Atlantic Hockey Power Rankings 2/21/13Posted by: Timothy O'Donnell
Last week saw only three teams sweep (Air Force, American International, RIT) and the standings just continue to get tighter and tighter. Just seven points separate second place from 9th place, including a three-way tie for fourth. So far, only Niagara has locked up their playoff spot and with just two weeks left in the regular season, every point is huge.
1. Niagara – The Purple Eagles have locked up the regular season title and might be taking it easy a little bit. They suffered their second league loss of the month last week. It’s the second straight week that the Purple Eagle have lost a game. By the time the playoffs start, the Purple Eagles should be fine.
2. Air Force – The Falcons continued their 2013 resurgence. They’ve lost just twice since the calendar turned and with a sweep of Canisius last week, are undefeated in their last four. Their run has seen them climb to second place, with a three point lead over third place Mercyhurst. They have another huge weekend ahead with two games at RIT.
3. Mercyhurst – The Lakers are struggling. They’re winless in the last four games and things don’t get any easier. They play Niagara this weekend before Robert Morris to end the season.
4. Holy Cross – The Crusaders played three times this week and had a chance to move up the standings. But they won just once, including lossing to previously winless Sacred Heart. They still have a game in hand but if they don’t win, it means nothing.
5. UConn – The Huskies have won four of their last six games and are still in position for a first round bye. They travel to Army for two games this weekend.
6. RIT – The Tigers have won three straight and four of their last five. They’ve started to play their best hockey at just the right time. They’ve climbed the standings and are now in position for a first round bye. They have a huge weekend as they host Air Force for two games.
7. Bentley – The Falcons may be turning things around after a five game losing streak. They took three points against Army and need to keep the momentum going against Sacred Heart this weekend.
8. Robert Morris – The Colonials should get a confidence boost from beating Niagara last weekend. But they still have a lot of work to do. They have two games against Canisius this week.
9. Canisius – The Golden Griffins have lost three straight since beating Niagara, including being swept at Air Force last week. They can still improve their playoff positioning but they need to start winning.
10. AIC – The Yellow Jackets extended their unbeaten streak to six games and are just two points behind Army for tenth place. They can play spoiler as they take on Holy Cross this week.
11. Army – The Black Knights free fall continues as they are winless in February. They managed a tie last week against Bentley but have another challenge in UConn this week.
12. Sacred Heart – The Pioneers finally got their first win of the season, a huge 7-3 decision over Holy Cross. Next up is Bentley for two games.