By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘connecticut’
Posted: March 16th, 2014

The Mercyhurst men’s hockey team finds out their semifinal opponent in next weekend’s Atlantic Hockey Association final four late tonight. Two series face a Game 3 tonight – No. 7 Canisius-No. 2 Bentley and No. 3 Air Force-No. 6 Niagara.
The top-seeded Lakers (21-12-7), which swept No. 8 Holy Cross this weekend, will face the lowest-remaining seed – either No. 5 Robert Morris, No. 6 Niagara or No. 7 Canisius on Friday at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y., either at 4:05 p.m. or approximately one hour after the opening game. The championship game is set for Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
Check back here tonight for an updated tournament schedule…

Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament schedule
Quarterfinals (best-of-3 series)

No. 8 Holy Cross at No. 1 Mercyhurst
Game 1 – Mercyhurst 5, Holy Cross 4, OT
Game 2 – Mercyhurst 4, Holy Cross 1
Mercyhurst wins series 2-0

No. 7 Canisius (16-19-3) at No. 2 Bentley (18-12-4)
Game 1 – Bentley 4, Canisius 3, OT
Game 2 – Canisius 5, Bentley 4, 2OT
Game 3 – Today at 7:05 p.m.
Series tied 1-1

No. 3 Air Force (20-12-4) vs. No. 6 Niagara (15-18-5)
Game 1 – Air Force 2, Niagara 1
Game 2 – Niagara 4, Air Force 3
Game 3 – Today at 9:05 p.m.
Series tied 1-1

No. 5 Robert Morris at No. 4 Connecticut
Game 1 – RMU 3, Connecticut 0
Game 2 – RMU 3, Connecticut 2
RMU wins series 2-0

Semifinals – Next Friday
at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.

(Games set for for 4:05 p.m. and approximately 1 hour after first game)
No. 1 Mercyhurst (21-12-7) vs. lowest-remaining seed (either RMU, Niagara or Canisius)
No. 5 Robert Morris (19-18-5) vs. higher seed (either Mercyhurst, Bentley or Air Force)
Championship game – Next Saturday
at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.

Semifinal winners, 7:05 p.m.
* Game 3 is set for Sunday, if necessary

Posted: March 13th, 2014

Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament schedule
Quarterfinals (best-of-3 series)

(All games begin at 7:05 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
No. 8 Holy Cross (16-21-3) at No. 1 Mercyhurst (19-12-7)
No. 7 Canisius (16-19-3) at No. 2 Bentley (18-12-4)
No. 6 Niagara (15-18-5) at No. 3 Air Force (20-12-4), 9:05 p.m.
No. 5 Robert Morris (17-18-5) at No. 4 Connecticut (18-12-4)
Semifinals – March 21
at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.

Quarterfinal winners, 4:05 p.m. and approximately 1 hour after first game
Championship game – March 22
at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.

Semifinal winners, 7:05 p.m.
* Game 3 is set for Sunday, if necessary

Vic’s picks
Mercyhurst def. Holy Cross, 2-0
Canisius def. Bentley, 2-0
Air Force def. Niagara 2-0
Connecticut def. Robert Morris, 2-1
Mercyhurst def. Canisius
Air Force def. Connecticut
Championship game
Mercyhurst def. Air Force

Posted: March 6th, 2014

Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament schedule
First round (best-of-3 series)
(All games begin at 7:05 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
Friday through Sunday*

No. 5 Robert Morris 8-2-3, No. 12 Army 4-4-1 (RMU wins series 2-1)
No. 6 Niagara 1-4, No. 11 American International 0 (2OT)-2 (Niagara wins series 2-0)
No. 7 Canisius 3-5, No. 10 Sacred Heart 0-0 (Canisius wins series 2-0)
No. 9 Rochester Institute of Technology 3-1-2, No. 8 Holy Cross 2 (OT)-5-3 (OT) (Holy Cross wins series 2-1)
Quarterfinals (best-of-3 series)
March 14-16

No 8 Holy Cross (16-21-3) at No. 1 Mercyhurst (19-12-7), 7:05 p.m.
No. 7 Canisius (16-19-3) at No. 2 Bentley (18-12-4), TBD
No. 6 Niagara (15-18-5) at No. 3 Air Force (20-12-4), TBD
No. 5 Robert Morris (17-18-5) at No. 4 Connecticut (18-12-4), TBD
Semifinals – March 21
at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.

Quarterfinal winners, 4:05 p.m. and approximately 1 hour after first game
Championship game – March 22
at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.
Semifinal winners, 7:05 p.m.

* Game 3s on Sunday (if necessary)
# Game 3 would begin at 5:05 p.m.

Posted: March 2nd, 2014

Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament
First round (best-of-3 series)

(All games start at 7:05 p.m., unless otherwise noted)
Friday – Game 1
No. 12 Army (5-26-0, 5-22-0) at No. 5 Robert Morris (13-16-5, 13-9-5)
No. 11 American International (10-23-1, 9-17-1) at No. 6 Niagara (11-18-5, 11-11-5)
No. 10 Sacred Heart (12-22-0, 11-16-0) at No. 7 Canisius (12-19-3, 11-13-3)
No. 9 Rochester Institute of Technology (11-18-5, 10-14-3) at No. 8 Holy Cross (12-19-3, 11-13-3), TBD
Saturday – Game 2
Army at RMU
AIC at Niagara
Sacred Heart at Canisius
RIT at Holy Cross, TBD
Note: Game 3s, if necessary, are set for Sunday at times TBD. No. 1 Mercyhurst (19-12-7, 17-4-6), No. 2 Bentley (18-12-4, 16-7-4), No. 3 Air Force (20-12-4, 15-9-3) and No. 4 Connecticut (18-12-4, 15-9-3) earned first-round byes and home-ice advantage in the best-of-3 quarterfinal series on March 14-16.

Posted: February 27th, 2014

Mercyhurst (18-12-6, 16-4-5 AHA) vs. Robert Morris (13-15-4, 13-8-4)
When: Today and Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Today – Mercyhurst Ice Center; Saturday – RMU Island Sports Center, Pittsburgh
On the air: (live stream), & (live audio & real-time statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst has clinched the Atlantic Hockey Association’s regular-season title – the first in program history – as well as the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye and home-ice advantage in the best-of-three quarterfinal round in the upcoming conference tournament. … Robert Morris stands fifth in the standings with 30 points, one behind third-place Air Force and Connecticut and two behind runner-up Bentley, entering the regular season’s final weekend. The Colonials can clinch one of the three remaining first-round byes, as well as finish as high as the second seed. … The Lakers are unbeaten in their last four games (3-0-1) and 9-3-3 in conference play in the second half, while RMU has won nine of their last 13 games (9-2-2). … The Lakers and Colonials tied 5-5 on Dec. 14 at MIC in their first meeting of the season. … The Lakers are without junior F Matthew Zay (lower body), their leading scorer with 16 goals and 40 points, and freshman D Philippe Drouin (upper body). … Junior G Jimmy Sarjeant, who is unbeaten in AHA play with a 14-0-4 record, will start tonight, while redshirt junior Jordan Tibbett will start Saturday. … Junior F Cody Wydo (21-17-38) and sophomore F Zac Lynch (16-18-34) lead the Colonials’ offense. … Sophomore G Terry Shafer has a 13-13-4 record, 2.81 goals-against average and .919 save percentage this season.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: February 13th, 2014

Mercyhurst (15-12-5, 13-4-4 AHA) at Rochester Institute of Technology (8-15-5, 7-11-3)
When: Friday and Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Frank Ritter Arena – Rochester, N.Y.
On the air: (live stream), (live audio & statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst looks to rebound after being swept in a two-game Atlantic Hockey Association series for the first time this season last weekend at Air Force. … The Lakers’ lead in the conference stands at two points over Bentley, three over Air Force and Connecticut and four over Robert Morris. RIT is tied for eighth with 17 points, 13 behind the Lakers. … Head coach Rick Gotkin was unsure if G Jimmy Sarjeant (upper body) could play this weekend. Jordan Tibbett could start his fifth and sixth straight games (1-2-1 record, 2.22 goals-against average, .945 save percentage in the past

Jordan Tibbett (Contributed/Mercyhurst University)

four games). … Gotkin is hopeful that F Daniel O’Donoghue (upper body) can play against the Tigers. He ranks second on the team in scoring with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists). … Mercyhurst trails RIT 30-16-6 in the all-time series, but the Lakers won 3-2 on Nov. 18 at Mercyhurst Ice Center. … Mercyhurst plays their final regular-season series at Ritter Arena, as the Tigers move into the Gene Polisseni Center next season. The Lakers are winless in six of their last seven games at Ritter Arena and are 6-14-2 overall. … RIT had a tie and loss at home against RMU last weekend. … The Tigers are sixth in NCAA Division I on the power play (22.8 percent). They also are 35 for their last 38 on the penalty kill. … Senior F Mike Colavecchia leads the Tigers with 12 goals and 26 points. … Freshman G Mike Rotolo (5-5-3, 2.83, .909, 1 shutout) and junior G Jordan Ruby (3-10-2, 3.62, .896, 1 SHO) have split time in net.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: January 17th, 2014

Connecticut (10-7-2, 8-4-1 AHA) at Mercyhurst (13-9-2, 11-1-1)
When: Today and Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Mercyhurst Ice Center
On the air: (live stream), (audio broadcast & real-time statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst (23 points) takes a three-point lead in the Atlantic Hockey Association standings into this weekend’s series with the Huskies, who are tied for third with Air Force at 17 points. … The Lakers have won four straight games overall – two-game sweeps at Army and Holy Cross the past two weekends – and are unbeaten in 10 straight (9-0-1) in AHA play. … The Lakers are off to their second-best start in conference play through 13 games since joining the NCAA Division I level. The 2001-02 team was 11-0-2 in the MAAC Hockey League. … They are 11-0-0 in AHA games when allowing two goals or fewer. They surrendered nine goals in a 4-3 loss at Canisius on Nov. 9 and 5-5 tie with Robert Morris on Dec. 14. … The Lakers are the highest-ranking AHA school in the Division I poll with five votes. … The Lakers are 6-2-1 at home. … The Lakers and Huskies meet for the first time since Mercyhurst’s 4-1 win in the semifinals of the conference tournament last March. They split their two regular-season meetings, so Mercyhurst leads the all-time series 33-13-2. … Junior F Chris Bodo recorded his first career hat trick last Saturday. … Junior F Nardo Nagtzaam (lower-body injury) hopes to begin skating with the team next week. … Connecticut plays its first road games since November. The Huskies were 6-2 on a recently completed homestand, which was capped by a two-game split with Robert Morris last weekend. … Senior F Jordan Sims leads the Huskies with 15 points (3 goals, 12 assists). … Senior F Billy Latta (8-6-14) leads the team in goals. … Connecticut is playing its final season in AHA before joining Hockey East Association for the 2014-15 season.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: November 1st, 2013

Air Force
Record: 4-2-0, 2-0-0 AHA
Top players: Jr. F Chad Demers (2 goals, 7 assists, 9 points), Jr. F Cole Gunner (5-3-8), Sr. G Jason Torf (4-2-0, 2.87 goals-against average, .897 save percentage), Jr. D Alex Halloran (0-4-4)
What to watch: The Falcons are known for discipline, teamwork and toughness. They have a talented team too, led by Demers and Gunner up front and a veteran in Torf anchoring the defense. They also know how to win, given their five conference championships in the past seven years (2007-09, 2011-12).

American International
Record: 1-1, 1-0 AHA
Top players: Sr. F Blake Peake (1-1-2), Jr. F Nathan Sliwinski (1-1-2), Jr. F Jason Popek (1-1-2), Jr. F Brandon Fagerheim (1-1-2)
What to watch: The Yellow Jackets are known for being perennial doormats in the conference. But they also are known for giving teams with more skill – teams like Mercyhurst – difficult battles on most nights. AIC beat Sacred Heart 4-1 in its AHA opener last weekend.

Record: 0-2-0, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: Jr. G Rob Tadazak (0-2-0, 3.02, .921), So. F Willie Faust (1-1-2), Jr, D Mac Lalor (1-0-1), Fr. F C.J. Reuschlein (1-0-1)
What to watch for: The Black Knights returned 10 of their top 11 scorers from a season, with leading scorer Andy Starczewski (11-15-26) being the only departure. Now they need to learn how to win. They have won 10 conference games – and 11 games overall – the past two seasons, and they’re still searching for their first win of the season.

Record: 1-5-0, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: Sr. F Brett Gensler (2-1-3), Jr. D Steve Weinstein (0-5-5), Fr. F Max French (2-2-4) Jr. F Alex Grieve (3-1-4), Sr. G Branden Komm (1-5-0, 3.20, .913)
What to watch: The Falcons have gotten off to a slow start. But they still have Gensler, one of the nation’s top players, and French, the reigning conference player of the month, as well as the experience of a challenging non-conference schedule (Harvard, Maine, Merrimack, Nebraska-Omaha and 2013 national finalist Quinnipiac).

Record: 1-2-0, 0-2-0 AHA
Top players: Sr. D Ben Danford (0-5-5), Soph. F Ralph Cuddemi (2-3-5, former Erie Otters draft pick), Sr. F Kyle Gibbons (2-1-3), Sr. G Tony Capobianco (0-2-0, 4.06, .896)
What to watch: Don’t let the early-season record fool you. The Golden Griffins followed conference losses to Niagara and Air Force with a win at then-No. 17 Denver last weekend before heading to Oxford, Ohio, this weekend to face No. 6 Miami (Ohio). And don’t be fooled by Capobianco’s slow start in net. He’s a big reason why Canisius won the AHA title as a 7th seed a season ago.

Record: 0-2-1, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: Sr. G Matt Grogan (0-2-1, 3.27, .922), Sr. F Jordan Sims (2-1-3), Sr. F Billy Latta (1-1-2), Jr. D Jacob Poe (0-2-2)
What to watch: The Huskies head to the Hockey East Association next season. But for now, they are looking for their first AHA title since 2000. Grogan will be a key to UConn having a memorable final year.

Holy Cross
Record: 0-5-0, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: So. D Jake Bolton (1-2-3), Sr. F Shayne Stockton (1-1-2), Sr. F Adam Schmidt (1-1-2), Jr. G Matt Ginn (0-5-0, 3.64, .904)
What to watch: The Crusaders are struggling to score goals, with two goals or fewer in their first five games and eight in all. But 19th-year head coach Paul Pearl, who has 283 career wins, knows how to get this team to reach its potential.

Record: 1-5-1, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: Jr. F Matthew Zay (3-4-7), Sr. F Daniel O’Donoghue (3-3-6), Jr. F Ryan Misiak (2-2-4), Sr. D Nick Jones (1-3-4), Jr. F Nardo Nagtzaam (0-0-0 in 2 games)
What to watch: The Lakers entered this season with the potential to win their first conference championship since 2005. Although they begin AHA play this weekend having struggled on offense and with injuries, the talent-laden Lakers are still contenders.

Record: 1-4-1, 1-1-1 AHA
Top players: Jr. F Mike Conderman (3-1-4), Sr. D Kevin Ryan (1-3-4), Sr. F Ryan Rashid (2-1-3), Fr. C Brock Edwards (1-2-3)
What to watch: The Purple Eagles may not run out to a big lead in the conference for the second straight season. But they are still strong enough to add a postseason title to the regular-season crown they won a season ago.

Robert Morris
Record: 0-4-1, 0-0-1 AHA
Top players: Jr. F Cody Wydo (3-1-4), Jr. F Scott Jacklin (1-3-4), So. F Zac Lynch (1-3-4), So F David Friedmann (1-2-3)
What to watch: The Colonials finished winless in October for the first time in program history. But four of their games have been decided by two goals or fewer goals. And head coach Derek Schooley has enough experience to turn this team around.

Rochester Institute of Technology
Record: 0-3-2, 0-0-0 AHA
Top players: Sr. F Michael Colavecchia (4-2-6), Sr. F Ben Lynch (3-1-4), Sr. D Nolan Descouteaux (1-3-4), Jr. F Matt Garbowsky (1-3-4), Jr. G Jordan Ruby (0-3-2, 3.89, .882)
What to watch: The Tigers have a history of strong offensive players, stalwarts in net and – most importantly, of winning. They have enough offensive threats and Ruby in goal. So don’t be surprised when the Tigers start winning in AHA play.

Sacred Heart
Record: 2-3-0, 1-1-0
Top players: Jr. F Drew George (3-1-4), Fr. F Justin Danforth (0-3-3), Jr. D Will Raynor (1-1-2), So G Alex Vazzano (2-2-0, 3.25, .902)
What to watch: The Pioneers already have matched their win total from a season ago. So they have shown early that this team is moving in the right direction.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: September 17th, 2013

The Mercyhurst University men’s hockey team was picked to finish a close second in the Atlantic Hockey Association’s preseason coaches poll, which was released today. The Lakers, which finished 19-17-5 and one game shy of claiming a conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth a season ago, received four first-place votes – the most by any school – and 98 total voting points. They were tied with Air Force, four points behind front-running Niagara.
The Purple Eagles received three first-place votes and 102 points after finishing 23-10-5 and reaching the NCAA playoffs for the first time as an AHA member.
Air Force earned two first-place votes. Canisius, which beat Mercyhurst to win its first conference title and earn its first NCAA playoff spot, had three first-place votes and 92 points to finish fourth. Rochester Institute of Technology rounded out the top five with 81 points. Mercyhurst opens the season Oct. 8 with an exhibition game against the University of Guelph. The regular-season opener is Oct. 11 against Minnesota in Minneapolis.

2013-14 AHA coaches poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)
No. School Points

1. Niagara (3) 102
T2. Mercyhurst (4) 98
T2. Air Force (2) 98
4. Canisius (3) 92
5. RIT 81
6. Connecticut 79
7. Robert Morris 66
8. Holy Cross 59
9. Bentley 53
10. Army 28
11. AIC 22
12. Sacred Heart 16

Posted: May 17th, 2013

Atlantic Hockey Association’s annual board of directors meetings ended in Waltham, Mass., this week with changes to league policies that begin taking effect in the 2014-15 season. The addition of two scholarships and one game to the conference schedule for each school headlined those changes.
Teams will play 28 conference games – 14 at home and 14 on the road – one more than they played this past season. Schools also will be allowed 13 scholarships – one more than in past seasons – starting in the 2014-15 season and a 14th scholarship in the 2015-16 season. The directors also determined that any supplemental discipline of two games or fewer cannot be appealed to the executive committee.
They also received AHA commissioner Bob DeGregorio’s proposal regarding the conference’s potential expansion following Connecticut’s move to Hockey East Association following the 2013-14 season. Two unnamed schools have expressed interest in replacing the Huskies.