Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography
Today, AIC built on its series opening win against a Niagara team that will give a lot of teams fits this year. The group earned a 5-2 win that had everything from a Dustin Manz baseball seat of a power play goal to Alexandros Aslanidis making big saves throughout the evening. AIC also did what they did not do a week ago against a Umass-Amherst team that swept the National Champions at home this week, score an insurance goal and ice the game. Blake Bennett wrapped up the weekend with a clean wrist shot and an empty net goal to send AIC to the top of the Atlantic Hockey table.
Head Coach Eric Lang said the following, on Blake Bennett
“ Blake was targeted all weekend and was the best player on the ice. His resolve and discipline and ability to produce with that target was incredible. We always say you get what you deserve. He deserved a big weekend and delivered in front of his family and friends. It’s crazy but the harder you play him the better he plays.”
On Aslanidis play in net and why Lang started him, he said
“ Landy was outstanding he made some saves at critical times. He’s incredibly talented calm and at 6’5 he takes up a lot of net. “
On the growth of his team to this point, and what’s still ahead, he said
“ We have a long long way to go. 18 new faces learning how to play the way we need to be successful. I’m encouraged by our teams intent. Now it’s about tightening some areas up. “
Lang also praised the work and growth of Dustin Manz. The forward is tough to play against and the swat out of the air showed his elite coordination. Lang called it NHL level.
As for the best thing tonight Lang said “ Our 3rd period was the best of our season. Lots to build off of.” Now this team has to improve and get better before the showdown with Holy Cross on Tuesday. The Crusaders are battle tested and it will not be an easy game at home.
Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link.