Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography
Another week in the most parity driven conference has already produced some interesting results. Canisius outplayed RPI and helped the non conference record against a strong offensive ECAC team. Holy Cross played their best game of the season in a 7-3 win over AIC. There’s a lot more to come this weekend , here’s some things to watch.
It is indeed Tiger hunting season for the Falcons as they face the Tigers two weeks in a row ( they battle Colorado College next week in another big non conference clash). The Falcons return every skater that helped them beat the Tigers in Utica in March. In net they have the choice of sophomore Guy Blessing or plebe Aaron Randazzo. Blessing has the resume and has already been battle tested this year. The Falcons will challenge AIC for their crown this season and sweeping RIT at home would go a long way to helping that. With that said, the Tigers have a better goaltender as Tommy Scarfone is one of the more athletic netminders in the country. While the Tigers lost a lot of talent from a year ago that has not slowed them. Their top line lead by Carter Wilkie and Grady Hobbs is challenging for the best forward line in the conference. For Air Force, their top line lead in part by Willie Reim drives them forward. The Falcons skate a little faster than the Tigers but RIT knows how to defend. This will be a great series to watch.
This is another chance for Atlantic Hockey to improve out of conference. For it to happen the Black Knights have to play together towards the net for 60 minutes. They have not done that in any of their games to this point, thus their lack of wins of any sort. With that said, this group is a young team working to get their offense up to where the defense and goaltending is. Seeing Joey Baez practically live at the net front on weekends is a good sign for the sophomore forward. Max Itagaki is everything he came advertised as, and already has stepped up. This team now has to go on the road to face a New Hampshire team replete with skill , and looking to build momentum on their .500 start to the season.
After how this team lost to Holy Cross, and the strength of Lindenwood, AIC needs to get multiple points this weekend. If the Yellow Jackets want to be in the running for an at large bid they need to win as many non conference games as they can, especially against a team that will not fight for an at large spot. With that said, the Lions are a worthy opponent and have a comeback win over Air Force on their resume. For AIC, the start to Alexander Malinowski’s career has been one to see. He handles the puck in a phone booth and knows how to find his line mates. Dustin Manz has also stood out for his net front presence and ability to get production in big moments.
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