Three Things I Think: Atlantic Hockey, Nov. 26

Posted by: Melissa Burgess

Following a busy week in Atlantic Hockey, there’s been quite a shake-up in the standings. Canisius jumped several spots to the top of the conference, while Bentley also made an impressive jump following a pair of wins this weekend.

Army and Niagara remain among the conference’s top three teams after playing three games each over the past week. Niagara won one of three this weekend, while Army tied once and lost twice. These games, combined with the Griffs’ pair of wins, shook things up at the top of the conference.

Here are the Atlantic Hockey standings, as of November 27:

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

Bentley Beats RMU

The Falcons jumped four spots in the Atlantic Hockey standings following a pair of wins over Robert Morris this weekend, with 3-1 and 6-3 wins.

Bentley scored twice on the power play the first period Friday, with Connor Brassard and Drew Callin putting the team up 2-0. They’d add to that lead with a goal by Matt Riggleman early in the third period.

Robert Morris got on the board with a power-play tally by Michael Louria 5:42 into the third, but they were ultimately unable to stage a comeback.

Saturday, Bentley once again came out with a 2-0 lead on a pair of power-play goals in the first period, with Riggleman and Kyle Schmidt scoring.

This time, however, Robert Morris made a game of it. Alex Tonge scored early in the second on the man advantage, with Ryley Risling and Louria adding goals to make it 3-2 RMU.

But Bentley didn’t let up; they went on to score four unanswered goals in a span of 12:43 to grab the win. Brett Orr, Callin, Michael Boyle and Luke Santerno all scored for the Falcons.

Aidan Pelino had 57 saves over the course of the two wins.

Canisius Propels to Top of AHC

With a pair of important wins over Army this weekend, the Canisius Golden Griffins have propelled themselves to the top of the Atlantic Hockey Conference. The Griffs are now 8-4 in conference action this season and 8-4-1 overall.

On Friday, the teams met in a closely-matched contest that saw Canisius come out on top 4-3. Alex Jaeckle opened the scoring for the Griffs, but the Black Knights tied it later in the third on a goal by Kevin Dineen. Dylan McLaughlin regained his team’s lead late in the first.

Once again, the Black Knights tied the game in the second period on Trevor Fidler’s goal. The teams then exchanged goals later in the middle frame, with Jack Stander and Tyler Pham each tallying one on the man advantage.

Nick Hutchison was the difference-maker in OT to give his team the win.

As the teams met on Saturday, it was once again a closely-matched contest, with the Griffs edging Army 3-2.

After Mike Sabatini gave Canisius the 1-0 lead late in the opening frame, Zach Evancho put his team on the board with a power-play goal in the second period.

Canisius scored twice in 1:46, with goals coming from Matt Hoover and Ryan Schmelzer, to take a 3-1 lead.

Although Army’s Fidler would close the gap with a goal, it’d be too late, with just 23 seconds remaining in regulation, and Canisius would leave West Point with a pair of wins.

With the pair, the Griffs are now on a five-game winning streak as they host the nationally-ranked Clarkson on Saturday, December 2.

Recapping Non-Conference Action

Last week, I mentioned that multiple teams would be facing non-conference games in the coming days. Overall, things didn’t quite go Atlantic Hockey’s way.

Brown beat Holy Cross 4-2 on Tuesday, while Cornell topped Niagara 5-4. Arizona State then beat Holy Cross 3-1 Friday and tied them 3-3 Saturday.

Mercyhurst, meanwhile, held their own against a tough Wisconsin team. The Lakers beat Wisconsin 3-2 on Saturday but fell just short of a win on Sunday, dropping a 4-2 decision.

Looking at the week ahead, it’s another busy week for Atlantic Hockey. Bentley faces Mass Lowell Tuesday, and then the conference faces nine games between Friday and Saturday.

The schedule is highlighted by Saturday’s Army-Colgate and Canisius-Clarkson matchups.

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