Atlantic Hockey Weekend Preview

Atlantic Hockey Weekend Preview


After upsetting No. 1 Massachusetts-Lowell to open up its season last Friday, Sacred Heart fell Rensselaer the following day, but the Pioneers have a chance at redemption. Sacred Heart will travel to No. 17 RPI in a re-match of last week’s game on Saturday.

Holy Cross has a home-and-home series with Hockey East foe Northeastern, while Mercyhurst will also face off against an Hockey East opponent, as it travels to Merrimack for back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday night. Bentley will also be in action against a Hockey East squad as it heads up to Maine to take on the Black Bears on Saturday night
American International has a tough draw to open up its season as it heads down to No. 10 Providence for a Saturday night showdown against the Friars.
Clarkson hosts RIT for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday. Connecticut opens up its season on the road playing Minnesota St. Mankato twice. Air Force hosts Penn State back-to-back nights this weekend. 

Northeastern at Holy Cross, Holy Cross at Northeastern

The Crusaders return to action on Friday, Oct. 18, when they host Hockey East opponent Northeastern at the Hart Center for the first game of a home-and-home series, as the team will play on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Matthews Arena. The game versus Northeastern will be the home-opener for the Crusaders as Holy Cross is 25-17-5 (.585) all-time in home openers, including a 2-1 win versus UConn last season. The Crusaders are 2-1-2 in home-openers over the last five seasons. The Crusaders are 1-3-0 all-time versus Northeastern including a 4-3 overtime win on Oct. 29, 2010 in the previous match up. This will be the first ever meeting between the two teams at the Hart Center

RIT at Clarkson

RIT travels to Clarkson for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday. The two teams skated to a 3-3 draw at Ritter Arena last season. Clarkson leads the all-time series 10-2-2 and is 4-0-1 vs. RIT since the Tigers moved to Division I in 2005. Clarkson has swept its Atlantic Hockey play, so far this season, as it opened up its season with back-to-back wins against Niagara. 

Mercyhurst at Merrimack

Merrimack and Mercyhurst will meet for the first time in its team’s history this weekend, as Merchyhurst travels to North Andover, Mass. to take on Merrimack. Merchyhurst is still looking for its first win of the season, as the Lakers dropped their first three games.

Connecticut at Minnesota St. Mankato

Connecticut opens up its season, in Minnesota, taking on Minnesota St. Mankato for a pair of games. Brant Harris and Jordan Sims are the leading scorers of returning players both scoring 31 points last season. UConn has a lot of experience in goal as the Huskies return senior goalie, Matt Grogan, who led the team last season with 14 wins. 

Sacred Heart at Rensselaer

Last week was an up and down one for Sacred Heart knocking off NO. 1 Massachusetts-Lowell, but the Pioneers then dropped a home game to Rensselaer the following day. Sacred Heart has a re-match of last weeks loss against RPI though as the two teams meets again on Saturday. Alex Vazzano stopped 34-of-35 shots against UMass Lowell, and he could be relied upon again this weekend to carry the load in goal.


Penn State at Air Force

Air Force opens its home schedule with a two-game, non-conference series against Penn State, Oct. 18-19, at 7:05 pm MT each night at Cadet Ice Arena. The series begins a four-game home stand for the Falcons. AFA and Penn State have met twice all-time, both last season at Penn State. The teams split the series last season.

Bentley at Maine

On Saturday the Falcons visit Maine of Hockey East for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Bentley won that game, 3-1, in what was the only previous meeting between the two teams. Bentley has beaten a Hockey East opponent in four of the previous five seasons. Sophomore defenseman was the Travel Team USA Player of the Week last week, and he looks to get Bentley back on track after dropping the second game of two game series with Nebraska-Omaha last weekend. The Falcons will also travel to Quinnipiac for a game on Tuesday night.

Niagara at Robert Morris

Niagara will play 13 of the next 15 games on the road, starting with a five-game road trip that begins with Robert Morris University on Saturday, Oct. 19. NU and RMU have met 47 times in a series that dates back to Jan. 28, 2005…Niagara holds a 27-12-8 advantage. The Purple Eagles were on a seven-game unbeaten streak (3-0-4) in games against the Colonials at the RMU Island Sports Center until last season when the Purps suffered a 6-5 OT loss on Feb. 16, 2013…Overall, NU is 4-2-4 against the Colonials on its opponent’s home ice. 

American International at Providence

American International opens up its 2013-14 season against a tough Hockey East opponent Providence. AIC lost a few important pieces due to graduation including its starting goalie, but Jon Puskar leads all returning players in points. Last season he had 24 points, in 34 games, which was good for second on the team.