Three (actually four) things from the weekend that was in Atlantic Hockey:
Last week, Rochester Institute of Technology coach Wayne Wilson told me what to expect from his team’s upcoming series with Air Force: “We’re not expecting to start the third period down by any more than a goal or up by any more than a goal,” he said.
That turned out to be exactly what happened.
On Friday, the Falcons had a 3-2 lead going into the final period in Colorado Springs. RIT was able to tie the score on a goal from Erik Brown, but AFA’s Erik Baskin got the game-winner, on the power play, with 8:37 left in regulation to give the Falcons a 4-3 win.
“Air Force out-worked us, especially over the final two periods,” said Wilson after the game. “They won a lot of the one-on-one battles, competed much harder than us and that was the difference, as the better team won tonight.”
“I really liked our compete level,: said Air Force coach Frank Serratore. “We have to out-work them because we can’t out-experience them. We weathered the storm in the first period as they had some shots. They are a good team. There is a reason they were 5-1 in the league.”
Saturday was the same story with a different result. This time it was the Tigers who entered the third period with a one-goal lead (2-1). This time it was Air Force that answered (on a goal from Jordan Himley), and this time it was RIT that got a late power play goal to win it. Ryan Kruper’s second of the season with 5:01 to play was the difference in a 3-2 RIT win.
“I thought we responded well after last night, said Wilson. “We were a lot sharper and played with more focus and intensity for a full 60 minutes.”
They say that good teams score in bunches, and that was the case for Canisius in its sweep of Bentley.
On Friday, the Golden Griffins blew a 1-1 game wide open with four second period goals, and added one in the third for a 5-1 win.
The following afternoon, Canisius erased a 2-0 Bentley lead with a pair of goals in the second period and three more in the third, all unanswered, to cruise to a 5-2 comeback win.
Senior Ryan Schmelzer had a pair of goals, both in the third period.
“Ryan’s finishing ability is high end,” said Canisius coach Trevor Large after the game. “With his speed and effort, he’s getting scoring chances and it’s not surprising that when he gets a chance to score, he’s finishing them.”
Canisius is now unbeaten in its last ten games vs. Bentley (8-0-2). The teams meet again at the end of January.
Back on track
Robert Morris has had its share of ups and downs so far this season, but is headed in the right direction after a 3-1 and 4-0 sweep of American International. It’s the first time this season the Colonials have come away with four points on a weekend.
RMU goaltender Francis Marotte stopped 49 of 50 shots on the weekend, including all 19 in Saturday’s shutout, his second of the season and fourth of his career.
Spencer Dorowicz had three goals, including a pair on Friday.
Robert Morris looks to keep things going at Bentley next weekend, while AIC will regroup and prepare for a home series against Niagara.
Eight isn’t enough
Did this weekend’s Atlantic Hockey schedule seem a bit light? Just eight teams saw action in four weekend series. That’s the fewest number of teams and games since the second weekend of the season.
But there’s three games on Tuesday, including a league matchup between Army West Point and Sacred Heart, which was idle this past weekend.
Also idle was Niagara, which travels to Cornell on Tuesday.
Mercyhust has been off since Nov. 11. Up next for the Lakers is a weekend series at Wisconsin.