2021-22 AHA Power Rankings

Griffins Grab No. 1, AIC Lurks

Since the last rankings, two programs have trudged to the top of the hill, each accumulating crucial wins.  

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1. Canisius (Last Ranking: 5)

Record: 4-2 (7-5-1 overall)

The Golden Griffins take the top spot, moving up four spots after a 3-1 mark with a sweep of RIT and a split with Mercyhurst, two teams that had held the No. 1 and 2 spots for the past month.

With 21 combined goals during their four-game winning streak from Nov. 6-19, the Griffins were flying high before the Lakers snapped their streak. The offense will have off nights, will it be able to mask the team’s need for more defensive responsibility for long?

2. Army West Point (Last Ranking: 4)

Record: 2-2-2-2 (4-5-2 overall)

Unbeaten in its past five games, which includes a 2-0-1 record across conference play since last rankings, Army West Point joins the Griffins with a hike up the rankings hill. Brian Riley’s team is finding its stride offensively, gaining defensive confidence, and backed by one of college’s premier netminders. 

The Black Knights are back to their ‘expecting to win’ mentality and it’s paying off as the team takes its packed semester-ending schedule game by game.

3. RIT (Last Ranking: 1)

Record: 5-3-2-1 (7-5-2 overall)

The Tigers remain a dangerous program despite dropping to No. 3, which is more of a nod to the team’s ahead of them versus a knock at RIT. Still, a 2-2 conference record over the past two weeks.

But RIT remains atop the standings and even with a number of programs holding games in hand, the Tigers are in a comfortable position as the winter break approaches—hopefully not too comfortable.

4. Mercyhurst (Last Ranking: 2)

Record: 3-3-4-1 (3-5-4 overall)

The Lakers earned a 2-1-1 record, all against conference opponents, and are holding onto points earned ahead of extra frames, despite the loss of extra points left in the standings. The Lakers enter a long stretch of non-conference play, not facing another Atlantic Hockey (for points) opponent until February 4.

With No. 17 Ohio State and No. 19 Boston College on the docket, the Lakers are leaning into the ‘schedule strength’ territory it takes to earn some at-large consideration come March. Time will tell if the sophomores can make some national noise.

5. AIC (Last Ranking: 3)

Record: 3-3 (3-8-1 overall)

The three-peat Atlantic Hockey champions are in unfamiliar territory with a disappointing overall record. The Yellow Jackets have not lost in regulation over their past seven contests, including a 1-0-1 conference mark and 1-0-2 overall mark since last rankings.

It’s another reflection of the teams ahead of them just playing better hockey, but the Jackets are too experienced not to bring some heat down the stretch and as they warm-up the rest of Atlantic Hockey will be on notice.

6. Sacred Heart (Last Ranking: 7)

Record: 3-2-2-2 (5-5-3 overall)

After three-straight games across the past four days, Sacred Heart has pulled out a 2-1 record against Air Force and the forward ranks were at the forefront with nine goals over those games for a 2-1 conference record.

A fourth game in five nights is on the slate for tonight and if it was not for AIC, the Pioneers could have found themselves in the rankings’ top-five, but they haven’t shown enough to jump the mold of Atlantic Hockey.

7. Niagara (Last Ranking: 6)

Record: 2-2-2 (2-6-2 overall)

The Purple Eagles went winless since last rankings with a 0-1-1 mark courtesy of Army. With three straight losses—two in a shootout—the Eagles’ upcoming series with No. 4 Michigan could get ugly.

The offense has managed four goals just two times in 10 games this season and has scored fewer than three goals six times. Without more consistent offensive production, the Eagles will remain on the wrong end of the scoreboard.

8. Bentley (Last Ranking: 8)

Record: 4-4 (6-7 overall)

A .500 record since last rankings, the Falcons still sit with a losing record on the season and have struggled to play a full series yet with splits across the season. The Falcons snagged a 2-1 overtime winner against AIC, but it wasn’t enough to lift them in the rankings.

With series against Army, Mercyhurst, and No. 15 UMass Lowell next on the schedule, wins don’t appear to be in the near future and that losing record will likely continue to tip in the wrong direction.

9. Air Force (Last Ranking: 9)

Record: 2-4-1-1 (4-8-1 overall)

With four losses in six games since last rankings and two of those coming over the past two nights to Sacred Heart, the Falcons are in a vulnerable position. Another game on the schedule against the Pioneers, the Falcons are in a dangerous position.

There isn’t a problem the Falcons don’t have—goaltending, offense, defense—that can be a quick fix. But their four wins have already eclipsed 2020-21’s three win total and every ‘W’ from here on is a bonus as the program regains some talent.

10. Holy Cross (Last Ranking: 10)

Record: 2-5-1 (2-10-1 overall)

After going 1-3 in conference play, the Crusaders remain at the bottom as losses pile up both in Atlantic Hockey and overall. With three consecutive non-conference games on the horizon, Holy Cross will have the chance to work out some kinks ahead of more points play.

The kinks are many for the Crusaders, but there is a lot of time left and points remaining for the team to make up ground in the standings and find a more favorable position come conference tournament time.

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