RMU Hockey: Locked In At No. 1 In Atlantic Hockey Conference Power Rankings


Derek Schooley‘s RMU Colonials continue to command respect as they begin February with a six-game win streak. They moved up one to No. 19 this week in the United States College Hockey Online rankings.

Canisius, who is in second-place in the Atlantic Hockey standings, remains the only other AHC program in the “others receiving votes” part of the USCHO survey in the No. 8 position.

More from Robert Morris University

Coming into the first weekend of games in February, there is just five points that separate third through seventh place in the Atlantic Hockey standings. There is a lot at stake on where you finish the season. For Canisius, Bentley, Mercyhurst, Holy Cross, Air Force, and RIT every point they earn is critical.

There are two second round home series on the line. One of the teams could capture a first round bye with a road series. Also waiting to be claimed is two first round home series. Finally, two points in back of all of that is the last home first round spot that belongs to Sacred Heart for the moment.

The conference tournament looms just four weekends away. The clock is ticking on collecting points. Let’s grab another hot cup of coffee or tea, and review this week’s City Of Champions Sports AHC Power Rankings.

1) RMU Colonials (19-5-4 overall / 16-3-3, 35 points AHA) – Last Week #1: Robert Morris junior right wing Zac Lynch doubled his pleasure, doubled his fun as brought home both the AHC Player of the Week award and Player of the Month honors for January.

Mike Prisuta takes a look at this weekend’s matchup between second-place Canisius at first-place RMU, and the Colonials not wanting to take a step back. (PairWise Ranking #24 / KRACH Ranking #32)

2) Canisius College Golden Griffins (12-8-6 overall / 11-4-5, 27 points AHA) – Last Week #2: One of the difference-makers has been senior goaltender Keegan Asmundson, who went 5-1-1 in January with a 1.70 goals against average and .941 save percentage. The 6-foot-5, 234-pound netminder helped the Griffs to close out the month on a seven-game unbeaten streak. His efforts allowed him to claim AHC Goaltender of the Month for January. (PairWise Ranking #41 – Tied with Rensselaer and Maine / KRACH Ranking #49)

3) Bentley University Falcons (13-11-3 overall / 11-7-3, 25 points AHA) – Last Week #4: The Falcons offense continues to soar with three 100-point career scorers in senior center Alex Grieve, senior left wing Brett Switzer, and junior right wing Andrew Gladiuk. Senior defenseman Steve Weinstein, who had a goal in Friday’s victory over Mercyhurst, is right behind with 99 career points. Coming up this weekend, the Falcons welcome Holy Cross for a pair of contests.(PairWise Ranking #38 – Tied with Ferris State / KRACH Ranking #48)

4) Mercyhurst University Lakers (12-10-4 overall / 10-7-3, 23 points AHA) – Last Week #3: Along The Boards’ Nick Phelan noted that senior goaltender Jimmy Sarjeant was back between the pipes last weekend for Mercyhurst.

There was more good news for the Lakers as freshman forward Jack Riley was second on the squad in scoring for last month with three goals and eight assists for 11 points. His contributions led to the AHC Rookie of the Month award for January. Mercyhurst is on the road this weekend for a pair of away games with American International. (PairWise Ranking #40 / KRACH Ranking #47)

5) RIT Tigers (10-12-4 overall / 9-7-4, 22 points AHA) – Last Week #6: In last week’s split with Army, sophomore goaltender Mike Rotolo came on in relief Friday of senior netminder Jordan Ruby midway throught the second period and turned away all 11 shots he faced in the 4-2 loss. The next night, Rotolo made 22 saves in a 4-1 victory over the Black Knights. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound goalie captured AHC Goaltender of the Week.

Stellar play also came from sophomore center Danny Smith who blocked 10 shots and had an assist in the split with Army. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward made it two for the Tigers as he was named the AHC Defensive Player of the Week. RIT heads to Niagara on Friday and Saturday for two matchups with the Purple Eagles. (PairWise Ranking #48 / KRACH Ranking #52)

6) Holy Cross College Crusaders (10-12-5 overall / 9-7-5, 23 points AHA) – Last Week #7: Phelan also points out that Holy Cross has been without senior goaltender Matt Ginn since part-way through the first period against Canisius on Saturday, Jan. 10, but they still had enough mojo left last weekend to sweep last place Niagara.

Freshman forward Scott Pooley recorded one goal and two assists for a career best three points in the Crusaders 6-3 win Friday against the Purple Eagles. He earned AHC Rookie of the Week kudos. (PairWise Ranking #50 / KRACH Ranking #54)

7) Air Force Falcons (11-15-3 overall / 10-8-2, 22 points AHA) – Last Week #5: After losing to RMU in overtime last Friday, Air Force is 4-2-3 in overtime this season. The nine overtime contests are the third most in program history. One of the Falcons to keep an eye on is freshman forward Erik Baskin, who has scored in three consecutive contests. (PairWise Ranking #52 / KRACH Ranking #51)

8) Sacred Heart University Pioneers (7-15-6 overall / 6-10-6, 18 points AHA) – Last Week #8: The Pioneers recorded two ties last weekend against American International. The last time Sacred Heart had back to back ties was Feb. 4, 2010 against Bentley. Sophomore right wing Jordan Minello became the first Pioneer to achieve double-digit goals as his two scores on Friday and power play goal Saturday gave 11 for the season. The Pioneers are home this weekend for two with the Falcons of Air Force. (PairWise Ranking #53 / KRACH Ranking #56)

9) Army Black Knights (6-18-2 overall / 6-14-2, 14 points AHA) – Last Week #9: Freshman forward Tyler Pham has eight points in his last 10 games when he had an assist on sophomore forward C.J. Reuschlein’s goal Saturday against RIT. Army is off this weekend. (PairWise Ranking #57 / KRACH Ranking #57)

10) American International College Yellow Jackets (3-18-7 overall / 3-12-7, 13 points AHA) – Last Week #10: When you play the Jacks, you can not let up in the third period as American Internaitonal has put up 29 of their 71 goals in the final frame. AIC has 19 scores in the first period and 22 in the second frame of the contest. (PairWise Ranking #58 / KRACH Ranking #58)

11) Niagara University Purple Eagles (3-21-2 overall / 3-15-2, 8 points AHA) – Last Week #11: The Purple Eagles seek to snap an eight game losing streak this weekend against RIT. Junior left wing Hugo Turcotte, freshman center Robert Angiolella, junior forward Dan Kolenda, and senior right wing Isaac Kohls are in a four-way tie for the team lead in points with 11 each. (PairWise Ranking #59 / KRACH Ranking #59)

More from City of Champions