RMU Hockey: Colonials Close Out 2014 No. 1 In Atlantic Hockey Conference Power Rankings


As 2015 swiftly approaches, the Atlantic Hockey Conference has wrapped up the 2014 part of its schedule. So, let’s take a look at how the teams line up in this week’s City Of Champions Sports Power Rankings.

While Derek Schooley’s Robert Morris Colonials are the only Atlantic Hockey ranked team in the United States College Hockey Online poll, the AHC can claim they have four of the top five individuals that are the national leaders in points.

The AHC Fantasic Four in points are Bentley junior right wing Andrew Gladiuk with 27, RMU senior left wing Cody Wydo with 25, Bentley sophomore center Max French with 24, and RIT senior center Matt Garbowsky with 23.

With the chestnuts merrily roasting on the open fire, let’s settle back and examine this week’s list.

1) RMU Colonials (11-2-3 overall, 9-2-3 AHA) – Last Week #1: Mike Prisuta in his Prisuta On Pucks column likes what he sees in the improvement of sophomore forward Daniel Leavens’ game this season.

City Of Champions Sports‘ Matt Gajtka appreciates RMU’s position in the PairWise and the Ratings Percentage Index as they head into the Three Rivers Classic tournament, late in December.

2) Holy Cross College Crusaders (7-5-4, 6-1-4 AHA) – Last Week #2: Chris Lerch of United States College Hockey Online likes the fact that first-year head coach David Berard has his squad committed to team defense and the offense coming from the newcomers to the program.

More from Robert Morris University

3) Mercyhurst University Lakers (8-5-2, 6-3-2 AHA) – Last Week #3: This week freshman forward Jack Riley was named the Atlantic Hockey Co-Rookie of the Week with Niagara’s Derian Plouffe. Riley recorded his first career power play goal in Saturday’s loss to Robert Morris and assisted on a empty net goal in Sunday’s 3-0 shoutout of the Colonials.

4) Bentley University Falcons (9-8-2, 7-4-2 AHA) – Last Week #4: Joshua Seguin of the College Hockey News points out in his report on Bentley that Gladiuk and French have great chemistry working on the same line together for the Falcons.

5) Canisius College Golden Griffins (6-6-5, 5-4-4 AHA) – Last Week #5: It is just the third time that the Griffs are at .500 or better at the winter break. In 17 games played junior forward Ralph Cuddemi leads the offense with nine goals while sophomore forward Shane Conacher has contributed 19 points on five goals and 14 assists.

6) RIT Tigers (5-8-3, 4-5-3 AHA) – Last Week #8: Junior Alexander Kuqali was named the Atlantic Hockey Defensman of the Week on Monday, having played a vital role on the Tigers penalty kill unit that stopped all 14 of Niagara’s power play attempts last weekend. In fact, RIT has killed off 31 consecutive power plays dating back to Nov. 14 at Canisius.

7) Sacred Heart University Pioneers (5-9-2, 4-6-2 AHA) – Last Week #6: While Sacred Heart lost 8-3 at Darmouth on Sunday, the Pioneers scored twice on the power play. It marked the first time this season that they lit the lamp twice with the man advantage in a contest.

8) Air Force Falcons (5-10-2, 4-5-1 AHA) – Last Week #7: Phil Boje’s four goals are the most by a freshman defenseman in Atlantic Hockey this season. He has 21 shots on goal while blocking 24 in the first half of this season.

9) Army Black Knights (4-12-2, 4-10-2 AHA) – Last Week #9: After the Christmas break, Brian Riley’s squad is back in action against the Russian Red Stars of MHL junior hockey at Tate Rink on Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 7:05 p.m. It is the Red Stars fifth tour of North America beginning with the 2010-2011 season, and the third time they will visit West Point, NY.

10) American International College Yellow Jackets (2-11-4, 2-6-4 AHA) – Last Week #10: With 17 games in the books, sophomore forward Austin Orszulak leads the team with 11 goals, while junior forward Chris Porter is the leader in assists with nine, and shots on goal with 44.

11) Niagara University Purple Eagles (3-12-1, 3-8-1 AHA) – Last Week #11: Plouffe put up a goal and an assist last weekend in a pair of games against RIT. His first career assist on Saturday helped the Purple and White to achieve a tie with the Tigers.