Three things: A Mercyhurst milestone

Mercyhurst milestone

Mercyhurst defeated visiting Air Force 3-1 on Saturday, the 500th career victory for Lakers coach Rick Gotkin, who is in his 28th season at the Erie, Pa. school.

Gotkin began his head coaching career at Mercyhurst in 1988, the second year of varsity hockey at the school and has been there ever since, amassing a record of 500-357-76.

Under Gotkin, the Lakers have been to the Division III, Division II and Division I NCAA Tournaments, and have qualified for the postseason 25 of a possible 27 times.

I’ve known Rick almost as long as he’s been at Mercyhurst, and while there are a lot of nice guys in college hockey, he’s one of the best. Congratulations.

AIC achievement

American International also had a historic win this past weekend, erasing a 2-0 deficit at No. 20 Robert Morris on Friday and winning 3-2. Travis Douglas got the game-winner with 5:11 left and Alex Murray made 44 saves for the Yellow Jackets.

It was AIC’s first win of the season and the first time in the history of the program (67 seasons, including 18 at the full Division I level) that the Yellow Jackets defeated a ranked D-I opponent.

On any given…

Robert Morris got revenge the following night, defeating AIC 7-1 to earn the split.

Also splitting conference weekend series were Air Force and Mercyhurst, as well as Sacred Heart and Holy Cross.

Rochester Institute of Technology took three points at Army to round out conference play.

That means all eight teams playing league games this past weekend earned at least a point, demonstrating again how close the standings have been in recent years, and how no AHC team can be taken for granted.

In 12 weekend conference series so far, only three have resulted in sweeps. Expect more of the same.