Three Things I Think: Atlantic Hockey, October 29

Posted by: Melissa Burgess

You win some, you lose some. While several Atlantic Hockey teams had solid weekends – including Niagara and RIT, who each picked up a pair of wins, others found nothing but defeat.

Niagara, who was ranked 11th in preseason polls, closes out the month of October as the top-ranked team in Atlantic Hockey. Meanwhile, RIT jumped from last-place in the conference standings to fourth after a pair of victories.

Here are the Atlantic Hockey Standings:

  1. Niagara
  2. Holy Cross
  3. Army
  4. RIT
  5. Canisius
  6. Mercyhurst
  7. Robert Morris
  8. Bentley
  9. Air Force
  10. AIC
  11. Sacred Heart

Impressive weekend for Niagara

The Purple Eagles had a strong showing this weekend, with a pair of wins over Sacred Heart. Niagara found themselves down 2-0 less than three minutes into Friday’s game – clearly not the start they were looking for – but rallied for three goals on 42 shots in the remainder of the game. Derian Plouffe had the game-winner on a power-play breakaway less than a minute into the third period, and Niagara held Sacred Heart shotless for the last nine-plus minutes.

The teams reunited on Saturday, with Niagara winning that game 6-2 for their best start in 10 seasons. Tanner Lomsnes had two goals and one assist in the win. The Purple Eagles are now 3-0 in Atlantic Hockey conference action this season. They’ll return to action to host Bentley (1-3-2) for a pair of games on November 3-4.

RIT looks good in first two conference games

The Tigers won their first two conference games this weekend, sweeping the series against Army with 5-4 and 3-1 wins, respectively.

Matt Abt had two goals in Friday’s win and also added six shots on goal, finishing the night a plus-1. Abbott Girduckis registered three assists. Logan Drackett had 22 saves in the win, while Cole Bruns had five goals-against on 24 shots faced.

Ryan Kruper, Jordan Peacock and Erik Brown all scored for RIT on Saturday in the rematch. RIT defenseman Darren Brady finished the night a plus-3. Drackett and Bruns returned in net for their teams. Drackett put up a 29-save campaign, while Bruns stopped 23 of 25 shots faced.

RIT hosts AIC (0-2-2, 1-5-2) for a pair of games Friday and Saturday.

Holy Cross splits strong non-conference weekend

The Crusaders beat Dartmouth, but then fell to Princeton in a pair of non-conference games this weekend.

Holy Cross opened Friday’s game with three goals in the first period, including two power-play goals. Scott Pooley registered two of the team’s first three goals, but Dartmouth got on the board with under two minutes to play in the first. They then scored twice early in the second to tie the game at three. Pooley completed the hat trick in the midst of the second period on another power-play tally to give his team a 4-3 lead, and Ryan Ferrill sealed the win late in the third.

The Crusaders then faced Princeton on Sunday evening, falling 4-2. Pooley registered his fourth goal of the weekend, with Logan Ferguson notching the other goal for Holy Cross. Max Veronneau, Eric Robinson, Reid Yochim and Jackson Cressey (empty-net) scored for Princeton. Paul Berrafato had 61 saves over the course of the weekend.

Holy Cross returns to action this coming weekend, visiting Robert Morris for a pair.

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