As to no one having a 20 win season this year, a couple things. (1)20 wins isn't neccessarily required, the 41 total points is really the important number. Switching a couple wins and a couple losses to ties to give RIT a 18-5-5 record results in the same pairwise ranking. In fact, all 3 teams that have reached that point total in Atlantic Hockey over the past 3 years have done so with less than 20 wins.
And (2), I don't believe that any Atlantic Hockey team this year deserves an at-large bid, so it's not really a surprise no one got to 41 points. I think it was a down year overall for the league, and given that the bottom of the league is considerably better than in the past, most of the decline is at the top of the conference. AIC won the conference and was outscored 31-10 in 6 non-conference games (admittedly against even better competition than we faced). The conference overall was about .060 of winning percentage worse this year than the last two years, which is about 5 wins difference. It wouldn't surprise me to see whoever comes out of the AHA playoffs to get shellacked by the #1 seed this year - even though most years the team that comes out of the league's tournament is both playing well enough and on enough of a roll to give the #1 seed a fight.
That's part of the reason this season was so frustrating - I firmly believe RIT had the most talented team in the conference this year, and that most of what's holding them back is mental (mainly a lack of a killer instinct and an inability to play a full 60 minute game). I think RIT could give the top seed a fight if they get themselves together, but at the same time having choked out of the playoffs the last two years (no other way to put losing to the bottom seed back to back years, sorry) doesn't fill me with too much confidence.