior State
14. Northern Michigan
15. Boston University
16. North Dakota
17. Michigan Tech
18. St. Cloud State
20. Air Force