Three things from the weekend that was in Atlantic Hockey:
As is often the case, goaltending was the story in most of five series played this weekend.
• Air Force’s Billy Christopolous allowed just one goal on 56 shots to lead The Falcons to a sweep of Rochester Institute of Technology. On Friday, he let in his only goal of the weekend in a 2-1 victory and was even more impressive on Saturday, recording 30 saves for his first collegiate shutout in a 4-0 win.
• Rookie goaltender Jared Dempsey picked up his first career shutout on Saturday in a 4-0 blanking of Bentley. Sophomore forward Michael Wilson had a hat-trick for the Black Nights.
• American International freshman Stefano Durante also pitched his first career shutout on Friday as AIC knocked off Canisius 3-0. Durante’s 2.12 GAA is tops in Atlantic Hockey.
• Not to be overlooked was the play of Mercyhurst senior Brendon Wildung, who helped the Lakers to a sweep of Niagara. The Purple Eagles outshot Mercyhurst in both games, a pair of 3-2 victories. Wildung stopped 65 of 69 shots in the two games.
It was a good day to be a Riley
Saturday was a good day to be a member of the Riley family. Bothers Brendan (sophomore) and Jack (senior) scored all three Mercyhurst goals in a 3-2 win over Niagara to complete a weekend sweep of the Purple Eagles. Jack’s goal tied the game at 1-1 midway through the first period, while Brendan’s second period tally, the first of his collegiate career, again knotted the game at 2-2.
The younger Riley wasn’t finished, scoring the game-winner two minutes into the final period.
Meanwhile, Brian Riley, Jack and Brendan’s father, was coaching the Army West Point Black Knights to a 4-0 win over Bentley. The teams had tied the night before. The three-point weekend vaulted Army West Point from sixth place into a tie for fourth in the Atlantic Hockey standings.
Mercyhurst travels to Army West Point in two weeks.
You get a sweep! And you get a sweep! And…
Normally, sweeps are hard to come by in the AHC, but this past weekend saw teams in three of the five league series take all four points: Air Force (over RIT), Mercyhurst (over Niagara) and Holy Cross (over Sacred Heart). The sweep was especially sweet for Holy Cross, which rebounded after getting swept by American International the weekend before.
As a result, the Crusaders moved from third place into a te for first with Canisius. The Golden Griffins still hold the upper hand, with two games in hand over the Crusaders. The teams meet for the only time this season in three weeks.