One statistic stands way, way out in Rochester Institute of Technology’s sweep of Niagara: success with the man advantage. The Tigers scored a whopping eight power play goals in the series, including a school record six in a 7-1 win on Friday. RIT went six for 10 with the man advantage in that one, and followed it up with two more power play goals in five chances in Saturday’s 6-2 victory.
Liam Kerins had three goals on the weekend, two coming on the power play. A trio of Tigers had a pair of goals: freshman Ryan Kruper, junior Myles Powell and senior Danny Smith.
RIT was eight for fifteen on the power play for the series, and saw their national ranking in power play efficiency go from 31st (17.2%) to third (24.1%).
Three of the top five power plays in Division I belong to Atlantic Hockey teams: RIT at third, followed by American International (fourth at 23.9%) and Robert Morris (fifth at 23.7%).
For the first time this season, we had a full weekend of conference play without a series split. Robert Morris and Rochester Institute of Technology earned four points over Sacred Heart and Niagara, respectively.
The other pair of two-game series resulted in three point weekends for Holy Cross over Air Force and Canisius against Bentley.
With the exception of the RIT at Niagara series, the home ice advantage was put to good use, with host teams going 5-2-2 in conference play.
Holy Cross was one goal better than visiting Air Force this weekend, and came away with three big points in a series between teams expected to finish near the top of the standings.
A 2-2 draw on Friday and a 3-2 Crusaders win were typical Air Force vs. Holy Cross games.
The tie on Friday was the 10th time in 29 meetings between the schools since Air Force joined the league ten years ago. Nine of the ten ties have taken place at Holy Cross, where the Falcons are now 7-6-9.
Air Force’s Kyle Haak was the only player to score multiple goals in the series, with both coming on Saturday. Five different Crusaders scored, including Danny Lopez’s game-winner with 12 minutes to play in the third period on Saturday.
“To get three points on a weekend from a team as good as Air Force is a good achievement for any team,” said Holy Cross coach Berard after Saturday’s win. “Air Force plays a physical game and you have to earn everything when you play against them.”