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).
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.
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.
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.
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