Atlantic Hockey Announces Start Date For 2020-21 Season

Niagara Athletics

Atlantic Hockey has announced that the 2020-21 season will officially begin on the weekend of November 13-14, 2020. The schedule features a minimum of 24 games and allows for up to 28 games for our member institutions. The season concludes with the Atlantic Hockey Tournament, which will include all 11 teams and be played over three weekends culminating with a return to Buffalo’s LECOM HarborCenter. 

“First off, I’m extremely excited to be announcing we have an approved league schedule for the 2020-21 season. It’s been a long process, and involved quite a bit of discussion, but it’s a testament to all those involved that we have managed to get Atlantic Hockey on the ice in 2020-21,” said Commissioner Robert DeGregorio. “We put this schedule together to maximize the student-athlete experience during such uncertain times. We found a way to schedule up to 28 games while maintaining a focus on the health and safety of all parties by reducing travel times and overnight trips as much as we could.”

To mitigate some of the risk factors regarding COVID-19 exposure during travel, Atlantic Hockey has separated the league into eastern and western pods, with Air Force standing alone as the geographic outlier. The eastern pod is made up of AIC, Army, Bentley, Holy Cross, and Sacred Heart. The western pod consists of Canisius, Mercyhurst, Niagara, RIT, and Robert Morris. All teams will play five games against each pod member (20 total games), play Air Force for a pair of games (2) for 22 league games, and then play a two-game set against LIU, who is being worked in as a scheduling partner for the 2020-21 season. Air Force will play each team twice and add in the Sharks for four games, two home and two on the road.

Prior to the possibility of LIU becoming a scheduling partner was even on the league’s radar, it was decided that league standings would be determined by point percentage this season, not by total points or even win percentage. Atlantic Hockey decided to move in this direction for two reasons: 1) unfortunately there is no guarantee each team plays a full league schedule and 2) wins are not valued the same in the 3-on-3 OT model that is now our operating overtime so win percentage, while easier to comprehend, was not viable. With that in place, moving to a schedule where Air Force had 20 league games and all other members had 22 did not impact the ability to make a schedule like this work. 

Atlantic Hockey is still working to finalize the return-to-play protocols for the season, but LIU has agreed to abide by all protocols for the 2020-21 season, including testing, screening, sanitization, and other preventative measures outlined in the document. 

The full 2020-21 Atlantic Hockey schedule, with scheduled non-conference games, will be released at a later date.

AIC Head Coach Eric Lang Discusses The Rise Of Yellow Jackets Hockey

Lang / AIC

“In 2018-19 we were the only team in the country to win a regular-season championship, playoff championship, and an NCAA Tournament game. It was important for us to not be a one-hit-wonder.” 

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Mareks Mitens Has Lake Superior State Primed For WCHA Play

Mitens / Lake Superior State Hockey

Lake Superior State[ Finished Seventh In The [category last season, immediately following a 2018-19 campaign that earned the Lakers their best record in 22 years, and now they sit at the bottom of the conference again — for now.

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Overtime Mayem Takes Over In WCHA Hockey Over The Weekend

Alabama Huntsville

Unlike its NCAA brethren hoops, baseball, and football, settling tie games in “sudden death” is a fixture in college hockey. The more appropriate moniker would be “sudden joy,” the raw emotion of 15 teammates hopping the boards for a dog-pile celebration on one end of the rink. Three such skate-off explosions occurred on WCHA ice this past weekend, as Huntsville, Bemidji, and Lake Superior State gained victories by working overtime. Each contest had its own poignant story-line; each ended in an instant.

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ECHL Approves Two Expansion Memberships In Iowa & Quebec

Tulsa Oilers

Via ECHL press release.

PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Tuesday that the League’s Board of Governors has approved expansion applications for Coralville, Iowa, and Trois-Rivières, Quebec, to begin play for the 2021-22 Season.

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Robert Morris, AIC Lead The Way In Atlantic Hockey Race

Robert Morris Hockey

As a method to navigate the unprecedented 2020-21 season, Atlantic Hockey made an effort to curb the travel and exposure of its athletes by splitting the 11-team conference into two “pods.”

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Family Tradition Helps Moynihan Capitalize On His Incredible Second Chance

Danny Moynihan / Tulsa Oilers

Improbable as it may have seemed just three years ago, Danny Moynihan is keeping the family tradition alive.

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'Ice In His Veins': Mavericks Freshman Akito Hirose Is Making An Impression

Akito Hirose / Minnesota State

Unless you were watching the live stream of last Saturday’s Minnesota State vs Northern Michigan game, you probably missed it. And because of the 9-0 goal differential in the series, Nathan Smith’s power play goal in the first period did not jump off the scoresheet. But those who saw it live saw something remarkable: a freshman treating Division I hockey like child’s play. 

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Playing With Speed: Lawton Courtnall Gels With The Wheeling Nailers

Lawton Courtnall

Lawton Courtnall is used to it by now.

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Journeyman Goaltender Sean Bonar Takes Everything In Stride With Mavericks

Sean Bonar

For another goaltender, one who lived more comfortably through the years, this might have qualified as a strange situation.

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Goalie Of The Week Ryan Bednard Talks About Start With The Swamp Rabbits

Ryan Bednard / Swamp Rabbits

On the heels of a huge Saturday night performance, [team:Greenville Swamp Rabbits] netminder Ryan Bednard was named the Warrior Hockey / [category:ECHL] Goaltender of the Week on Tuesday afternoon.

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