Three Things I Think: Atlantic Hockey, Nov. 22

Posted by: Melissa Burgess

Atlantic Hockey has a busy weekend ahead, with fourteen games over the next few days. Although a lot of that action will be between conference teams, several teams will also face non-conference opponents, including Arizona State, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.

Last weekend, Army failed to beat Holy Cross and tied with Sacred Heart, while Canisius swept Bentley and Robert Morris swept AIC. RIT and Air Force split a pair of games.

Here are the Atlantic Hockey standings as of November 22.

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

Robert Morris, Canisius Find Wins

Robert Morris came out of this past week with a pair of wins over AIC. On Friday, the Colonials scored a pair of power-play goals en route to a 3-1 victory. Spencer Dorowicz had two goals, while Robert Powers scored the other goal – the first of his career – and had an assist for RMU. Blake Christensen had the lone goal for AIC.

The Colonials followed up that win with a 4-0 victory on Saturday evening. Once again, RMU scored twice on the power play. Dorowicz scored his third goal of the weekend, while Powers had an assist for his third point of the weekend. Nick Prkusic, Michael Louria and Brady Ferguson also scored.

Goaltender Francis Marotte had 49 saves over the two games for the Colonials.

Dorowicz earned Player of the Week honors from Travel Team USA, while Powers was named Defensive Player of the week. Marotte was named Goalie of the Week.

With the wins, RMU is now 5-5-1 in conference action this season, including 4-2-1 at home. This is great, but they’ve got to work on carrying that success over to the road. The Colonials have won just one of six games on the road so far this season.

They’ll get the chance to do that this coming weekend, as they visit the struggling Bentley for a pair of games.

Canisius also found success, with a pair of wins over Bentley this past weekend. The Griffs dominated, winning 5-1 and 5-2, respectively.

Friday, twelve different players notched at least a point for Canisius, led by Nick Hutchison’s two-point performance. Grant Meyer, Jimmy Mazza, Matt McLeod and Mike Sabatini also scored for the Griffs. Each team scored once on the power play, and Dylan McLaughlin led both teams with five shots on goal.

As the teams reconvened Saturday, the game started off on a better footing for Bentley. Drew Callin and Matt Sieckhaus scored in the first period to put the Falcons up 2-0 after twenty minutes of play. But Canisius roared back in the remaining periods, scoring five unanswered goals, including three on special teams.

Jesse Pereira, Jack Stander and Cameron Heath scored for the Griffs, while captain Ryan Schmelzer led the team with two goals, including the game-winner. It was the 10th game-winning goal of his career, good for second in Griffs program history.

McLaughlin, Jeff Murray and Bentley’s Charlie Marchand each had a pair of assists.

Canisius is now 4-2-1 at home, pretty much on par with several other teams in Atlantic Hockey, including Niagara and RMU. The Griffs now head to Army for a pair of games this weekend and return home on December 2 to host nationally-ranked Clarkson.

Holy Cross Holds Their Own

Holy Cross entered this week fourth in Atlantic Hockey, but they held their own against first-ranked Army, with a win and a tie against the Black Knights.

Scott Pooley and Danny Lopez scored for Holy Cross in Friday’s 2-2 tie. Michael Wilson and Dominic Franco had the goals for Army. Pooley accounted for seven of his team’s 30 shots on goal, and Cole Bruns stopped 26 of 28 shots faced.

On Saturday, nine different players notched a point for Holy Cross in the 4-0 win. Danny Lopez, Michael Laffin, Pete Kessel and Mitch Collett all scored, including Collett’s shorthanded goal late in the third period.

Defenseman Johnny Coughlin finished the night a plus-3.

A Pair of Non-Conference Games

Holy Cross and Niagara faced non-conference opponents Tuesday night, visiting Brown and Cornell, respectively. In both games, the non-conference team won.

Niagara held on with Cornell until almost the very end but ultimately fell 5-4 in a close contest. Zach Mills opened the scoring halfway through the first, but Cornell tied it under six minutes later on the power play.

The Purple Eagles added two goals in 1:47 in the second period, with Derian Plouffe making it 2-1 on a delayed penalty and Tanner Lomsnes scoring on the power play to make it a 3-1 game.

Cornell scored early in the third to close the gap, but Niagara’s Justin Kendall regained the two-goal lead for the Purple Eagles under a minute later. The goals came quickly then, as Cornell scored seconds later to make it 4-3.

Cornell added another less than halfway through the third period to tie the game. Trevor Yates would score the game-winning goal with just 2:49 remaining in regulation.

Brian Wilson had 24 saves in the loss.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders fell 4-2 to the Bears after Brown scored three unanswered goals.

Holy Cross opened the scoring under five minutes in, with Ryan Ferrill putting his team on the board. Brown tied it under two minutes later, but Holy Cross scored on the power-play to regain their lead. Scott Pooley had the goal for the Crusaders.

Brown scored twice in the second period, with Sam Lafferty striking on both counts. They added an empty-netter late in the third period to seal the win.

Paul Berrafato recorded 34 saves in the loss.

Tuesday’s game against Cornell opened a five-game road trip for the Purple Eagles. There’s plenty of action over the coming days in Atlantic Hockey, with five games Friday and seven Saturday.

Four Atlantic Hockey teams are looking ahead to face non-conference opponents in the coming days. Holy Cross hosts Arizona State for a pair, while Mercyhurst visits Wisconsin for two. RIT also travels to Connecticut for a game on Saturday, while Bentley will visit UMass Lowell on Tuesday in their third game of the upcoming week.

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