Canisius 7, Mercyhurst 2
Mercyhurst 4, Connecticut 1
Canisius 5, Niagara 3
Mercyhurst 1, Holy Cross 0
Mercyhurst gets the lone goal in the first period, and heads to the semis against UConn. Mercyhurst is the only one of the four Atlantic semifinalists that has won this tournament, last coming back in 2005.
Holy Cross 3, Mercyhurst 2
Holy Cross scored twice in the third, including the game winner on the power play, to even the series. It's the first time in the program's history that Holy Cross has registered back-to-back 20-win seasons.
Canisius 4, Air Force 3 (1 ot)
In as big a win as the program has had, Canisius defenseman Duncan McKellar scored the game-winning goal 1:08 into overtime to get the sweep of Air Force -- the seven seed upending the two seed. And not just that, but an Air Force program that has dominated the conference, particularly in the postseason, for so long. Air Force was a little bit down this year, but, heck, it had just swept Niagara in this very week a couple of weeks ago. Now there will be a new Atlantic Hockey champion. “We showed a lot of grit and a lot of resiliency tonight in a game that Air Force played really well,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “Those characteristics are why we won the game and advanced to the Atlantic Hockey semifinals.”
“I thought we played a terrific game,” Air Force head coach Frank Serratore said. “We spotted them a goal, but came back to lead 3-1. Our penalty kill was very good and we scored a power-play goal. We also had 53 shots. The difference in the game was (Canisius goalie Tony) Capobianco. He was great. This game certainly didn’t go the way it was supposed to go for us. I give Canisius credit, they fought back to tie the game and then they got the bounce in overtime. This is a bitter pill to swallow. But we have been very fortunate in this league and we have done this to a lot of teams. I am very proud of our team. We got off to a rough start this season and these guys battled back to get a first-round bye. We were 14-4-4 in the final 20 regular-season games and credit those guys for hanging tough together.”
Niagara 2, RIT 1 (1 ot)
Niagara slayed some demons with this win. Last season, Niagara lost to RIT in OT in the semifinals. It's also important for Niagara to get pushed and still come out on top. And that's what happened in this series. Ultimately, it was Marc Zanette scoring his 10th of the year, in overtime, that gave Niagara the series win. It looks like the Purple Eagles will make the NCAAs no matter what. But it will try to do so as Atlantic Hockey tournament champs in Rochester next weekend, starting with a semifinal game against neighborhood rival Canisius.
Niagara was getting dominated early, but allowed just one goal. The Purple Eagles wound up pulling it out despite allowing two RIT power plays in overtime. “I was proud of the way our guys played this weekend,” said RIT Head Coach Wayne Wilson. “I thought we played very well in the first period, but needed to get the two-goal lead. Both games in the series were incredibly physical, very well played and could have went either way. Give Niagara credit, they were able to get the job done each night.”
Connecticut 4, Robert Morris 3
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.
Mercyhurst 3, Holy Cross 2
Sixth-seeded Mercyhurst got a late goal from Grant Blakey to pull off the Game 1 win.
Connecticut 4, Robert Morris 1
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.
Canisius 4, Air Force 3
Canisius got a power-play goal from Kyle Gibbons with 9 seconds left in regulation to get a huge Game 1 over 2nd-seeded Air Force. That came after Air Force, down 3-2, had pulled the goalie while shorthanded, and evened the game just a minute earlier. With the power play still in effect, and Jason Torf back in net, Canisius got the winner. “Two big power-play goals in the third period were the difference tonight,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “Our team showed great maturity and resolve to keep striking and getting the one-goal advantage each time, limiting Air Force’s momentum.”
“Canisius played a great defensive game,” AFA head coach Frank Serratore said. “Their goalie (Tony Capobianco) is really good. The fact is that we got out-special-teamed badly. They made plays on their power plays and we didn’t. We can’t dwell on this one. We have to put it in the rear-view mirror and move on. It ain’t over yet.”
Niagara 3, RIT 2
When healthy, Giancarlo Iuorio has been the difference maker time and again for Niagara this year, and he was again Friday. Playing against the team that knocked them out in OT last year, the Purple Eagles had all they could handle from RIT again. But in the end, thanks to two goals from Iuorio, Niagara got the Game 1 win and improved to 11 in the Pairwise.
RIT 7, American Int'l 1
Seven different players scored as RIT earned the rout, and a trip to the quarterfinals, where it will face top-seeded Niagara.
Canisius 2, Bentley 1
Canisius gets the sweep, and will face Air Force in the quarterfinals. “It’s a great playoff series win where all 19 players were committed to playing physical, blocking shots and playing at a high pace against a good and skilled Bentley team,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “Our penalty kill and goaltending, which has been really strong all season, really rose to the occasion at the biggest time of the year.”
Mercyhurst 5, Army 2
Robert Morris 6, Sacred Heart 1
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.
Mercyhurst 3, Army 1
RIT 2, American Int'l 1
Canisius 4, Bentley 0
Robert Morris 4, Sacred Heart 1
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