Atlantic Hockey: The Standouts so far

Photo credit: Mady Salvani- Army West Point Athletics

Early on in the Atlantic Hockey Associaition, there are some positive standouts that merit further discussion. You could add more players and teams to this list, but these are at the top of our list for standouts in these three categories.

Best Team

RIT Tigers

Wayne Wilson’s group has parlayed its early season successes to a strong start. This team has a non conference three-on-three overtime win against Notre Dame on the road. In addition , they have Will Calverley leading the way up front. He has burst onto the national scene this year in a way similar to what Colin Bilek did for Army Wear Point last season. If he can keep leading the offense ahead, and if RIT can keep getting good goaltending from its veteran goaltending group, then the Tigers are well positioned to roar into the postseason.

Best defender

Anthony Firriolo-Army West Point

Firriolo’s ability to generate offense has taken a strong step forward. He already is one goal away from equaling his career high in college hockey, and is two away from equaling his career high in college or junior hockey. His strong knowledge of the game and ability to quickly get up into plays is a reason why he could be in the position to earn a pro deal next year, if he keeps on this trend. Solid two way defenders are a player type always in demand in the pro ranks. He plays an intuitive game and has the potential to finish his career over the next two years on a high note like Brennan Kapcheck did for AIC.

Best goaltender

Gavin Abric-Army West Point

Abric’s path to West Point has included stops on two different NAHL teams, and a full season with the NCDC’s Jersey Hitmen. While not playing last year he learned from one of the best goalies in program history, Trevin Kozlowski, on what it takes to make it at the Division One level. That tutelage is paying off as Abric has a 1.67 goals against average facing high danger shots at volume nearly nightly . His ability to keep the Black Knights in games is not one to be overlooked, as they have often needed big moments from him before they find their first goal. Going back to Abric’s high school hockey days, whenever he has played 19 games in a season or more, his goals against average has been under two. That is a trend Abric and his team would like to see continue.

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