2021-22 AHA Power Rankings

AIC Returns, Air Force Fueling Up

Defending conference champion AIC takes over the top spot as they look to peak at the right time. 

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. AIC (Last Ranking: 2)

Record: 10-4 (11-9-1 overall)

The Yellow Jackets are back. After an uncharacteristic first semester, AIC has gone 7-0 since Jan. 1, including winning eight straight and five since the last rankings. Coach Eric Lang’s team is back in familiar territory, sitting atop of the conference.

There is a lot of hockey left to play and conference rivals won’t sit back and quietly watch AIC win its fourth-straight conference. The Yellow Jackets are primed for some bitter rivals over the next month and a half.

2. Canisius (Last Ranking: 4)

Record: 8-6-2-1 (11-9-3 overall)

The Griffins went 2-1-1 since the last rankings, collecting points in three of four games to keep them five points out of first. A collection of standout players have led the Griffins to another strong season and they’re eyeing a long March.  

Griffins netminder Jacob Barczewski won his fourth weekly honor as AHA Goalie of the Week and will look to collect a consecutive honor with a pivotal upcoming series with Bentley.

3. Bentley (Last Ranking: 1)

Record: 9-5 (11-9 overall)

Coming in right behind the Griffins, after a split with Sacred Heart and a non-conference loss to Merrimack, the Falcons are looking to rediscover the offense that led to a five-game winning streak before the break.

A month-long break, due to a postponed series with UMass Lowell, saw the offense come out slow before their 4-3 win over Sacred Heart last week. Barczewski will have something to say regarding the Falcons search for offense.

4. Army West Point (Last Ranking: 3)

Record: 6-5-2-2 (8-9-3 overall)

A point behind Sacred Heart in the standings with two conference games in hand, the Black Knights face off with the Pioneers for a mid-week game. The Knights took their previous matchup this season, 4-1.

The Knights are working their way out of a three-game funk (AHA loss and 0-1-1 non-conference mark, they hold advantages at all three positions and have proven to be a 60-minute team.

5. Air Force (Last Ranking: 9)

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

A four-slot jump from the Falcons is courtesy of a 2-0 conference record since the last rankings and—ignoring a sweep by streaking AIC—are 3-0-1 in their past four conference games, making up ground in the standings. 

An upcoming series with a regressing Mercyhurst team should help keep the confidence high and give the Falcons a chance to add some more points with an eye on home ice come tournament time.

6. RIT (Last Ranking: 6)

Record: 6-5-2-1 (10-9-2 overall)

The Tigers have been a tough team to figure out as they have been a Jekyll and Hyde this season. A four-game winning streak over November, including a sweep of Princeton, has transitioned into a 1-2 conference record (1-4 overall) since Dec. 1.

Four teams sit below the Tigers in the standings and RIT has the benefit of facing them in four of their six remaining series this season; a late surge of points and potential confidence boost could be a tournament recipe.

7. Sacred Heart (Last Ranking: 5)

Record: 6-6-2-2 (8-9-3 overall)

The Pioneers have been busy these past two weeks, amassing a 2-3 conference record since the last rankings. They remain fourth in the standings but have played more games than most programs looking to jump them.

Ahead of the conference tournament they have series with AIC, Army, Canisius, and Bentley; there will be a lot of must-watch hockey down the stretch and the Pioneers will be in the thick of it.

8. Niagara (Last Ranking: 7)

Record: 5-7-2 (6-14-2 overall)

After a split with No. 10 Notre Dame, the Eagles squeezed out a 5-4 overtime win against Sacred Heart. But a current three-game losing streak has burned out the national attention.

Series with AIC, Canisius, and Bentley don’t hold much promise for late points, at least not enough to turn some tides, but the Eagles have managed some exciting wins this season and won’t go away quietly.

9. Mercyhurst (Last Ranking: 8)

Record: 3-7-4-1 (5-13-4 overall)

Even with just one win over their past nine contests, the Lakers have continued to bring offense and make for exciting hockey. A pair of losses against AIC still provided 5-4 and 6-3 scores as the Lakers sophomore-run offense showed a glimpse of potential.

It has no doubt been a learning season and the Lakers are certain to add some more W’s by season’s end. 

10. Holy Cross (Last Ranking: 10)

Record: 3-9-2 (5-16-2 overall)

Despite a 0-3-1 conference record since the last rankings the Crusaders have been better of late. They went into the break with a win and returned with a 4-3 win over Vermont on January 4.

Running into AIC and Canisius in back-to-back series was unfortunate scheduling. But the Crusaders managed to take Canisius to a shootout after a defensive 1-1 game. They followed it up with another strong defensive showing, losing 2-1. 

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