Three things from this past weekend in Atlantic Hockey:
It comes down to…
Air Force coach Frank Serratore is fond of saying that the results of a hockey game usually comes down to special teams and goaltending.
Saturday’s game between Robert Morris and Niagara is a case in point. The Colonials won 8-2 despite being outshot by the host Purple Eagles 36-28. RMU goaltender Terry Shafer made 34 saves for the win.
The other key to the game was a perfect power play for Robert Morris, which converted on all four attempts.
I’m going out on a limb and predicting that RMU’s Greg Gibson will be named Atlantic Hockey’s Player of the Week. Gibson had a hat trick in the game, and a pair of goals the night before in a 3-3 tie with Niagara.
Other examples of the axiom (at least the goaltending part) from this past weekend include:
- Canisius’ 4-3 win over Holy Cross on Friday. The Golden Griffins were more than doubled up in shots (38-18) by the Crusaders.
- Mercyhurst defeated Army West Point 4-2 on Friday despite being outshot 39-18, including 33-9 over the final two periods.
- Rochester Institute of Technology outshot visiting Colgate 46-27 on Saturday, but came away with a 4-3 loss.
Orange is the new gray
RIT President Bill Destler offered a unique challenge to the community concerning the Tiger’s home opener against Colgate this past Saturday: sell the Gene Polisseni Center (4,300) out, and he would have his hair died orange at center ice between the second and third periods.
It worked, and Destler kept his promise (Photo courtesy of RIT).
The sellout wasn’t enough to propel the Tigers to a win, however. As mentioned earlier, RIT dominated the shot chart, but lost 4-3.
Coming back to haunt you?
I know I’m a little early, but keeping the orange motif and looking forward to some tricks and treats next weekend, here’s hoping that a couple of points left on the table don’t come back to haunt Robert Morris.
The Colonials had to settle for a pair of 3-3 ties so far against teams predicted to finish in the bottom half of the standings, Air Force on Oct. 17 and Niagara last Friday. RMU picked up wins in the other half of those weekends, but points in October count as much as the ones in February when everyone is jockeying for final position.
It’s way, way early (three AHC teams haven’t played a conference game yet), but Mercyhurst already has eight points in four games, and ties against teams you’re favored to beat can be costly in the long run.