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Ballroomblitz
03-04-2015, 10:46 AM
Hi everyone,

I am wishing to follow some Atlantic Hockey and specifically the Mercyhurst Lakers, so anything posters can contribute will be appreciated as I haven't found too many resources.

Last I read a couple of years ago now was the amount of scholarships was to go from 12 to 14, which should make for a more competitive grouping. Atlantic hockey does seem to have a lot of teams in the conference, is there plans to realign, add or reduce as eleven (11) teams is an odd number. Did I remember correctly in that Canisius is moving to another conference or am I mistaken on that one?

For Mercyhurst in particular I see quite a few players have been out of the lineup for what seems to be a very long duration, has it been a bad year for injuries seeing they were to have a lot of seniors playing and instead a few signings took place late in the season.

Luckily I will be able to follow AH on-line, can someone provide a list of the best rivalries seeing it might be fun to start there and start seeing what AH has to offer.

Please anything to add I will value as I begin to follow NCAA for the first time.

komey1
03-04-2015, 11:04 AM
I think the Canisius rumor is an old one. There was a possibility that some of the western Atlantic Hockey teams were going to form a new conference with Bowling Green and maybe Alabama-Huntsville as part of a new CCHA with the realignment 2 years ago. With rumors that Notre Dame may leave Hockey East now that Arizona St is going to go DI leads to speculation about realignment out East. The rumors are the Quinnipiac may be asked to be in Hockey East and Holy Cross or RIT will join ECAC.

Mercyhurst was a favorite this year in Atlantic Hockey, but injuries eventually took their toll on them.

As far as rivalries go here are some of the good ones that I know of:
RIT-Mercyhurst - this goes back years when the Lakers played a DIII schedule
Army-Air Force - military academies. 'nuff said
Niagara-Canisius - 2 Buffalo area schools
Mercyhurst-Canisius - same as RIT-Mercyhurst when they were playing DIII schedules
RIT-Niagara - a lot of close games
RIT-Air Force - close games, and when both went to Atlantic Hockey, the two teams were the top of the conference.
Bentley-Holy Cross - I've heard that is big from reading the Bentley thread.

Welcome to the boards.

Ballroomblitz
03-04-2015, 01:52 PM
Here is what I have on scholarships, once next season hits then the gap will be narrowing with Atlantic hockey up to 14 scholarships against other conferences having a maximum of 18. At the original 12 scholarships it must have been difficult to have a deep enough line-up to compete in inter-conference play, perhaps when the final 14 comes on-line things will tighten up on that front. Hopefully most teams will take advantage of the upgraded numbers, however there will be cases no doubt where some schools will inevitably not use their maximum allowances.

Atlantic Hockey Scholarships – NCAA Div 1
2013/2014 – 12 scholarships
2014/2015 – 13 scholarships
2015-2016 – 14 scholarships

Other NCAA Div 1 – 18 scholarships

Standing:
For standings in Atlantic Hockey I see 1 - Robert Morris, 2 - Canisius, 3 - RIT, 4 - Bentley, 5 - Mercyhurst, 6 - Holy Cross, 7 - Air Force, 8 - Sacred Heart, 9 - Army, 10 - American International, 11 - Niagara.

For play-offs I take it that top five (5) clubs received a bye to the quarter finals, while the remaining six (6) teams play qualifiers in a best of three to determine the remaining three teams to make quarter finals. Quarter finals seem to also be a best of three contest, with semi-finals & finals a single game contest to determine a winner. I dislike a single game playoff game but it is likely due to getting everything fit into the overall schedule.

I take it the conference winner then advances, with potentially a second team based upon pairwise results?

I have read that Mercyhurst was slated to do very well this season until injuries caught up to them. Seeing their is no secrecy on the long term injuries at this point anyone know what the general consensus is? I believe the goaltender was a groin, however it seems to have gone on a fairly long time. Anyone know of the other injuries and whether the players may be back for the playoffs?

blazer777
03-04-2015, 02:21 PM
Hi everyone,

Luckily I will be able to follow AH on-line, can someone provide a list of the best rivalries seeing it might be fun to start there and start seeing what AH has to offer.

Please anything to add I will value as I begin to follow NCAA for the first time.

Well, everybody hates Air Force and whomever is winning the conference at the time.... so there's that!

And what Komey1 said.

lmg6841
03-04-2015, 03:42 PM
I take it the conference winner then advances, with potentially a second team based upon pairwise results?


There aren't any Atlantic Hockey teams with a strong enough PWR to make it into the NCAA tournament this season. The only representative will be the AHC tournament winner.

komey1
03-04-2015, 07:16 PM
There aren't any Atlantic Hockey teams with a strong enough PWR to make it into the NCAA tournament this season. The only representative will be the AHC tournament winner.

This is, unfortunately, typical of the conference. Only once has the conference ever received an at large bid. The biggest reason is that as a conference, teams have a hard time winning games out of conference.

No doubt that some teams will use the scholarship increase to their advantage. Some may not. Atlantic Hockey is a conference that is at least partially built on cost containment. There are some that fear that things like increasing scholarship limits might cause some teams to fold and at the very least increase the gap between the "haves" and have-nots" of the conference.

Ballroomblitz
03-05-2015, 02:54 PM
This is, unfortunately, typical of the conference. Only once has the conference ever received an at large bid. The biggest reason is that as a conference, teams have a hard time winning games out of conference.

No doubt that some teams will use the scholarship increase to their advantage. Some may not. Atlantic Hockey is a conference that is at least partially built on cost containment. There are some that fear that things like increasing scholarship limits might cause some teams to fold and at the very least increase the gap between the "haves" and have-nots" of the conference.

Who do you believe will take advantage of the increased scholarship numbers??

Schools likely to take advantage of additional athletic scholarships: list of schools?
Schools UNLIKELY to take advantage of additional athletic scholarships: list of schools?
Schools who are not utilizing athletic scholarships due to their unique circumstances: Army, Air Force, other?

I understand some schools do not offer athletic scholarship similar to IVY league, would Army & Air Force fall into that category?

If quite a few schools do NOT follow suit I see this conference splitting into two, or some team realigning into other conferences. Most schools would likely wish to remain as a group so that it can grow the sport over time so we’ll have to see how things unravel in the next four or five seasons. An advantage of two conferences would be two teams advance, however it is certainly better to have everyone participate and better the competitiveness.

Going to research standings over the last five years now to see if I can figure out who are the more consistent programs, and coaches. If players are half the battle, surely coaching is the other half of the formula to success.

komey1
03-05-2015, 06:19 PM
Bear in mind anything I say about what teams will do is strictly speculation based on my years of following Atlantic Hockey and reading the boards. I have no insider knowledge.

That being said, here are my answers:
Mostly likely will use all their scholarships: Mercyhurst, Canisius, Niagara, Robert Morris, Bentley
Unlikely - AIC, Sacred Heart
I'm not sure how Air Force and Army handle athletic scholarships.
RIT is not allowed to offer athletic scholarships as they are a DIII school playing DI. As such, they have to abide by DIII scholarship rules meaning no athletic scholarships. Back in the 80s, the NCAA determined that teams had to play more by certain sets of rules based on this distinction and teams had to choose which level they were going to play (I think this was because the NCAA stopped sponsoring a DII championship). Several schools that are DIII in other sports but DI in hockey were allowed to play by DI rules. Examples of this are Clarkson and St. Lawrence. RIT at the time choose to stay at the DIII level until 2005.
I'm not sure what Holy Cross will do.

I'm going to disagree that the conference would split. A key is that you need 6 teams for the conference to be eligible for an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. There is also scheduling. Most of Atlantic Hockey's out of conference games are on the road. So, there is a need to have numbers in a conference to have a reasonable amount of home games.

LtPowers
03-05-2015, 08:00 PM
I'm not sure how Air Force and Army handle athletic scholarships.

Military academy students pay for their educations with a 5-year tour of duty. In other words, all cadets basically get a free ride, so there are no specifically "athletic" scholarships.

At least, that's my understanding.


Powers &8^]

komey1
03-09-2015, 04:16 PM
I hope we didn't scare off the OP. Especially with a big series against Bentley coming up this weekend.

blazer777
03-09-2015, 06:32 PM
I hope we didn't scare off the OP. Especially with a big series against Bentley coming up this weekend.

I picked them to take Bentley in three. Based off the lack of chatter on the Bentley thread, I imagine they think so too!

Snively65
03-09-2015, 06:55 PM
I picked them to take Bentley in three. Based off the lack of chatter on the Bentley thread, I imagine they think so too!

Bentley is on spring break this week, so attendance will be poor. But, more important, Bentley's play went south the last two weekends of the regular season against two teams near the bottom of the AHA, and their power play, which kept them near the top of the AHA through Drcember, has been non-existent the past two months, so I think that Mercyhurst probably will be taking the series with a sweep.

Ballroomblitz
03-10-2015, 10:50 AM
Bentley is on spring break this week, so attendance will be poor. But, more important, Bentley's play went south the last two weekends of the regular season against two teams near the bottom of the AHA, and their power play, which kept them near the top of the AHA through Drcember, has been non-existent the past two months, so I think that Mercyhurst probably will be taking the series with a sweep.

Not scared off...lol. Sometimes you need to jump in with both feet, pick a team and follow them over a few years till they make the promised land!

I have picked Mercyhurst and over the next few years they will see challenges and will hopefully have some success along the way. This year was to be a positive year by all reports, some injuries have hurt them however play-offs are about who shows up and digs deep.

I am also putting together as list of a few specific players from individual teams in the conference and follow their progression. While many follow a specific team only, I tend to enjoy also watching a few individuals across the board since every team has a few standouts with potential.

So this play-off run put me down for the Hurst in three!!!

Ballroomblitz

Downstate_RIT_Fan
03-10-2015, 10:01 PM
So this play-off run put me down for the Hurst in three!!!

Ballroomblitz

As an RIT fan I like Mercyhurst. Mercyhurst has a strong team with ample senior leadership. I think their coach is one of the better coaches in the league. That said I like Bentley in this upcoming series. Both teams are smarting from recent slumps but I think home ice and better goaltending will give Bentley an advantage. Bentley takes two out of three in tightly contested games.

Ballroomblitz
03-13-2015, 08:50 PM
Tightly contested and down to the wire, actually took extra time on this night. Let's see what game two offers in this one….

Ballroomblitz
03-14-2015, 08:54 PM
Ice was tilted toward the Mercyhurst end of the rink all evening, a one goal lead after the first quickly fell in the first five minutes of the second period. The Mercyhurst goaltending was poor, and breaking out of their own zone painful. Full marks for Bentley they were the better team from the drop of the puck. Game three is anyone's game to win, next game we will all know which team came to win all the marbles.

Snively65
03-14-2015, 09:40 PM
Ice was tilted toward the Mercyhurst end of the rink all evening, a one goal lead after the first quickly fell in the first five minutes of the second period. The Mercyhurst goaltending was poor, and breaking out of their own zone painful. Full marks for Bentley they were the better team from the drop of the puck. Game three is anyone's game to win, next game we will all know which team came to win all the marbles.

Not sure about "all the marbles," but a trip to the AHA tourney is certainly at stake for both teams. If Bentley skates as well as they did tonight, they should be back in Rochester for the first time in four years. We will see which team joins Robby Mo, Canisius, and RIT next weekend.

Ballroomblitz
03-15-2015, 11:40 PM
Wow, what a finish to end the game. Bentley having outplayed their opponents for two and a half periods of play started to protect their 2 goal lead and wheels fell off the cart really fast. The Hurst two goals down answered back with 2 goals in 10 seconds to tie thing up, netting the winner with just a few seconds left on the clock. A very long summer for Bentley players to re-live this one, the series is over albeit after a very good season. The Hurst moves on and it will be a tough one, lets see if they can rework their game plan, we will find that answer out soon enough.

Ballroomblitz
03-16-2015, 10:39 AM
My initial thoughts looking at the Hurst during the weekend. I am likely way off as I have just started to follow the Hurst & AHC.

From the outside looking in I believe there were big expectations at the beginning of the season to be competitive, and making it past Bentley has been welcome I am wondering what the grading is for the goaltending, defense and forward groupings as a whole. Soon we will be able to discuss future acquisitions and how things will shape up going forward, let keep it to this season for now as the play-off run is still alive.

In Net it must have been a big hurdle to replace Jimmy Sargeant as he can be a stellar performer in reading past reviews on his play. In the few games I have seen Brendan Wildung he seems to have some bright playing days ahead of him as he matures into the player he will become. Wildung being a first year goaltender will only get better as the years progress, so giving the goaltending a solid B for the moment, with the expectation that it will improve over the next few years.

Having not seen this team too often I have to judge the D based upon a few games so could be well off base. In watching the team although Misiak is listed as a forward looks as if he has been converted to a defenseman. Misiak either way is outstanding finishing out as a Senior he see’s the ice extremely well and moves the puck better than most. Mastrodicasa is also a wonderful player to watch and will be called upon to lead this D group who needs players to step up to the next level. I would have to give the defense grouping a B- pending for the moment.

The forward group has some bright spots in Bahntge, Just, Zay, Bodo, Frishman & Nagtzaam who are all Seniors, Riley, Carbonneau & Elliot will be the core until the new crop of recruits can come in and grow their games. I would think a b+ is about right here, but with so many leaving some tough times are expected ahead.

Coaching (bench staff) is tough to figure out with my limited viewing to date, as it is difficult to evaluate team systems and determine if it is players who are having difficulty executing or systems not tailored to their group of athletes. I have always liked to watch run and gun hockey but you need a really deep and skilled team to execute, the defensive approach works and looks like the Hurst plays on that side of the line. Seeing many Seniors are leaving the evaluation may hinge on their selections on recruits coming on board, that will make or break the next three or four year cycle. The positive track record over years of tenure speaks to a fair bit of success so my initial thoughts have to be a B+ until I get a better handle on things.

Specialty teams seem to be performing poorly, especially the need for a quarterback on the PP who is sorely missing from my initial viewing.

I am new to AHC so any constructive comments would be welcome. It is going to take a few years to get a layout of things and in the summer will be trying to figure out all 11 teams strengths and weaknesses. For now however let’s start here.

CornwallAce
03-16-2015, 08:26 PM
Anyone know the scheduling concept. The teams that you play 4 times a season. Do they switch up every year, or every two years?