College Hockey is back and Atlantic Hockey got some national attention over the weekend with Sacred Heart’s stunning win over UMass-Lowell, as well as Bentley taking down the University of Nebraska at Omaha. It is sure to be a great season for Atlantic Hockey and each week we’ll have new and updated power rankings for the league. Here are the rankings for Week 1:
1. Niagara (1-2, 1-0 AHA) – In a wild game in their home opener Niagara was down 3-0 midway through the first period to cross-town rival Canisius, but stormed back to win 6-4 for their first win of the season as well as getting off on the right foot in conference play. Niagara had already dropped two games to Clarkson earlier in the month. They will play their second straight conference game when they travel to Robert Morris this weekend.
2. Mercyhurst (0-3, 0-0 AHA) – Mercyhurst is 0-3 on the year, but those losses have come to national powers in Minnesota, Clarkson and Ferris State, all away from home. These games will only help them once the conference schedule starts to get going. They will continue with their tough schedule with two games against Merrimack this weekend.
3. Bentley (1-1, 0-0 AHA) – Bentley had a huge 6-4 win Friday night against Neb.-Omaha on the road before falling 4-2 Saturday night. The split was a great way for them to open the season going into conference play this week as they travel to Sacred Heart Wednesday night before a game in Maine against the Blackbears this weekend.
4. Canisius (0-1, 0-1 AHA) – Canisius came out flying against Niagara on the road, but ended up losing 6-4 in a competitive game between two of the top Atlantic Hockey teams. They are off this weekend before a trip to Colorado to take on Air Force and Denver in two weeks.
5. Air Force (0-2, 0-0 AHA) – The Falcons traveled to Alaska over the weekend to take on Alaska Anchorage, dropping both games, including the second one in heartbreaking fashion as Alaska tied the game with 1:52 remaining and then won it with 3.4 seconds left. Air Force will take on Penn State on the road this weekend.
6. Connecticut (0-0, 0-0 AHA) – The Huskies were off this past week as they will open their 2013-14 campaign this weekend with two games at Minn. St. Mankato.
7. RIT (0-2, 0-0 AHA) – RIT loaded its schedule to open the year, which is why it shouldn’t be a surprise they are 0-2. They fell to Colgate 4-1 in their opener and then gave Michigan a good game before falling 7-4. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier with a home-and-home against Clarkson this weekend.
8. Holy Cross (0-1, 0-0 AHA) – Holy Cross opened their season with a matchup with BU at Agganis Arena last Friday night in BU coach David Quinn’s first game replacing the legendary Jack Parker. The Crusaders held their own in a 3-2 defeat, which will certainly give them some confidence going into this weekend’s home-and-home series with Northeastern.
9. Robert Morris (0-2, 0-0 AHA) – The Colonials played back-to-back games with Lake Superior State over the weekend, losing 3-1 in each game. They had plenty of chances to score as they had 15 power plays over the two games, but only scored one power play goal. Robert Morris will open conference play by hosting Niagara this weekend.
10. Army (0-1, 0-0 AHA) — Army got to play in the first-ever game at Penn State’s Pegula Ice Arena last weekend, but fell 4-1 to the Nittany Lions, in a game in which they had 10 power plays. They will be off until Oct. 26 where they will travel to Merrimack to take on the Warriors.
11. Sacred Heart (1-1, 0-0 AHA) – Sacred Heart received plenty of national attention when they shocked the preseason No. 1 Riverhawks of UMass-Lowell on the road last Friday night. They then had to play Rensselaer, another likely NCAA tournament team, less than 24 hours later at home and fell 6-0 in a result not surprising to many because of what happened the night before. The Pioneers will host Bentley Wednesday night before traveling to Rensselaer over the weekend.
12. American International (0-0, 0-0 AHA) – The Yellow Jackets will open their season this weekend when they travel to Providence to take on the Friars.