Photo Credit: Kelly Shea- AIC Athletics
Today, the Yellow Jackets of AIC started strong. One of the top goal scorers in the nation, Tobias Fladeby put his side ahead 1-0 against the Black Knights of Army West Point. Soon after that, the lead would disappear and despute a furious comeback attempt, would come up short as the Yellow Jackets suffered their first Atlantic Hockey loss of the season, ceding first place in the conference in terms of point percentage to Robert Morris.
With the basics out of the way, let’s look at some of the good that came out of this game, and potential adjustments to watch for from Head Coach Eric Lang as we highly suspect that he will work to improve his team’s effort shorthanded. Army was able to find open spaces on those goals, often catching the penalty kill out of position, and making Stefano Durante’s life a lot harder in net, despite facing 21 shots in total.
What went well
Well, Tobias Fladeby is slowly playing himself onto a lot of team’s radars as an Undrafted Free Agent candidate. His ability to find space in all times on the ice, combind with playmakers like Ellijah Barriga (injured, did not play today) setting him up is superb to watch. In addition, Fladeby’s speed is consistent, and he uses it to find those hard-to-defend areas that he puts home a lot of his goals from.
Then of course we come to Eric Otto. The cancer survivor put home his first goal of the his career today on some nice work by Eric Lang’s fourth line to make it a one goal game at the time. His goal, along with the consistent play of Lang’s fourth line featuring Aaron Grounds was probably the biggest bright spot of the night for this team.
What to watch for
Lang is a master in getting his team’s schedule as quickly refilled as possible after postponments this year. He has done so this week, as the Yellow Jackets face a Long Island team that they have recently beaten that plays a similar system to Army’s. How AIC can eliminate some of the grade-a looks they gave up on their penalty kills today will go a long way to determing the result.
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