Three Things: Leftovers

Leftovers.

Thanksgiving in the moment is one of the greatest times in the United States. It’s a great meal surrounded by family and friends. If you’re like my family, however, you wind up with an exorbitant amount of leftovers that wind up finding their way into containers to be sent home with relatives.

My wife and I had a discussion on Sunday about the validity of leftovers. Those first couple of days, you’re all puffed up, ready to have open-faced turkey sandwiches slathered in gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and maybe some mayo to add something “different” to it. By Sunday, though, the thought of another cranberry anything is insanity, and anarchy reigns in the fridge since you still can’t fit anything in there. If you didn’t put something in the fridge that should’ve gone in, there’s a chance it’s growing legs and spawning into a new world order (aka – it spoiled really bad really fast).

Welcome to the end of the weekend. Hopefully you have room in your hockey stomach for one more round of leftovers before we turn the page to the new week.

They’re Baaaaaack

Apparently some of us forgot to put the AIC Yellow Jackets in the fridge with the rest of the Atlantic Hockey teams. The Yellow Jackets showed up this weekend with a little bit more vinegar in their blood, then picked up three points on a Niagara team who came to Springfield riding a hot streak.

In their first game on Friday, the teams posted one of college hockey’s all-time rarities with a 0-0 tie. For AIC, it was their first in 14 years, while it was the third since 2009 for the Purple Eagles. AIC’s Alex Murray joined Niagara’s Jackson Teichroeb  for 50-plus combined saves, which included the Purps’ second straight shutout, the first time in four years they’ve achieved the accomplishment.

The scoreless weekend nearly lasted through the entire first period on Saturday, but Nicolas Luka scored his first goal with just over a minute remaining to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead. They built a 3-0 lead before Niagara scored halfway through the third in a 3-1 AIC victory.

The three points catapulted AIC into third place, one point behind Army West Point and RIT, who are tied for first, and it came against one of the league’s hottest teams entering the weekend. Even though they’ve played more games than a bulk of the teams behind them, it’s a great sign for the direction of the team in the first year of Eric Lang’s tenure.

Remember a time before Friday, when I talked about that lull AIC was in? I think they broke out of it.

Also a quick postscript and shout out to AIC’s new fan – ESPN anchor Linda Cohn.

Thanks a lot, old friend.

Sacred Heart entered their game against Connecticut having won three out of their last four meetings and five of their last ten all-time against the Huskies. Last season, the Pioneers scored twice in the first 30 seconds en route to a 7-4 thumping of the state’s flagship university.

It was a much different road this time around. The Huskies scored twice in the first period to take a 2-0 lead, but in a tale of the old “60 minutes” adage, they watched it evaporate over the game’s last 40.

Jordan Minello scored just about halfway through the second to cut the lead to 2-1, then added a tying goal five minutes into the third. Austin McIlmurray scored at the 8:14 mark, and Justin Danforth scored his third of the season to provide some insurance. Danforth’s goal, on the power play, also included the rare goalie point, with the secondary assist to Brett Magnus.

The win boosted Sacred Heart to nearly even with UConn in their all-time record, and it made up for the loss to Yale earlier in the year. In the emerging hockey market in the Nutmeg State, which I’ve spent ample time talking about these past couple of years, it’s a big win for the only college hockey team in the state that’s cloaked in red.

Non-Conference Busters

Though Harvard defeated Bentley and Holy Cross lost its two games at the Shillelagh Tournament, Atlantic Hockey picked up some good non-conference performances this weekend. I’m sure Chris will do a better number crunching the overall numbers, so I’ll just focus on some individualized performances.

Air Force nearly pulled off the upset of Denver at home, losing 4-3 in overtime at the Cadet Ice Arena, then held serve over Colorado College on the road (all 15 miles of it), 6-3. That’s a solid moral victory for a team that continues to sustain success against Rocky Mountain foes. Even in the loss to the Pioneers, Air Force rallied from three one-goal deficits, and it’s good for the league to be able to claim wins are “holding serve” against a particular team, meaning they would be expected to win.

And give credit to Robert Morris, who defeated Dartmouth, 3-0, in the first of their two games before the Big Green picked up a return victory at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday.

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