Sweeps for the old guard
When Air Force and Rochester Institute of Technology joined Atlantic Hockey in 2006, they immediately dominated, posting a combined five regular season titles and six tournament championships in six years.
And in this new age of parity where sweeps are rare, it was the old guard that came away with four points this past weekend. Air Force recorded a home sweep of Niagara (3-0 and 3-1), and RIT wrestled four points away from Sacred Heart at the Milford Ice Pavilion (3-1 and 5-3).
The Falcons dominated on Friday, outshooting Niagara 45-14. Saturday was a closer affair, with Niagara out-chancing Air Force 30-26 and holding the Falcons to a 1-1 tie until late in the third period.
Special teams was the difference in the RIT-Sacred Heart series, with the Tigers going three for four on the power play on Friday, and holding Sacred Heart to one for nine with the man advantage on Sunday. A wild second period saw the teams combine for four goals in a 2:43 stretch including one for each side just eight seconds apart.
Road, sweet road
The win by RIT on Sunday extended the Tigers’ unbeaten road conference streak to a school-record 10 games (9-0-1).
But RIT is just 3-5 at home in conference play and faces a tough challenge when it hosts Holy Cross this weekend. The Crusaders, coming off a tie and overtime loss to Canisius, trail RIT by a point for second place. The setback on Saturday was just the second conference home loss of the season for Holy Cross, which is 7-2-1 in league play at the Hart Center.
It won’t affect the standings, but there was a big game played in Kingston, Ontario on Saturday.
Army West point retained the Challenge Cup, defeating their Canadian counterparts, the Royal Military Academy, 4-3. It was 80th meeting between the two schools and the fifth straight win in the series for the Black Knights.
Freshman Ian Mansfield scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in the third period.
Because the game was officially an exhibition, neither goal will count in Mansfield’s official statistics. He has yet to record a point in 17 NCAA games, but that doesn’t take away from a big night up north for Mansfield and Army West Point.
The Black Knights return to league play this weekend, visiting Niagara.