Three Things I Think: Atlantic Hockey, November 5

Posted by: Melissa Burgess

Army West Point opened the month of November strong in Atlantic Hockey action, sweeping Air Force and taking the top spot in the conference standings. Holy Cross, meanwhile, opened the month with a tie and a loss; every other team in the conference earned at least one win over the weekend.

Here are the Atlantic Hockey standings:

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

Army Sweeps Air Force in Strong Showing

The Black Knights beat Air Force twice this weekend, marking their first sweep of Air Force on the road since 2003. They opened the weekend with a 3-2 win n Friday before beating Air Force 2-0 on Saturday. The second game marked the first time Army was shutout at home since 2014.

Army scored two power play goals in Friday’s games, and sophomore Michael Wilson led the team with a pair of goals overall. Dalton MacAfee also scored for Army, while Evan Giesler and Matt Serratore tallied for Air Force. Wilson registered five shots on goal during the game.

Cole Bruns had 26 saves for Army, while Billy Christopoulos stopped 10 of 13 shots faced.

As the teams met again Saturday night, MacAfee once again helped his team to victory. The junior defenseman had a pair of assists on goals by Alex Wilkinson and Conor Andrie as the Black Knights held off Air Force’s offense.

Bruns followed up his performance from Friday night with a 29-save shutout, while Christopoulous stopped 18 of 20 shots faced.

This coming weekend, Army visits Niagara while Air Force visits Holy Cross for a pair of games.

Mercyhurst Splits Challenging Weekend

Mercyhurst split the weekend with the 17th-ranked Penn State, an impressive feat for the Atlantic Hockey team.

The Lakers beat Penn State 7-4 on Friday night, thanks in part to a 50-save performance from goaltendering Brandon Wildung. Defenseman Les Lancaster registered two goals and two assists, plus five shots on goal, and finished a plus-2. Mercyhurst got a lot of scoring from the backend, as defenseman Zach Todd also registered a pair of goals.

Penn State came out on top in the rematch, another high-scoring affair, 7-5. Zach Todd and Taylor Best each scored a goal and two assists. Wildung stopped 50 of 57 shots on net, and the Lakers went 1-for-5 on the power play.

The Lakers return home to host Canisius for two games this coming weekend.

AIC Notches First Conference Win

AIC, now 1-3-2 in conference action this weekend, finally notched their first Atlantic Hockey win of the season with a victory over RIT.

First, however, the Tigers came out on top with a 5-3 win on Friday night. Eight different players scored for AIC, and defenseman Ryan Polin had a pair of assists. For RIT, Gabe Valenzuela and Abbott Girduckis each had a goal and an assist, while Myles Powell notched three assists.

Alex Murray allowed three goals in 13:06, while Stefano Durante allowed one goal in the remaining 46:33. For RIT, Logan Drackett had 24 saves in the win.

As the teams rematched the next night, things came out positively for the Yellow Jackets, pulling off a 3-2 win over the Tigers.

RIT took the lead in the first period on a goal by Valenzuela, his second of the weekend. Hugo Reinhardt tied the game for AIC in the second period before Janis Jaks gave his team the 2-1 lead in the third. Valenzuela then tied the game with a power-play goal in the final minutes of the game.

Tobias Fladeby had the game-winning goal for AIC in the overtime period. Durante had 25 saves in the win, while Drackett had 22 saves in the loss.

This coming weeked, AIC travels to Massachusetts to face Sacred Heart for two games, while RIT hosts Robert Morris for a pair.

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