On Friday night’s late night hours, Atlantic Hockey fans and supporters could check scoreboard and message forums to get a pulse on the way things had gone throughout the league. In one of the results, Sacred Heart hosted Canisius, losing 3-0.
At first glance, it was a game where the Pioneers played well but wound up with the game getting away from them. Even though they outshot the Golden Griffins, 29-21, including a 23-16 margin over the second and third periods, SHU failed to convert on the power play, missing on five opportunities against a team entering the weekend at just over 50% on the kill. Unable to score, Canisius scored at the 7:29 mark of the third, then added a power play goal and an empty netter in a tightly-fought result.
That didn’t happen again on Saturday. Sacred Heart bounced back with a big time edge, potting three goals in the first period en route to a 4-0 victory. It was a complete victory, one that saw them turn around and pound a gritty Canisius squad with a 30-18 shot advantage, including a 13-5 second period disparity.
Sacred Heart chased Reilly Turner, who picked up the victory in net on Friday, during the first intermission on Saturday. Brett Magnus, meanwhile, solidified his stance as the next great AHC netminder in his second shutout of the season, improving his goals against average to 1.32 and his save percentage to .942.
As expected from the preseason, Sacred Heart is turning into an incredibly tough out, now winning three of their last four. They’ll take on Holy Cross in a home-and-home this weekend.
The Bentley power play made itself right at home against Army West Point on Sunday. Playing in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, the Falcons went a perfect 4-for-4 on man-up opportunities. In a game featuring 70 shots on goal, Bentley scored three times in the first period and twice in the third period to take a 6-2 victory.
It was prototypical use of the power play by the Falcons, who have become known as one of the premier special teams programs in college hockey. Down 2-0 after the second period on Saturday afternoon at West Point, Max French welcomed himself back to the lineup with a power play goal to cut the lead to 2-1. He would score later in the period to tie the game up at 2-2.
On Sunday, French scored another power play goal, joined twice by Kyle Schmidt and once by freshman Cody DePourcq.
After a weekend sweep to Mercyhurst to open the season, Bentley’s now undefeated in their last four games. They have a short rest before they play the third of five games against Hockey East this year, a Wednesday tilt against Merrimack.
Nerves of steel
If we’re talking about a team that showed its ability to persevere, the buck stops (no surprise) with Robert Morris. Despite being outshot on Friday, 34-18, by Michigan at Yost Arena, the Colonials led by a 3-1 margin. Then they gave up a couple of power play goals in a four goal frame, losing, 5-3, to the Wolverines.
Like Sacred Heart, the Colonials came back on Saturday and put together an A+, bounce back effort. They scored three times in the first period and led, 4-0, after the second, but this time they put the clamps on Michigan, holding them scoreless in the third en route to a shutout victory.
The split pushed Robert Morris up to 18th in the way-too-early-to-tell-anything Pairwise Rankings. Coupled with Holy Cross’ win over Brown and Mercyhurst’s win over Ohio State, Atlantic Hockey had one of its most successful non-conference weekends this season – with more games on tap this week against Hockey East and the Big Ten.