We’re coming down to the last few weeks of the regular season and things are just getting heated up. Teams had a chance to separate themselves from the pack this past weekend but only Niagara was able to extend it’s lead and all but seal their first Atlantic Hockey regular season title. Just seven points separate second place from tenth place. It should be another exciting finish to the Atlantic Hockey season.
1. Niagara – The Purple Eagles are without a doubt the best in Atlantic Hockey. They’ve only lost once in league play and are getting national attention. The Purple Eagles are ranked 15th in the USCHO poll, but more importantly are ninth in the PairWise. The face rival Canisius tonight and Saturday.
2. Mercyhurst – The Lakers have clawed their way back to where we thought they would be at the beginning of the season. They have points in four straight games and sit in second place. It’s probably the highest the Lakers will climb as Niagara looks poised to claim to the regular season title. The Lakers host Air Force, who trail the Lakers by just three points, for two games this weekend.
3. Holy Cross – The Crusaders have stumbled a bit in 2013, winning only four of their 10 games. But their still near the top standings, tied with Air Force for third place. The Crusaders have a home-and-home series with Sacred Heart this weekend.
4. Bentley – The Falcons have lost three straight games and need to turn it around quickly to avoid falling too far behind in the standings. They have a home-and-home series with UConn this weekend.
5. Air Force – The Falcons have climbed out of the early hole they dug themselves but still have work to do. Last weekend’s one point effort against AIC to third place. They travel to Meryhurst for a huge two-game series.
6. UConn – The Huskies lost for the first time in four games, but it was a bad loss. They’re still in the hunt for a first round bye but a getting those extra two points last weekend would have bumped the Huskies from 10th to fifth. They have a home-and-home with Bentley this weekend.
7.Robert Morris – The Colonials swept Sacred Heart and could have really improved their outlook against Mercyhurst on Tuesday. Instead they were blown out 8-1. The Colonials are still in sixth place and host RIT for two games.
8. Canisius – The Golden Griffins were able to shutout Holy Cross last Saturday but weren’t able to follow it up with another win. The Golden Griffins have won back-to-back games just twice this season but are still in fifth place. They have a tough test with a home-and-home series with Niagara.
9. RIT – The Tigers are finally showing signs of life and starting to win. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to climb the standings too much. They could really use four points against Robert Morris this weekend.
10. Army – The Black Knights have lost their mojo, winning just twice in 2013. They’ve dropped in the standings because of it. Fortunately, their good first half has kept them in the middle of the pack. They were supposed to have a home-and-home with AIC, but snow has changed that. They will host AIC on Sunday and will play at AIC at another time.
11. AIC – The Yellow Jackets took a huge three points from their trip to Air Force. They now have points in their last three games and while a first round bye is out of the question, they can still improve their playoff seeding. The Yellow Jackets are only seven points out of 10th. They play at Army on Sunday.
12. Sacred Heart – The lowly Pioneers still have yet to win a game this year and haven’t even tied a game since Nov. 17. They have a home-and-home with Holy Cross this weekend.