Atlantic Hockey Notebook: January 14

Posted by: Melissa Burgess

Here are the current Atlantic Hockey standings:

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

Who’s Hot: The RIT Tigers climbed three spots in Atlantic Hockey standings, thanks to a pair of wins over AIC this past weekend. Overall, RIT has won three in a row and hasn’t lost a game since December 8. They’re on their way up, but will face a hot Bentley team this coming weekend. Speaking of….

Bentley beat Robert Morris twice this weekend, outscoring them 10-3 in the pair of games. Those two big wins were Bentley’s first conference action of 2019 and first since December 1. Thanks to those wins, the Falcons moved up two spots in Atlantic Hockey standings.

The Crusaders of Holy Cross, meanwhile, haven’t lost since January 4. Since then, they’ve beaten Mercyhurst once (a 5-4 victory) and tied and beaten Niagara. The Crusaders may still be at the bottom of Atlantic Hockey, but they’re only two points from bumping both Sacred Heart and Canisius down in the standings. What they do going forward could help move them out of the basement.

Mercyhurst’s Lakers beat Canisius twice this past weekend, which helped move them up to second place in Atlantic Hockey standings. Those two wins are helping turn things around for ‘Hurst, who had previously split a series against Holy Cross after dropping a pair of games to Ohio State to finish out the 2018 calendar year.

Who’s Not: AIC dropped both of its games to RIT this past weekend, by scores of 6-3 and 3-2. Overall, the Yellow Jackets have lost five of their last six games dating back to December 30. These losses have brought them down in the standings, from the top of Atlantic Hockey last week to third this week. While there’s still time to make up those losses and grab some points in the final few weeks of the season, they need a strong finish if they hope to be in the top of the conference at season’s end.

Canisius followed up their stellar wins over North Dakota by losing twice to Mercyhurst this past weekend, by scores of 6-2 and 6-3. The Griffs were outplayed in both games, and their goaltending struggled. These losses dropped them all the way to 10th in Atlantic Hockey, certainly not where Trevor Large and co. would like to be at this point in the season.

Niagara hasn’t won a game since December 7 – which is obviously not good for the Purple Eagles. They tied and lost to Holy Cross this past weekend, and they’ve dropped a few games lately in the final minutes. These strings of non-wins have dropped them all the way to sixth in Atlantic Hockey, a place they’ll try to dig out of starting this weekend against Mercyhurst.

Robert Morris, meanwhile, have dropped four straight games, including the pair to Bentley this past weekend. They let the Falcons put up five goals in each of those games and have overall allowed 22 goals against in the last four games. Ouch!

Finally, Sacred Heart only played one game this past weekend, dropping a 3-1 decision to Yale. The Pioneers haven’t won since December 8, falling to Vermont, AIC and Yale in the stretch since then. They’ll hit a busy stretch here with eight games in the next 19 days, starting with a battle against the Yellow Jackets Tuesday night.

Army, Air Force Tie: In the ever-heated battle of Army West Point vs. Air Force, the winner is…. no one. The two teams tied twice this past weekend (say that five times fast). The score each game: 2-2. The weekend series marked the return to conference action for both teams; Army hadn’t played an Atlantic Hockey team since their bout with Canisius way back on December 1. Since then, they lost to Dartmouth, Brown and RPI.

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