Three Things: December 1, 2014

Three things (four, actually, but they’re small) from the weekend that was in Atlantic Hockey:

Is Saturday night all right?

There were only seven games involving Atlantic Hockey teams this past Thanksgiving weekend, including a pair of conference series that both ended in splits.

That’s been the story more often than not so far, as evidenced by the logjam in the standings.

Bentley and Army each took two points from the other, as did Canisius and Air Force. The Golden Griffins are examples of the volatility teams have seen from night to night – they are 4-1-2 so far on Fridays, but just 1-5-2 on Saturdays.

Ditto Rochester Institute of Technology, which is 3-1-2 on Fridays and 1-6 on Saturdays following a 2-0 loss at Yale last weekend. Bentley? 4-2-1 on Fridays; 2-4 on Saturdays.

On the other hand, Mercyhurst is a better team on Saturday this season, going 4-1-1 vs. just 1-3-1 on Fridays. Air Force is also better the second night of the weekend, currently 4-3-1 on Saturdays vs. 1-5-1 on Fridays.


Home cooking makes a difference

Atlantic Hockey teams are still struggling in non-conference play, currently 11-33-2 (.261). That’s a higher winning percentage than last season, however (.215). I think that’s due to AHA rinks hosting more non-conference games this season.

With the Big Ten and Hockey East having only 20 and 22 conference games, respectively, teams from those leagues can’t afford to be choosy when lining up non-conference opponents, including being more open to playing them on the road. Couple that with a tweak to the PWR formula that gives greater weight to road wins, and you have schools more willing to play in AHA barns.

So far this season, Atlantic Hockey teams have hosted 20 of the 43 non-conference games they’ve played. The results are dramatic: the league is 8-11-2 at home and just 3-20 on the road.


Getting the hang of this college hockey thing

Speaking of non-conference games, Holy Cross defeated Brown 5-0 at the Hart Center on Sunday, and freshmen led the way for the Crusaders, scoring all five goals. Rookie Ryan Ferrill had a hat-trick, scoring Holy Cross’ first three goals, and classmate TJ Moore lit the lamp twice. In all, 14 of the Crusaders’ 33 goals this season have been scored by freshmen.

But it was a senior who shined in net for Holy Cross. Matt Ginn recorded his third shutout of the season and seventh of his career, setting a new record for career shutouts in the school’s Division I era.


Too soon?

As the calendar turns to December, is it too soon to look at the PairWise Rankings? Perhaps, but it’s clear at this point, about a third of the way into the season, that if Atlantic Hockey hopes to get two teams into the NCAA tournament, Robert Morris is the only AHA squad with a decent shot at finishing in the top 16 in the PWR.

The Colonials are currently 25th in the very volatile PWR, despite having the third best winning percentage in the nation (.792). That’s mostly due to the Colonials’ strength of schedule so far, which is ranked 58 out of 59 Division I teams. If RMU can do well in some non-conference games coming up (Penn State, Bowling Green and either Western Michigan or Colgate), its numbers will improve.

And the Colonials need to keep winning of course. The same goes for the rest of the league. The rising tide will lift everyone’s PWR boat.


  1. As everyone else says above, the Hobey Hat Trick should surely include Abbott and Connolly…..Im thinking the darkhorse now has got to be Hutwick for Michigan.  Im not a huge fan of on how who does what in postseason, because to me awards like this outta go to how they played in the regular seaon and everything else before the tournament.  I mean the Heisman trophy bases there season during the regular season(trust me, I have issues on how they go about that award as well, lol).   But, Im hoping to see Abbott play this weekend because of all the hard work hes put in this year, from last summer working on his game thru the season we’ve had….if not it’ll be to bad because the country will miss out on seeing one of the best in the nation this year.  Either way, Im looking forward to watching the game in person Saturday, it should be a great game in my opinion, and just maybe we’ll get another shot at BC!  Go Black Bears!

  2. Nice article Elliot. To you and everyone else, who would you favor to win the Hobey if Neither Abbott nor Connolly won? Consider two responses, (1) if the season ended before the tourney starts and (2) how the player ends the season.

  3. Dude, do you even watch any of these guys?
    Abbott has 145
    points in 150 career games.
    Connolly has 195
    points in 164 career games.
    My god, look at the points per game difference. Connolly has NEVER Missed a game!
    Is that even close? Connolly has a ntnl. championship.How do you put them in the same class?
    Jack = H Baker

    • Yes, but the Hobey Baker is not a career award, but a single season reward, and this year Spencer Abbott has 61 points in 38 games, and Jack Connolly has 58 points in 39 games.  Can you compute for me the point per game ratios there?  Also, he plays in Hockey East, which boasts 2 of the top ten goalies in the country, where the WCHA has no goalies in the top ten.

    • all scoring in a weak league… but as you are completely unaware, its not about scoring or Austin Smith would have won already.  career achievements do not mean squat.  its a yearly thing.. get with the program.
      anyways, Abbott and Connolly were both shut down against quality teams

  4. How is it that a kid scores 36 goals in 39 games, his team doesn’t make the NCAA tourney and suddenly he’s on the bubble? Not to mention he had 6 short handed goals and finished the season, pre-NCAA, 3rd in points behind two players with 39+ assists. Let’s be honest, getting assists on a team that has the depth of Maine or Duluth is much easier than scoring 36 goals for a team that was barely over .500 on the year. The hobey is still an individual award, no? If Colgate had half the following of Maine or Duluth, Austin Smith would be a no brainer for hobey. I think the hobey panel will see through the fog of pthe opularity contest but we all know the fans are much less open minded. It’s too bad.

  5. As I heard all the hype about Abbott and watched UMD crush Maine all i have to say is done deal. Jack Connolly will be the Hobey winner. Abbott is way over hyped or I  must need glasses. After the first period he was absolutely non-existent.

  6. Concerning Grosenick; well he did have a pair of dominant wins and a birth into the Frozen Four, oh yeah and had a highlight reel save that was # 2 on ESPN’s Top Ten play of the day but it wasn’t against Miami of Ohio. 


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