Three Things I Think: Atlantic Hockey, November 13

Posted by: Melissa Burgess

As Atlantic Hockey continued its action this past weekend, it was exciting to see the conference’s top two teams – Army and Niagara – face off in a pair of games. In the end, they split the weekend, with Army remaining atop the conference standings.

Meanwhile, RIT won twice to make its way up to third in the conference, and Canisius’ Dylan McLaughlin had himself quite a weekend to earn honors in the conference and NCAA.

Here are the Atlantic Hockey standings:

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

Army, Niagara Split Pair in Exciting Weekend

The Black Knights and Purple Eagles showed off their skills in a pair of matchups this past weekend, splitting the two games. Army won the first meeting 3-1, while Niagara came back for a 3-2 win the following night.

For Army, several players had strong weekend showings. Conor Andrle had three assists in Friday’s win and added another assist in Saturday’s game. Zach Evancho, a Western New York native with plenty of family and friends in the crowd, scored both nights, including the game-winner Friday.

Michael Wilson also scored in both games, while Nick DeCenzo and Tyler Pham each had assists both nights. Overall, Cole Bruns had 50 saves combined throughout the weekend.

Niagara looked fast in the first game of the weekend, despite falling on the wrong side of the scoreboard when all was said and done. Kris Spriggs had the lone goal for the Purple Eagles that night, but the team rallied back on goals by Johnny Curran, Stanislav Dzakhov and Tanner Lomsnes the following night.

Brian Wilson faced just 14 shots in Friday’s loss. He went on to stop 21 of 23 shots faced Saturday.

The Purple Eagles are off this week, with their next game coming against Cornell on November 21. Meanwhile, Army hosts Holy Cross for a pair Friday and Saturday.

Niagara and Army will face off again on February 2-3 in West Point.

McLaughlin Shines for Griffs

Canisius split their weekend series with Mercyhurst, falling on Friday before pulling off a decisive 7-3 win in Erie on Saturday.

A huge part of that win: junior Dylan McLaughlin. McLaughlin notched a hat trick on Saturday, including a ridiculous coast-to-coast goal, and also had an assist for a four-point night, which matches his career-best. He also had a goal in Friday night’s loss.

As a result, Atlantic Hockey awarded him the Conference Team Travel USA Player of the Week. He was also named Third Star of the Week for Men’s Ice Hockey by the NCAA, behind Boston College’s Christopher Grando and Minnesota State’s Marc Michaelis.

This isn’t the first time McLaughlin has been honored by the NCAA; he was named first star of the week on January 31 after notching multiple points in three straight games over the course of a week.

Taking all this into consideration and looking ahead, I wouldn’t be surprised if McLaughlin is named captain of the Griffs in his senior season.

AIC on Three-Game Streak

The Yellow Jackets have slowly but steadily built themselves a nice three-game winning streak, dating back to November 4. After that night’s 3-2 win over RIT in overtime, they topped Sacred Heart in a pair of games this past weekend. AIC beat Sacred Heart 6-2 on Friday and then again came out on top, 4-1, on Saturday.

Andrew DeBrincat was the highlight of the weekend, with five points in two games. After registering a goal and three assists in Friday’s win, he aded one assist on Saturday. Overall, he finished the weekend a plus-4.

Janis Jaks also had himself a four-point weekend, with a pair of assists Friday and a goal and assist Saturday. The defenseman also registered seven shots between the two games, tied for a team-high. Jared Pike, with two points on the weekend, also registered seven shots.

Stefano Durante had 44 saves over the course of the two games.

AIC now hits the road for a pair of games against Robert Morris this weekend. Looking ahead, they’ll host Niagara for a 2 p.m. meeting on Black Friday and a rematch the following night.

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