2022-23 Atlantic Hockey Power Rankings

RIT Holds Strong As Conference Rivals Near

The No. 20 Tigers had an eight-game winning streak snapped with a 5-0 shutout by Princeton, then fell 2-1 in an overtime thriller to Canisius. They remain atop the rankings, however.

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

1. RIT (Last Ranking: 1)

Record: 9-1-1-1 (12-4 overall)

The No. 20 Tigers had an eight-game winning streak snapped with a 5-0 shutout by Princeton, then fell 2-1 in an overtime thriller to Canisius.

It was RIT’s first consecutive losses of the season, and it seemed to set off the team.

The Tigers entered the third period of Saturday’s game against Canisius up 4-3, before taking over with a six-goal frame for a decisive 10-4 win. It certainly was a statement.

2. AIC (Last Ranking: 4)

Record: 7-5-1 (9-7-3 overall)

Up to second place in the standings, AIC has taken 14 of its past 15 possible points, going 4-0-1 with a shootout win.

The Yellow Jackets are buzzing again with a combined 12-3 score during last week’s sweep of Bentley.

Four skaters had multi-goal efforts, eight players had multiple points and 15 players recorded at least a point.

The Jackets’ depth is finding its potential, and they’re eyeing another conference title as the season progresses.

3. Sacred Heart (Last Ranking: 3)

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

The second-best winning percentage in Atlantic Hockey, tied for points with AIC and a game in hand has the Pioneers feeling good. Add the breaking of a five-game losing streak, and their position in the standings is threatening.

A nonconference game with Northeastern this week wraps up the fall semester. A tough opening to the winter semester is in store, however.

Conference rivals Mercyhurst and Army await, before its time for the Connecticut Ice Tournament with New Hampshire and Boston College.

4. Niagara (Last Ranking: 2)

Record: 5-4-1 (9-4-1 overall)

Despite suffering their first loss since Oct. 22, the Eagles’ slight drop is all about the programs moving around them. Their 3-1 record since the last rankings includes a sweep of Colgate.

Their first conference series in a month was a split with Army and allowed rivals to add some points in the time being.

A key series with AIC this week could be a pivotal point for both programs heading into the break.

5. Mercyhurst (Last Ranking: 5)

Record: 4-2-0-2 (5-9-2 overall)

Even the depths of social media would be hard up to find confidence in the Lakers

entering the 2022-2023 season after the transfer portal decimated the team’s own depth.

But the Lakers have won when it’s counted most – in Atlantic Hockey.

A four-game winning streak entering this week will be put to the test against an Army program coming off its first loss since Nov. 5 and 4-1-1 over its past six outings.

With a one-point lead in the standings, Mercyhurst will look to add ground.

6. Army West Point (Last Ranking: 6)

Record: 4-4-0-1 (5-8-2 overall)

The Black Knights have gone 2-1-1 since last rankings and 4-1-1 over their past six, as coach Brian Riley’s program begins to find some cohesion.

The depth is pulling through with 15 goal scorers. All 10 skaters to have suited up for every game have recorded a goal on the season.

Freshman Max Itagaki leads the team in scoring, followed by four seniors. As long as all four lines continue to contribute, the Knights’ ugly start will fall further and further behind them.

7. Holy Cross (Last Ranking: 9)

Record: 4-6-1-1 (5-12-1 overall)

The Crusaders are playing their best hockey of the season, netting three wins in their past five games. They’re coming off a sweep of Air Force for a 2-0 conference mark in that span to take some confidence into the break.

A return on Dec. 30 for a nonconference game with No. 2 Quinnipiac will be a significant test for the Crusaders, but a losing effort still can be an effective teaching method, as they prepare for the stretch run that begins in January.

8. Canisius (Last Ranking: 7)

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

After taking 6-of-6 points in a sweep of AIC, the Golden Griffins have managed just four of their past 12 points possible. A shootout win over Army was followed by a 3-1 loss, sealed by an empty-net goal.

A defensive-based 2-1 overtime win against RIT last week was encouraging, before RIT put the proverbial hammer down, scoring six third-period goals for a brutal 10-4 win.

9. Air Force (Last Ranking: 8)

Record: 2-7-0-1 (6-10-2 overall)

Six straight losses, kicked off by a single-point shootout loss to AIC, has the Falcons’ wings clipped.

With four goaltenders through 10 games, inconsistent defense and the sixth-worst goals against per-game has sunk the fall semester.

A New Year’s series with an equally struggling Canisius team will be followed by Boston College and either Arizona State or Michigan Tech for the Desert Hockey Classic. A strong showing could spark some efficacy.

10. Bentley (Last Ranking: 10)

Record: 2-8 (4-13 overall)

The Falcons are consistently finding a win every four games, meaning a ‘W’ can be anticipated within their next three.

With those three opponents being Northeastern, RIT and Niagara, the latter two certainly are hoping to see the nonconference Northeastern fall.

But parity is heavy in the NCAA, and Bentley won’t hesitate to try and snag every win it can, especially against the top of the standings.

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