It was home-not-so-sweet home in the first round of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs with all four home (and higher seeded) teams losing. Newcomers Robert Morris and Niagara, who were near the top of the standings most of the season, are out, while American International and Scared Heart, teams that spent most of the season battling to stay out of the basement, were able to put the regular season behind them and have a new lease on life.
In case you missed it, the quarterfinal pairings are:
No. 12 AIC at No. 1 RIT
No. 11 Sacred Heart at No. 2 Air Force
No. 8 Canisius at No. 3 Holy Cross
No. 7 Mercyhurst at No. 6 Connecticut
USCHO.com AHA Player of the Week:
Matt Gingera, Sacred Heart – The junior forward picked a great time to score the first hat-trick of the season for the Pioneers, notching three goals in the third period on Saturday to lead Sacred Heart to a 6-3 comeback win over Bentely. Gingera leads the team with 19 goals so far.
Ryan Zapolski, Mercyhurst – The senior stopped 30 of 31 shots to help the Lakers advance to the AHA quarterfinals with a 5-1 win over Robert Morris.
Dan Morrison, Canisius – Morrison made 48 saves, the most ever in a playoff game by a Canisius goalie, to help the Golden Griffins to a 6-3 win at Niagara. The 48 saves were also a personal best for Morrison.
Olivier St. Onge, Sacred Heart – The senior made his first playoff appearance a success, making 42 saves in a 6-3 win at Bentley. St. Onge also picked up two assists in the game, his first career points.
Ben Danford, Canisius – The rookie blueliner had a career-high three points in a 6-3 playoff win at Niagara. He broke the school record for the most assists by a defenseman with 23 to date.
Dustin Cloutier, Bentley – The senior ended his college career with two goals in a losting effort to Sacred Heart. He ended with 93 career points for the Falcons.
Vincent Scarsella, Canisius – Scarsella had a pair of goals to help lift the Griffs to a 6-3 win at Niagara. He has 12 goals so far this season, a personal best.
Nielsson Arcibal and Adam Pleskach, American International - Each had a goal and two assists to help the Yellow Jackets to a 6-3 upset victory at Army. Pleskach as 28 points so far this season; Arcibal has 24.
Robert Morris defenseman Denny Urban has signed an amatuer tryout agreement with the Reading Royals of the ECHL. Plenty more players will sign on once their seasons end. Check back for more news on players moving to the pros.
Getting My Vote
My USCHO.com Men’s D-I Poll ballot this week:
1. North Dakota
2. Boston College
8, New Hampshire
10. Notre Dame
14. Boston University
15. Western Michigan
18. Colorado College
20. St. Cloud