2021-22 AHA Power Rankings

New Year, New Rankings

Bentley takes the top spot in 2022's first AHA power rankings.

FloHockey’s bimonthly evaluation on everything Atlantic Hockey. Find out which of AHA’s 10 teams rise, fall, or stay put as weekly series unfold in Atlantic Hockey.

1. Bentley (Last Ranking: 2)

Record: 8-4 (10-7 overall)

The Falcons finally kick off their winter semester this week with a home-and-home against the USCHO Poll’s No. 12-ranked team, UMass Lowell. The Falcons’ five-game winning streak has locked them in the top spot through the break, but rivals are coming.

Despite the upcoming non-conference series, a solid effort—and maybe a win or two—will go a long way in maintaining the confidence the Falcons are flying high with.

2. AIC (Last Ranking: 5)

Record: 6-4 (6-9-1 overall)

The three-peat conference champions are starting the New Year off right, sweeping Air Force for their first consecutive wins of the 2021-22 season and now, a three-game winning streak, all with conference weight. 

The Jackets’ favorable upcoming schedule holds no promises, but the winning culture and player capabilities are more than enough to anticipate a second-half surge. They now sit three points away from the conference lead.

3. Army West Point (Last Ranking: 6)

Record: 5-4-2-2 (7-8-3 overall)

A rocky October is now fully in the rearview mirror and the Black Knights have lost just one of their past five contests, dating back to the beginning of December. The team has a 2-0 conference mark since the last rankings.

Colin Bilek’s four-game point streak (2 G, 5 A) is carrying the offensive support that will take weight off standout netminder Gavin Abric. The Knights’ tenacity will see them battle until the end as they contend for the conference title.

4. Canisius (Last Ranking: 3)

Record: 6-5-1 (9-8-2 overall)

A win and overtime loss against Niagara are keeping the Golden Griffins a tie-breaker ahead of AIC in the conference standings. A slightly deeper dive into the Griffins shows proximity is becoming a theme of the season.

The Griffins are shooting at 18 percent in third periods, a higher percentage than their first two periods combined. As a result the Griffins are scoring late, but struggling to begin games on time (12 goals in a combined 380 first period minutes) is forcing them to take chances, causing defensive gaps that opponents capitalize on.

5. Sacred Heart (Last Ranking: 4)

Record: 4-3-2-2 (6-6-3 overall)

The Pioneers’ January 2 game with RIT was postponed, delaying their new semester to this weekend. An up and down October has shifted into just two losses in the Pioneers’ past eight games.

A strong season from transfer netminder Justin Robbins and another encouraging year from junior Braeden Tuck has been the recipe as the Pioneers look to maintain their play with plenty of conference points remaining on the season.

6. RIT (Last Ranking: 1)

Record: 5-5-2-1 (9-7-2 overall)

Consecutive losses since the last rankings, coupled with rivals making moves, and the Tigers find themselves dropping five spots. With no games played so far in the New Year, their upcoming series with Sacred Heart could see either team making a big shift in the standings.

The Tigers 10-3 combined score in a sweep by Army was a tough way to end the semester and they’ll need to remember that was nearly a month ago as they refocus on only what remains in their control; the next opponent. 

7. Niagara (Last Ranking: 9)

Record: 4-4-2 (5-11-2 overall)

An overtime win against Canisius was an exciting way to end the fall semester, add in a 3-1 upset over No. 10 Notre Dame to kick off 2022 and there is no question as to the Purple Eagles’ highlight of the season thus far. It made the following night’s 5-0 loss to Notre Dame much less bitter. 

Upcoming series with Sacred Heart and Air Force could see the Eagles’ confidence translate into a handful of points, with the possibility of a big jump in the standings.

8. Mercyhurst (Last Ranking: 7)

Record: 3-5-4-1 (4-11-4 overall)

A dry spell for a dynamic offense has led to an 0-3 mark since the last rankings and six-game losing streak. The Lakers have only mustered more than two goals twice during the six-game drought, so the rest and relaxation of the break was hopefully taken seriously.

Their best offensive output in their past six came Dec. 12 against Miami, who they face again in a mid-week matchup this Tuesday. It could be a jumping point for the offense to rediscover its ability.

9. Air Force (Last Ranking: 8)

Record: 3-7-2-2 (5-11-2 overall)

The Falcons’ sweep by AIC was an ugly start to the New Year and the season’s recent trend could result in a new No. 10 by next rankings.    Upcoming opponent Mercyhurst’s six-game losing streak is more in tune with the Falcons’ nightly level, but their offensive trio won’t be held at bay much longer.

The Falcons have already built on last season, where they were the lone traveling team of the pod season, resulting in excess travel wear. There is still time to build on the 2021-22 season.

10. Holy Cross (Last Ranking: 10)

Record: 3-6-1 (4-13-1 overall)

A forgettable first semester could be on the verge of an even more-forgettable season as the Crusaders’ upcoming schedule pits them against conference-contenders, including series against Army, Canisius, and four games with AIC all in this month.

The Crusaders may not boast chart-topping scorers, but the offense is contributing enough to steal some games. Defensively, the team effort is lax and an abundance of defensive breakdowns is threatening a last place finish.

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