Three (actually four) things from the weekend that was in Atlantic Hockey:
Undefeated no more
Robert Morris’ rookies experienced a first on Saturday: what it feels like to lose a college hockey game. The Colonials entered the day as one of only three undefeated Division I programs (Harvard and Michigan Tech were the others – Harvard also lost).
RMU (7-1-2) had come from behind to earn a 3-3 tie with Air Force on Friday, and again on Saturday to force overtime, but the magic ran out on a Scott Holm goal 29 seconds into the extra session to giver Air Force the win. Falcons goaltender Chris Truehl made 44 saves for the win. Robert Morris outshot Air Force 45-25 in the contest.
“Hats off to (Air Force),” said RMU coach Derek Schooley after the game. “I thought the better team did not win the hockey game. If we play the way we played this weekend, we’re going to get rewarded more often than not.”
We all know that parity reigns in Atlantic Hockey, and Friday was a perfect example, with all four conference games going to overtime. Rochester Institute of Technology/Canisius, Mercyhurst/Bentley, and Air Force/Robert Morris all settled for ties, while Army defeated Holy Cross 5-4 thanks to a goal by Conor Andrle with ten seconds left in the extra session.
It was almost the same story on Saturday, with three of the four league contests needing an extra period. Bentley and Air Force both notched wins in OT, while Holy Cross and Army ended scoreless after 65 minutes.
After the dust settled, just two points separate places three through eight in the standings.
Like old times
Connecticut has had some success in its inaugural season in Hockey East with a win over Boston College and a tie against Boston University. Throw in a win against state rival Quinnipac and the Huskies were flying high coming into their game on Friday with former AHA rival Sacred Heart, played at a neutral location with proceeds going to the family of Jason Pagni, who was killed in an auto accident in January and was a close friend of Sacred Heart coach C.J. Marottolo.
Played in front of a packed house at the Taft School, the game was a nail biter with an early goal by the Pioneers’ Drew George standing up as the lone tally in a 1-0 win, the first career shutout for SHU senior goaltender Andrew Bodnarchuk.
(Almost a) One man band
Tuesday morning the league will announce its player of the week, and I have a feeling that RIT’s Matt Garbowsky will get some serious consideration.
The senior tallied four goals and an assist in a pair of games at Canisius, including all three RIT goals in a 3-3 tie on Friday and a goal and an assist in a 3-0 victory on Saturday.
Tigers coach Wayne Wilson called out the rest of his squad on Friday in a sarcasm-filled post game interview, accusing everyone not named Garbowsky of being “spectators”.
On Saturday, Garbowsky got some help in a more balanced effort, according to Wilson.
“I thought we played a better game than we did last night,” he said. “I thought we competed hard. I thought it showed up defensively. We created a lot of turnovers, made it very difficult for them to come up the ice. Overall, a better team effort for us tonight than last night.”