Three things from the weekend that was in Atlantic Hockey:
It was close, but Robert Morris came up short in its bid to win its third consecutive Three Rivers Classic title. The Colonials easily handled Lake Superior State 5-0 in the semifinals, but were edged by No. 11 Providence, 2-1, in the championship game at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
The Friars broke a 1-1 tie with a power play goal by Pens prospect Kasper Bjorkqvst late in the second period, and Providence goaltender Hayden Hawkey stopped all nine shots he faced in the third period to preserve the victory. Robert Morris was unable to score in six power play attempts, while the Friars were one for two with the man advantage.
RMU senior Brady Ferguson had a goal and three assists on the weekend, extending his point streak to seven games. He has 11 points in his last four contests.
Robert Morris has now completed its non-conference schedule, going 1-5. The Colonials are off until Jan. 9, when they travel to Niagara for a midweek conference contest.
Saturday was not alright
It was a big weekend for non-conference action, with just two league games compared to 10 non-conference tilts.
On Friday, Atlantic Hockey teams went 2-2, with Robert Morris defeating Lake Superior State and Air Force retaining the Pikes Peak Trophy, beating crosstown rival Colorado College, 6-3.
Saturday was a different story. AHC teams were defeated in all six non-league games. All were against ranked teams, and only Robert Morris was “home”, as the host school for the Three Rivers Classic tournament.
The league’s non-conference record now stands at 20-37-4 (.361), ahead of the WCHA (.324) and outpacing last year (.338) but probably not good enough for help an AHC team gain an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament. The top Atlantic Hockey team in the Pairwise Rankings is currently Canisius at 19th.
Just six non-conference games remain: four against ranked squads and just one hosted by an AHC team (Northeastern at Bentley on Jan. 6).
Points on the line
With the Rochester Institute of Technology at Mercyhurst series postponed due to weather, the home-and-home series between Sacred Heart and Holy Cross were the only conference games on the slate.
The Crusaders, thanks to a wild third period comeback on Saturday, earned three of four points against the Pioneers to vault from a tie for third place to sole possession of second place in the standings.
On Friday, Holy Cross defeated Sacred Heart in Bridgeport, 4-1. The Crusaders opened a 4-0 lead midway though the contest and cruised from there.
Saturday in Worcester was a different story. The Pioneers scored five second period goals to open a 5-2 lead, but Holy Cross scored three times in the final 10 minutes of the contest, including the equalizer with 1:53 to play, to force overtime and an eventual tie.
Michael Laffin had a hat-trick for Holy Cross, for a total of four goals on the weekend.