Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography
Here are three things to watch for in Atlantic Hockey tonight as every team that plays, plays a game that counts in the pairwise standings.
Limiting Penalty Minutes
For all teams playing non conference games especially, scripting the game and limiting mistakes early on is probably the biggest thing to worry about. Especially for Holy Cross coming into the Ralph Engelstad Arena to face UND, they and others need to play aggressive and force their opponents to make the first mistake. All of these games run the risk of spiraling quickly. When AIC lost to the Fighting Hawks, they played one bad period that was made worse by penalties. That cannot happen for this conference tonight.
Make them play to you
Conversely, each team needs to outwork their opponent tonight. When UND Head Coach said of Holy Cross “they wanted it more” in their win against Boston College, that energy and strength needs to come through for everyone today. Niagara needs to use its strength to slow down a fast Omaha group and make them go through the Purple Eagles. Sacred Heart has the chance to validate a lot of pundits and get off to a fast start with its veterans. Air Force can show their next step and beat a Hockey East Team in Maine.
Win each segment
Every Atlantic Hockey team on the road playing a non conference game has one thing they will not see in their conference. They all get two extra media timeous per period. This means coaches can roll their top lines more, and adjust better in game. This was one fact that Eric Lang cited when AIC beat St. Cloud State, using the extra timeouts to get your team a chance to reset, play to the script, and limit penalties. If the conference does that tonight they won’t win every game, but show the sport of college hockey that they will be able to translate the competitiveness they all play with into a few more points this year.
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