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Jim
06-05-2012, 10:58 AM
If I'm a fan of Mercyhurst, Niagara, Canisius, RIT, RMU, AFA, UAH and Army, I'd much prefer an 8 team league if it means losing AIC, Bentley and Sacred Heart.I suspect that you don't reflect the thinking of either Army or Air force since both left the CHA and joined the AHA where they have thrived. Of your group I suspect maybe Mercyhurst RMU and Niagara might favor a new full scholarship league.RIT, Army and Air Force all voluntarily joined the AHA, with 2 of the 3 moving from a full scholarship league. I'm less sure about the others. To say nothing of the fact that RMU and Niagara would likely be on the outside looking in without the AHA and RIT would be D-3 since nobody else was taking them. In a sense it is pretty funny that schools that had no other option, and it sin't as if the ECAC or anyone else was lining up to take those programs, are suddenly too good for the league that saved them. I find RMU and Niagara fan commnets particularly ironic in that the AHA/MAAC was there for both from the beginning. The one thing about the AHA is that it has survived and actually thrived as a league while others have struggled with membership. the problem with a new league would be many, and the question would be what would you gain? Not much I suspect.

Humanoid
06-05-2012, 11:49 AM
The CHA had a LOT more non-conference games available to increase their strength of schedule. The AHA only has 7. An AHA team would need to win 5 where those 5 have to be at least middle of the road in their conference AND be a top team in the league without winning the tournament but probably needs to make the finals.

Just thinking about what even bentley would've had to do last season versus that schedule of OOCs. They'd have to a) find a team like Michigan and Yale again to play them in the same season, and then b) win them all to make up for the fact that the conference schedule is markedly weaker.

What nobody has mentioned in this is that the AHA is actually getting a *better* in-conference SOS because UConn is leaving. UConn was the 8th or 9th best AHA team last year, and they've rarely had a great season. They made the conference semifinals because the AHA was experimenting with a weird playoff setup that year, which prevented them from playing a first round game (which would've been on the road that year), and they ended up at home because enough teams in front of them lost. If the breaks don't break the way they do, UConn is most likely out in the first round or second round series that year.

AHA is actually improving by subtracting. I think that's getting lost in all of this.

MattS
06-05-2012, 12:10 PM
I find RMU and Niagara fan commnets particularly ironic in that the AHA/MAAC was there for both from the beginning.

I find it on about the same level as people who are supporting UConn's move to HE. UConn did nothing for the AHA all the years they were there, but suddenly they can find money and commitment when they think it will work better for them. So I guess UConn looking out for themselves is OK, but not the other AHA schools.


AHA is actually improving by subtracting. I think that's getting lost in all of this.

That could be true as UConn added nothing to the AHA in terms of SOS.

komey1
06-05-2012, 12:58 PM
It's hard to look at last year for "at large" possibilites because there was no true dominant team. I think that there would need to be one that just happened to have a bad game in the conference tournament.

UncleRay
06-05-2012, 01:05 PM
When I think of the AHA earning an at-large berth, I'm thinking of two teams being ranked in the top 16. In other words: two teams getting in based on their national merits, instead of one team on national merits and one for winning the league tourney, or just one for the league tourney. Then the AHA will have arrived in my opinion.

schiegs
06-05-2012, 03:03 PM
Regarding at-large teams, I love the fact that there was a change in at-large selection process a few eyars back that is actually termed "The Bentley Rule", when Holy Cross was up for an at-large had they lost the conference championship game to a Bentley squad that had a PWR/RPI of something like 58. You would have seen both Bentley and HC in the tourney that year, had the Falcons pulled off the upset in the championship game. I think Michigan State was the last bubble team that would have been bounced by the Falcons.

That has little to do with this, but I thought I would reminisce for everyone. ;)

Fighting Sioux 23
06-05-2012, 03:08 PM
Regarding at-large teams, I love the fact that there was a change in at-large selection process a few eyars back that is actually termed "The Bentley Rule", when Holy Cross was up for an at-large had they lost the conference championship game to a Bentley squad that had a PWR/RPI of something like 58. You would have seen both Bentley and HC in the tourney that year, had the Falcons pulled off the upset in the championship game. I think Michigan State was the last bubble team that would have been bounced by the Falcons.

That has little to do with this, but I thought I would reminisce for everyone. ;)

Come on now, it's the "Mookie Rule" :p:D:D

What happened was back then any AQ was counted as a TUC. Holy Cross had a 4-0 record against Bentley that season, and would have rocketed the Crusaders up to a #3 seed had they lost to Bentley (based on winning PWR comparisons due to an inflated record against TUCs). Instead, Holy Cross beat Bentley, wound up as the last #4 seed, and then shocked #1 overall seed Minnesota in the first round of the NCAAs. Following that season (I believe) they adopted the "Mookie Rule" (as our own Mookie was the first to discover the oddity prior to the Atlantic Hockey Tournament final weekend). Now, AQs are not TUCs unless they meet the RPI threshold to be a TUC.

THEMICK
06-07-2012, 08:23 AM
The reality for the AHA is half the teams want out. The AHA4 would have been out already if the two CCHA teams joined them last summer and one or two other schools went along. RIT really wants to be in the ECAC and UConn already has their bus packed for HockeyEast. If the Ivy's ever split with the ECAC the AHA is done. Sorry Bentley, AIC, and Sacred Heart, either play "real" D-1 hockey or return to D-3 or club status. Real D-1 hockey could have a ready conference for expansion if these three schools just accepted the reality they are D-1 in name alone and let those who want to compete with the other fifty or so schools do just that.

LtPowers
06-07-2012, 04:00 PM
The reality for the AHA is half the teams want out. The AHA4 would have been out already if the two CCHA teams joined them last summer and one or two other schools went along. RIT really wants to be in the ECAC and UConn already has their bus packed for HockeyEast. If the Ivy's ever split with the ECAC the AHA is done. Sorry Bentley, AIC, and Sacred Heart, either play "real" D-1 hockey or return to D-3 or club status. Real D-1 hockey could have a ready conference for expansion if these three schools just accepted the reality they are D-1 in name alone and let those who want to compete with the other fifty or so schools do just that.

Do you have any evidence for your wild claims, or are you just speculating?


Powers &8^]

FlagDUDE08
06-07-2012, 04:10 PM
The reality for the AHA is half the teams want out. The AHA4 would have been out already if the two CCHA teams joined them last summer and one or two other schools went along. RIT really wants to be in the ECAC and UConn already has their bus packed for HockeyEast. If the Ivy's ever split with the ECAC the AHA is done. Sorry Bentley, AIC, and Sacred Heart, either play "real" D-1 hockey or return to D-3 or club status. Real D-1 hockey could have a ready conference for expansion if these three schools just accepted the reality they are D-1 in name alone and let those who want to compete with the other fifty or so schools do just that.

Once again, Holy Cross doesn't exist.

schiegs
06-07-2012, 04:20 PM
The reality for the AHA is half the teams want out.

Is it the same half that voluntarily joined recently? The door is wide open...

I am quite confident the administrators at these institutions thought about their decision quite a bit more than you did with that brilliant post.

BC/HE
06-07-2012, 05:07 PM
Now if the half that doesn't want out quits, the half that wants out will stay for they will have what they want without leaving and that statement would turn out to be 100% wrong.

TigerFan86-87
06-08-2012, 12:57 PM
Sorry Bentley, AIC, and Sacred Heart, either play "real" D-1 hockey or return to D-3 or club status.
Obviously you are so well versed in AHA teams that you know that Bentley and AIC are D-II programs while SHU is D-I.

TigerFan86-87
06-08-2012, 01:14 PM
RIT did that and look at them now; they're clearly the class of AHA over the last five years....
I'm not sure I'd say "THE class of the AHA"... Scoreboard: AFA - 5 Championships; RIT - 1 Championship. Definitely amongst the class of the AHA with all the regular season success and the one FF appearance. But in a one-bid league, the Tigers have lost far more than they've won when it matters the most. I have to give the nod to Air Force on that one (sadly).


In present day terms, RIT has a great thing going. They're consistently to be top four, with a few dips here and there due to the cyclical nature of college hockey.
A few dips? They have only finished out of the top TWO once and never out of the top three. Not that dips aren't possible going forward, but to this point there have been none in that sense.

Jim
06-08-2012, 02:33 PM
The reality for the AHA is half the teams want out. The AHA4 would have been out already if the two CCHA teams joined them last summer and one or two other schools went along. RIT really wants to be in the ECAC and UConn already has their bus packed for HockeyEast. If the Ivy's ever split with the ECAC the AHA is done. Sorry Bentley, AIC, and Sacred Heart, either play "real" D-1 hockey or return to D-3 or club status. Real D-1 hockey could have a ready conference for expansion if these three schools just accepted the reality they are D-1 in name alone and let those who want to compete with the other fifty or so schools do just that.What nonsense. Both Army and Air Force actually left the CHA, a "real" conference by you rdefinition, I think, to join the AHA. RIT isn't leaving any time soon, I imagine, though I would guess they or any of a number of others would seriously think about leaving if they were approached by the ECAC. In point of fact, the only people who are somewhat unhappy in the AHA are the 3 newcomers, Niagara (the most disappointed I think), Robert Morris and to a lesser degree Mercyhurst. Beyond that, you do know that AIC, Bentley, Sacred Heart, and Holy Cross are among the founding members of the league, right? I keep hearing Canisius and RIT are unhappy, but I don't see it. Historically Canisius was a supporter of the scholarship limit for example. RIT, I would guess doesn't want to put itself at a disadvantage as the only non-scholarship program in the league. The Mercyhurst coach wanted more scholarships, but I'm not sure his administration has always been 100% behind that concept.

BC/HE
06-08-2012, 06:03 PM
A lot of this talk about AIC, Bentley and Sacred Heart all being doormats of the AHA is nonsense too. In 9 years Sacred Heart has finished in the top half 6 times including 2 second place finishes. Only AIC has consistently been at or near the bottom yet recently they became much more competitive in league games. I think the biggest problem for the AHA is getting fans in the seats and even getting students in for free is a problem. The schools have got to promote the fact that they are playing at a high level with only about 50 other colleges. These games should be major athletic events at these schools. Do giveaways, run promotions and make them something that the locals and students want to be a part of. Putting some effort and money into this would more than pay for itself with pride and activity greatly increased and the possibility of greater revenue as well. If they don't desire to do this as part of the Division 1 landscape then they should consider giving it up.

Humanoid
06-08-2012, 07:29 PM
A lot of this talk about AIC, Bentley and Sacred Heart all being doormats of the AHA is nonsense too. In 9 years Sacred Heart has finished in the top half 6 times including 2 second place finishes. Only AIC has consistently been at or near the bottom yet recently they became much more competitive in league games. I think the biggest problem for the AHA is getting fans in the seats and even getting students in for free is a problem. The schools have got to promote the fact that they are playing at a high level with only about 50 other colleges. These games should be major athletic events at these schools. Do giveaways, run promotions and make them something that the locals and students want to be a part of. Putting some effort and money into this would more than pay for itself with pride and activity greatly increased and the possibility of greater revenue as well. If they don't desire to do this as part of the Division 1 landscape then they should consider giving it up.

In regards to my earlier post about RIT, I see them dipping here and there simply because the AHA overall is getting better while they are clearly going to get worse next year. They lose too many key parts, while Niagara, Bentley, and Holy Cross all retain their key parts and will get better. Even Air Force dipped down and finished 4th one year, and that came after dominating the league when they came in. There was that one year when Air Force had all their CHA parts, were clearly a strong western team, opened up the year 16-0-0, and were ranked until the flat lined midseason that year.

In terms of the conference right now, as I mentioned before, Bentley, AIC, and SHU get bad raps because of simply their rink and inability to put people in the seats. AIC and SHU are clearly in a bad boat of this, given their rinks location and general blase attitude. But SHU drew very well to Bentley for Game 3 of teh playoffs, including their pep band. AIC has an issue, but they've been getting more competitive the last few years in AHA games, and even though attendance isn't there, they've consistently been a D1 program. I think their first season was in 1948-1949, and they've been a D1 program the whole team. Does this mean they'll ever bee (hehe...get it? "bee") good? I don't hold that crystal ball, but the school has been committed to them as a D1 program in the past. Their coach is a great guy, and he's been building the program for a while. They haven't hit double-digit wins in 10 years, but they're ALWAYS going to steal games. I wouldn't put it past them, with the right recruiting, to become a lot better.

As for those who insinuate Bentley isn't committed, remember the following. 1) Bentley is a D2 program, as previously noted. 2) Bentley was extremely committed to their D1 status and program, but the bottom fell out on the level of their commitment due to the economy crashing. The school endowment took a beating, as most did, when the economy went to the toilet, and they were forced to divert funding usually earmarked for their D1 program to other, more academically essential programs. It was also on the heels of a massive renovation of their football field and basketball/multi-purpose center, which arguably was more essential to student life (if you see it, you'll know it's a student center with cafe, offices, and fitness center.

Bentley needed to keep the hockey team at a state where 4-5 years ago, they were ready to truly commit to the program and couldn't. They needed to remain that way until the school's finances rebounded. As of 2011-2012, they were rebounding, and the commitment is showing. Attendance at Bentley isn't going to match RIT or Air Force; we simply don't have the capacity. But Bentley sold out games down the stretch against Holy Cross, and they sold out their game against Clarkson. They've built a loyal, rabid fan base on campus thanks, in no small part, to a guerilla marketing scheme by the coach, players, and team affiliates. They've come miles from where they were in 2009 when they last made the AHA Semifinals. They get fan buses to games, and they're starting to draw. They've made the commitment to market the team and run promotions to get people to the rink. Does that translate to the same numbers as other schools? Not even remotely, especially during the semester break when students are home; Bentley is not drawing the same numbers on name/rink/draw alone like BC/BU will on semester breaks. But it's hard to face the reality that Bentley is growing, slowly but surely, and as long as the economy doesn't completely crap the bed again, they'll be able to commit like they were intending five years ago.

As I mentioned before, before the league can commit to bringing in UAH or others, they need to commit to themselves. And I think they'll always have the numbers to do that in the east, with SHU (D1 program), Holy Cross (D1 program), Army, Bentley, and, yes, even AIC.

We've all forgotten about HC, who is a lucrative D1 athletics program committed to marketing their team properly. They've done a great job becoming a strong mid-major contender in all their sports. They legitimately don't need Hockey East in order to be successful, and I think they're perfectly happy in AHA, even though they were, indeed, investigating leaving. Happy where they are.....but they'd be remissed if they didn't at least look.

ScottK
06-09-2012, 01:10 PM
AIC has an issue, but they've been getting more competitive the last few years in AHA games, and even though attendance isn't there, they've consistently been a D1 program. I think their first season was in 1948-1949, and they've been a D1 program the whole team. .


AIC has had a team since 1948-49, but did not go DI until 1998-99. They are a DII school that competes in the Northeast-10 in all other sports, just like Bentley, Merrimack, and Lowell.

FlagDUDE08
06-11-2012, 10:25 AM
We've all forgotten about HC, who is a lucrative D1 athletics program committed to marketing their team properly. They've done a great job becoming a strong mid-major contender in all their sports. They legitimately don't need Hockey East in order to be successful, and I think they're perfectly happy in AHA, even though they were, indeed, investigating leaving. Happy where they are.....but they'd be remissed if they didn't at least look.

About time someone mentions them. ;)

I believe Holy Cross was one of the candidates when Quinnipiac left AHA for the ECAC, but there were some issues they wouldn't be able to fix, so they were given a no.

Tom Naeger
06-11-2012, 08:54 PM
In regards to my earlier post about RIT, I see them dipping here and there simply because the AHA overall is getting better while they are clearly going to get worse next year. They lose too many key parts, while Niagara, Bentley, and Holy Cross all retain their key parts and will get better. Even Air Force dipped down and finished 4th one year, and that came after dominating the league when they came in. There was that one year when Air Force had all their CHA parts, were clearly a strong western team, opened up the year 16-0-0, and were ranked until the flat lined midseason that year.

I love comments like that, RIT lost a good size class, but the majority of it was role players. Shane Madolora is the biggest lost and I know outside of Rochester no one knows Watson or Ruby but they both showed plenty of upside. The two pushing each other should leave RIT in fine shape in net. Cameron Burt gave RIT 4 good years but his production declined. RIT best player all year was Mike Colavecchia and he on his way back. Garbowsky and McGowan need to avoid sophomore slips. Look for a surge from Adam Mitchell and Ben Lynch. Bryan Potts was red hot before he was lost to injury. Jeff Smith has gotten nothing but better game in and game out. And despite complaints from yours truly about wanting to see him be more of a monster; Adam Hartley found his way up the score sheet for the Tigers this year.

Add in a very good freshman class which includes a very rare AHA player who is an NHL Draft pick and there I plenty to look forward to for Tigers fan. This is a team that not only has been doing this for years losing guys like Simon Lambert. They also lost guys a year early like Brenner & Pinizzotto, and a guy 3 years early in Chris Tanev. They still only have Air Force to compete in term of home ice advantage. That Air Force team that finished forth was one goal away from being in the AHA Championship game. Also that Air Force that started on fire was run down by an RIT team that was just as hot in the second half as the Falcons where in the first half, and that RIT team was very similar at the start of the year to the team the Tigers have coming back next year...

So go ahead expect less from RIT, but you’ve been warned…