RMU Hockey Can Not Be Denied The Top Spot In Atlantic Hockey Conference Power Rankings


The Atlantic Hockey Conference is down to its final weekend of the regular season. A mere five points separate second through fifth place in the standings.

Derek Schooley’s Colonials last week claimed its first AHC regular season championship with a split in their two-game series on the road with RIT. The list of achievements continued for Robert Morris as they were nationally ranked for a team-record fifth consecutive time.

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This week began with Robert Morris sitting at 20th in the United States College Hockey Online poll. They are also the only Atlantic Hockey squad in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine survey, and remained in the fifth slot in the “others receiving votes” category.

The Canisius College Golden Griffins climbed back into second place in the standings with their sweep of Mercyhurst in their home and home series. Bentley, who had been in second, dropped to third with a pair of ties on the road against Army.

Both Canisius and Bentley were among the nine programs in the “others receiving votes” section of the USCHO count. There are still points this weekend for the taking as Canisius, Bentley, Mercyhurst, RIT and Holy Cross seek to possible move up over one another in the standings.

Every team needs to enter the Atlantic Hockey tournament prepared for the battle to be close. In the 23 contests last year, nine games concluded in overtime, and a trio of those went to double overtime. Beyond those single goal meetings, a pair of matchups were decided in regulation by one score. They were both elimination encounters.

The arctic wind continues to whistle through the trees, so let’s grab another hot cup of coffee or tea, and examine this week’s City Of Champions Sports Atlantic Hockey Conference Power Rankings.

1) RMU Colonials (21-6-5 overall / 18-4-4, 40 points AHA) – Last Week #1: Robert Morris has earned the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation at .734, and is tied with Minnesota State, North Dakota and Boston University for the least amount of losses. The Colonials defense is not to be overlooked as they lead the nation in blocked shots per game with 18.3. RMU wraps up the season with a home and home series with Niagara this weekend. (PairWise Ranking #23 / KRACH Ranking #35)

2) Canisius College Golden Griffins (15-10-7 overall / 14-6-6, 34 points AHA) – Last Week #5: Senior defenseman Doug Jessey blocked seven shots last weekend in the two-game sweep of Mercyhurst. He also helped keep the Lakers out of the net on four power play attempts. The Langdon, Alberta native was named the AHC Defensive Player of the Week. The Griffs finish the regular campaign this weekend on the road against Air Force (PairWise Ranking #39 / KRACH Ranking #50)

3) Bentley University Falcons (16-11-3 overall / 14-7-5, 33 points AHA) – Last Week #2: Freshman goaltender Jason Argue was the AHC Rookie of the Week as he turned away 66 of 69 shots last weekend in two ties at Army. He put up a 1.38 goals-against-average and a .957 save percentage over the two outings. The Falcons have a matchup Thursday on the road against Sacred Heart and end the season at home Saturday against Holy Cross. (PairWise Ranking #36 / KRACH Ranking #47)

4) RIT Tigers (13-14-5 overall / 12-9-5, 29 points AHA) – Last Week #4: Senior forward Brad McGowan last Saturday claimed his first collegiate hat trick, including the game-winning goal along with an assist in the Tigers 4-3 victory over RMU. The Langley, British Columbia native was named the Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week. RIT hosts Mercyhurst on Friday and Saturday at the Gene Polisseni Center. (PairWise Ranking #45 / KRACH Ranking #52)

5) Mercyhurst University Lakers (16-12-4 overall / 14-9-3, 31 points AHA) – Last Week #3: Senior goaltender Jimmy Sarjeant is back on the shelf for this weekend and the conference tournament. The Lakers are going with freshman netminder Brandon Wildung the rest of the way. He is 8-6-3 this season with a 2.37 GAA and a .921 save percentage. (PairWise Ranking #40 – Tied with Connecticut and Maine / KRACH Ranking #49)

6) Holy Cross College Crusaders (12-16-5 overall / 11-11-5, 27 points AHA) – Last Week #6: The freshman forward duo of T.J. Moore and Scott Pooley are tied for the team lead this season in goals with nine each. Junior defenseman Jake Bolton owns the lead in shots with 98. (PairWise Ranking #49 / KRACH Ranking #55)

7) Sacred Heart University Pioneers (10-17-6 overall / 9-12-6, 24 points AHA) – Last Week #7: Senior goaltender Alex Vazzano was named the AHC Goaltender of the Week. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound netminder allowed only one goal last weekend as the Pioneers split their home and home series with Holy Cross. He earned his second career shutout Saturday as Sacred Heart downed the Crusaders 5-0. (PairWise Ranking #52 / KRACH Ranking #56)

8) Air Force Falcons (13-18-4 overall / 12-11-3, 27 points AHA) – Last Week #8: Coming down the home stretch, it has been turbulant for Air Force as they are winless in three of their last four series. The Falcons surrendered a minimum of four goals in five of their last eight contests. In addition, they have permitted at least five scores in four of those matchups. (PairWise Ranking #51 / KRACH Ranking #54)

9) Army Black Knights (7-19-4 overall / 7-15-4, 18 points AHA) – Last Week #9: Junior forward Joe Kozlak claimed his 50th career point with an assist in Friday’s 1-1 tie against Bentley. The Black Knights conclude their season with a home and home series against American International. (PairWise Ranking #57 / KRACH Ranking #57)

10) American International College Yellow Jackets (3-22-7 overall / 3-16-7, 13 points AHA) – Last Week #10: Sophomore left wing Austin Orszulak is tied with junior right wing Ralph Cuddemi of Canisius and senior center Matt Garbowsky of RIT for the league lead in goals with 21 each. (PairWise Ranking #58 / KRACH Ranking #58)

11) Niagara University Purple Eagles (4-24-4 overall / 4-18-4, 12 points AHA) – Last Week #11: The Niagara offense was firing on all cylinders as they put up 10 goals in a win and a tie at home last week against the Falcons of Air Force. It was the most goals the Purple Eagles collected on the scoreboard in a single weekend this season. (PairWise Ranking #59 / KRACH Ranking #59)

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