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UConn had a big second period and held off RMU to advance to the Atlantic Hockey semifinals for the second time in three years. Despite outshooting RMU, 10-2, in the first period, UConn found itself down 1-0 at the first intermission. Connecticut scored three consecutive goals in the second period, including the game-tying score just 1:36 in by sophomore Cody Sharib. Robert Morris had a 20-win season that was promising for a while, but it couldn't get over the hump within the league.
Connecticut scored four unanswered goals to pull away, in the hotly-contested 4 vs. 5 series. Matt Grogan stopped 19 shots to improve to 13-3-3.
Cody Wydo scored twice as RMU took care of business against last-place Sacred Heart. The Colonials advance to the quarterfinals, where they will face Connecticut next weekend. ... Sacred Heart wraps up a two-win season, and heads into next year with Bobby Valentine as its new athletic director. Should be interesting.
Niagara scored a late goal to tie, but lost in overtime. The interesting thing for Niagara right now is, not even a loss is that damaging to its standing in the Pairwise. In other seasons, when an Atlantic Hockey team has threatened to crack the top 16, a single loss has often been enough to send that team falling. But Niagara has built up enough good wins that, despite the loss, the Purple Eagles remained No. 10 in the Pairwise.
Friday, senior Giancarlo Iuorio returned to the lineup for the first time since getting hurt in early January, and had a hat trick as Niagara won the series opener. Saturday, coach Dave Burkholder gave Carsen Chubak the night off, and went to little-used backup Cody Campbell, who struggled. Iuorio scored the first goal of the game, but couldn't carry his team on the back end of the home-and-home.
Four different Falcons scored and Jason Torf made 28 saves, as Air Force earned a sweep. “They took it to us in the first period, but thankfully for us Jason Torf was the best player in the rink,” Air Force head coach Frank Serratore said. “Jason got us through the first period and gave us a chance. From that point, the guys took advantage of it. During this 8-2-2 run, we have done the majority of it on the road and that is a good sign. These were good wins, but right now we don’t want to get too high or too low. Right now, we are finding ways to win.”
Robert Morris has not fared that well back in conference play after some huge non-league wins against big time teams. It split this weekend with AIC. In fact, that's been somewhat of a trend for RMU since joining Atlantic Hockey. I'm not sure what it means exactly, but I'm pretty sure it's not good.
After taking CHN Team of the Week honors for winning the Three Rivers Tournament by defeating Penn State and Miami, it would appear that Robert Morris suffered a big letdown in Friday's game, losing 5-0. It can certainly be forgiven, but even with the bounceback win Saturday, the Colonials have been inexplicably mediocre in Atlantic Hockey play, while playing great hockey out of conference, against a number of very good teams. RMU is also giving up a lot of shots, even when not playing Miami -- as exemplified by the 47 saves Eric Levine needed to make in this one. He's generally been up to the task.
Robert Morris shook off 45 shots from OSU on Friday, and got a shorthanded and power-play goal in a 3-2 upset win over the Buckeyes. Instead of a big letdown from that, the Colonials followed up with a solid tie, and even outshot OSU 5-0 in the overtime.
Carsen Chubak, who was profiled by CHN last week, remained red hot for Niagara, coming up with a 43-save shutout to improve to 8-1-3 on the season.
Air Force earned its first win of the season. “We were better tonight,” AFA head coach Frank Serratore said. “We scored the first goal, we out-special teamed them and, their goalie was good, but our was better. We were terrific in the first period. In the third period, they came at us with everything and it was anyone’s ball game. Our sixth attacker defense got it done. Obviously, this was a tighter game than the 4-1 score indicates. We went on the road against two strong teams and got three points in two tough buildings. Any way you want to spin, that is a positive.”
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