With all teams except Sacred Heart in action, it was a busy weekend for Atlantic Hockey. The Pioneers are still awaiting their first conference action, while the Mercyhurst Lakers, who fell twice to Army West Point this week, are still looking for their first conference win.
The Black Knights were the only team to come out of this weekend with a pair of wins, but other teams found success elsewhere. Niagara and Air Force split their series, while Robert Morris and RIT did the same. Bentley also pulled off a 7-4 win over Holy Cross, which bumped the Crusaders down four spots in the standings and pulled the Falcons up two spots.
On Friday, Army scored five unanswered goals en route to a 5-1 over Mercyhurst. Five different players scored for the Black Knights, with Dalton MacAfee and Mason Krueger each registering a goal and assist.
The Black Knights then rallied back from a two-goal deficit on Saturday, picking up a 3-2 overtime win over the Lakers. Dalton Hunter and Matthew Whittaker scored to put Mercyhurst up by a pair, but the Black Knights came back in the third. Zach Evancho scored on the power play just 55 seconds in, and Michael Wilson tied it with 11 seconds left in the game. Wilson then scored the game-winning goal on the man advantage 1:37 into OT.
For the Purple Eagles, Brian Wilson had a 39-save shutout to propel his team to a 5-o victory over the Falcons on Thursday. Niagara received goals from five different players, including Alex Truscott, who had a two-point night.
When the teams met for the second game of the series, it took until the middle frame for anyone to get on the board. Walker Sommer and Kieran Durgan put Air Force up 2-0 with under six minutes to play in regulation. Although Justin Kendall was able to get Niagara on the board, the Falcons held on for the win.
Elsewhere, Bentley scored three power-play goals en route to a 7-4 win over Holy Cross this weekend. Jonathan Desbiens, Jakov Novak and Will Garin each had a pair of goals, with both of Novak’s tallies coming on the power play. Dylan Pitera also scored for the Falcons, while Luke Santerno registered four assists. For the Crusaders, Frank Boie had two goals, with Matt Barry and Logan Milliken adding the other tallies.
In Pittsburgh, the Colonials split their weekend series with the Tigers. Robert Morris scored three goals in the second period of Friday’s game to snag a 3-0 win, thanks to tallies by Geoff Lawson, Eric Israel and Daniel Mantenuto. Francis Marotte stopped all 25 shots faced in the shutout.
The teams returned to action Saturday, when Gabe Valenzuela scored the game-winning goal for the Tigers in overtime. Abbott Girduckis also scored for RIT, while Nick Lalonde had the lone goal for the Colonials. All three tallies came with the man advantage. Logan Drackett had 32 saves in the win.
In non-conference action, AIC faced a tough, nationally-ranked Quinnipiac team for a pair of games. The Yellow Jackets managed to score three goals on the 20th-ranked team in the country over the weekend, but fell by scores of 4-1 and 9-2. Shawn McBridge, Jared Pike and Blake Christensen had the goals for AIC.
Bentley also dropped a game to UMass Lowell 4-2, while Canisius fell to Clarkson 4-1. Tanner Jago and Connor Brassard scored for the Falcons, while Aidan Pelino had 23 saves. For the Griffs, Jimmy Mazza had the lone goal, while Blake Weyrick stopped 15 of 18 shots faced.
This coming weekend, all 11 Atlantic Hockey teams will be in action, with series between Niagara and Robert Morris; RIT and Mercyhurst; Air Force and Army; Sacred Heart and Bentley; and AIC and Canisius. Holy Cross faces a single game against nationally-ranked Providence.
Here are the current Atlantic Hockey standings:
- Air Force
- Robert Morris
- Holy Cross
- Sacred Heart