Three things (and more) from the past weekend in Atlantic Hockey:
“An awesome thing”
Mercyhurst goaltender Jordan Tibbett has had an up-but-mostly-down season so far for the Lakers. Coming off the 2012-13 season where he played in 18 games and registered a .925 save percentage, Tibbett lost the job to Jimmy Sargeant, who is second in the league in both GAA (2.33) and save percentage (.932).
But when Sargeant went down with an injury on Jan. 25 in a game against Canisius, Tibbett made his first appearance in a month and looked rusty, allowed five goals on 17 shots.
But this past weekend in a showdown for first place with Bentley, Tibbett regained his form, holding the high-powered Falcons offense to just three goals on 69 shots. Mercyhurst took three points from Bentley, extending its lead to four points over the Falcons. It was Tibbett’s first win in net since the Atlantic Hockey semifinals last season.
“I’m really happy for our hockey team, and especially (for) Jordan Tibbett,” Lakers coach Gotkin told the Erie Times-News. “It hasn’t been an easy couple months for Tibbs. When we needed him most, he was at his best. I think that’s an awesome thing.”
Quite a draw
On Saturday, the Lakers set a home attendance record, cramming 1,817 into the Mercyhurst Ice Center, which has a listed capacity of 1,300. The draw? Besides the clash of first and second place teams, the Stanley Cup was in the house thanks to Lakers’ trainer Mike Folga, who was on the New York Rangers’ staff when the Blueshirts won it all in 1994. It was long delayed, but Folga finally got his day with the Cup.
Let’s see that one again
There was a bit of controversy in Friday’s 2-2 tie between Bentley and Mercyhurst. A possible goal by Bentley’s Brett Gensler may have been missed. Mercyhurst does not yet employ video replay, which will be mandatory in Atlantic Hockey beginning next season. Currently, only Air Force, Army, Bentley and Rochester Institute of Technology have video replay capability.
Winning the battle but not the war
There’s an adage in hockey that the squad that wins the special teams battle will prevail. RIT dominated Holy Cross in special teams last weekend, but it was the Crusaders that came away with three points, tying the Tigers 3-3 on Friday and defeating them 4-2 on Saturday.
RIT was a combined four for seven on the power play, and held Holy Cross to just one power play goal in eight attempts. But the Crusaders only allowed one even strength goal all weekend.
Every second counts
Sacred Heart scored a rare buzzer-beater goal on Friday in a 4-3 win against Niagara. Freshman Mitch Nylen scored off a faceoff with just 0.9 seconds left. Here’s the video. Enjoy. [youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDztnjjy4nI”]