On the final day of the Atlantic Hockey regular season, here’s what we know:

1. Mercyhurst, Bentley and Connecticut have sewn up three of the four first-round byes. Mercyhurst will be the top seed. Bentley can finish no lower than third; Connecticut no lower than fourth.

2. Robert Morris and Air Force are competing for the fourth and final bye. They’re tied with 31 points each, but RMU holds the tiebreaker, so Air Force must finish at least one point higher. That means if the Colonials defeat Mercyhurst, they will claim the prize. The loser in this matchup will be home next weekend in the first round against Army.

3. Niagara is locked into sixth place; Canisius will finish seventh. and Holy Cross eighth. All three will host playoff series next weekend.

4. Rochester Institute of Technology, American International and Sacred Heart are jockeying for positions nine through 11. RIT needs a point or a Sacred Heart loss or tie to finish eighth and travel to Holy Cross for the first round. Otherwise the Tigers make the short trip to Canisius. Sacred Heart can finish between ninth and 11th; AIC will end 10th or 11th. Army will be the No. 12 seed.

Check back for official first-round pairings once the dust has settled.

  • Hockeys4realmen

    If Wisconsin and Minnesota think making and moving to a Big 10 conference is going to help them recruit, they’re nuts. In the Midwest we play hockey the way it was meant to be. The way real hockey players play. The Canadian way!!! Hard hitting, fast moving hockey. Not that “basketball mom” hockey played out east where if you check a guy the mom’s start crying and the refs need oxygen between periods from blowing their whistle every time one of the mommy boys gets checked. :)

    • Brecky

      You sound jealous. :) Dissing eastern hockey makes no sense. The last three champs are from Boston, and the last midwestern team to win (Mich. St.) was lucky to beat Boston College. Matter of fact, starting in ’97, a Hockey East team has been in every championship game except 2005 (DU beat N.Dak).

    • Rangerfan2487

      Really bro ?sounds like an eastern team destroyed one of your little teams as a child both physically and on the scoreboard…no need to diss eastern hockey when its just as good if not better than midwest..

  • bklein09

    Yay BT Hockey! As a Michigan fan I’m really excited and I think the other leagues (WCHA, CCHA) will be just fine. The WCHA is ultra deep and has a number of great teams and tradition. And the CCHA has Miami and ND to hold down the fort until some other programs step up. Let’s not forget that NMU, LSSU, etc have great hockey tradition and have won championships.

    • Anonymous

      I could see some of the ex-WCHA teams in the CCHA leave for the WCHA when the Big Ten conference starts. I like Coach Jackson’s (Notre Dame) idea of combining the CCHA and WCHA into one big conference. Then break the conference into sub-groups of 6. One of the 4 groups would consist of the Big Ten schools (UMTC, UW, UM, MSU, OSU, PSU)

  • Joe Addario

    Like love & marriage, big 10 & hockey go together.

  • Frattin for Hobey

    Not to sure I am a fan of a Bit Ten hockey conference. Are you going to play with only 6 teams in the conference? pretty sure that’s the number of bt schools with hockey. mich, mn, wi, mich st, o st, and soon penn st. Why take great teams away from two conferences just to form another and add another auto bid. better to have Penn St. join HE or CCHA maybe AHA. Just my opinion.

  • MoFan

    H4rm, the tier 1 Boston leagues pulled out of USA Hockey I thought so that they could check earlier. I’ve seen mite checking games, my mite participated in a tourney with checking. ‘Nuff said.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone knows that there will be a Big Ten hockey conference. The question is when and if any more non hockey B10 schools step up to Div 1. WCHA will be fine with DU, CC, UND, Neb-Om, Alaska,MT, BSU, Duluth and MN State. If they add Fairbanks and Air Force, they will be set and survive nicely. THe CCHA will finally need to add UAH, which they never should have denied in the first place.

  • PeteS

    Anyone know if Illinois is considering moving up to D1 hockey? Especially with the news that a Big10 conference would be formed.

  • Painter

    What about Ill, Iowa, and Prudue step out of the shadows of club sport and into the big leagues. Even if the Big Ten helps out with loans to get the clubs into Div 1.

  • AnOn

    How is it that they are signing players but dont have a coach?