Three Things I Think: Atlantic Hockey, Feb. 5

Posted by: Melissa Burgess

Just three weeks remain in the Atlantic Hockey regular season, and it’s still anyone’s conference to win. After a split weekend, Canisius and Holy Cross remain tied with 28 points, though the Griffs have the extra edge (14-2-2) that’s putting them in first with more games left to play.

With a pair of wins this weekend, Robert Morris is just two points behind, with Mercyhurst a pair behind them.

Here are the Atlantic Hockey standings as of February 5, with the number of games each team has remaining:

  1. Canisius (6)
  2. Holy Cross (4)
  3. Robert Morris (6)
  4. Mercyhurst (7)
  5. Niagara (4)
  6. Army (6)
  7. AIC (4, incl. 1 non-conference)
  8. Air Force (7)
  9. RIT (7)
  10. Bentley (5)
  11. Sacred Heart (7)

Holy Cross, Canisius Split Weekend

When Atlantic Hockey’s top two teams faced off in Buffalo, you just knew it was going to be a good series. Friday’s game ended up quite lopsided in favor of the Crusaders, who skated off with a 5-1 win to claim first place in the conference. Canisius head coach Trevor Large noted his team’s lack of discipline as an issue in the game; the Griffs gave Holy Cross seven power play opportunities, three of which they took advantage of.

The Griffs then rallied back and split the series with a 5-2 win Saturday.

“We played a lot more simple today. Last night we were trying to do some things cute, some things individually. We talked together last night as a team after the game and realized this isn’t the hockey we want to be playing. There’s six games left in the season and we want to turn it on.” – Matt Hoover, who had 2 goals in Saturday’s win

Saturday’s win put Canisius back atop the conference with two games in hand on Holy Cross.

Holy Cross’ T.J. Moore put on an outstanding performance in Friday’s win, potting one goal and adding three assists. Moore is third on the team in scoring with 25 points (6-19) in 30 games, behind only Michael Laffin (12-15) and Hobey Baker nominee Scott Pooley (18-15).

Colonials on a Roll

Robert Morris swept their weekend with a pair of wins over last-place Sacred Heart, bumping the Colonials to third in the conference. Robert Morris also has two games in hand over second-place Holy Cross and could make a solid push for first place in the last few weeks of regular season action.

Robert Morris outscored Sacred Heart 7-2 over the weekend, allowing the Pioneers just one goal in each of their games.

Over the course of the two games, 15 players registered at least a point from the Colonials, including four defensemen. Eric Israel had two goals, one in each game.

Robert Morris hosts the struggling RIT Tigers this coming weekend for a pair. They also have a home-and-home with Mercyhurst before finishing off the season hosting Air Force in the final weekend.

Bentley Wins Twice

Despite still sitting toward the bottom of the conference, the Falcons had a solid weekend, securing a pair of wins over RIT. The victories left the Falcons now tied with the Tigers with 19 points each, but RIT has two games in hand.

Thirteen different players registered at least a point for the Falcons this weekend, with several players notching multiple-point performances.

Senior forward Kyle Schmidt led his team with five points over the weekend, including a hat trick in Saturday’s 5-2 win. Drew Callin, Jonathan Desbiens and Ryner Gorowsky each had three points over the weekend as well.

P.S. Don’t forget to vote for Hobey Baker! As of the time this is being posted, Northeastern’s Adam Gaudette is leading all nominees with 8.1 percent of the vote. The highest-voted Atlantic Hockey player is Mercyhurst’s Jack Riley, with 3.5 percent of the vote.

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