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 ‘metro atlantic athletic conference’
Posted: March 21st, 2013

No. 6 Mercyhurst (18-16-5) vs. No. 4 Connecticut (19-13-4)
When: Friday, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.
On the air: (live stream), WMCE-FM/88.5 & (radio), (live scores)
Up next: Championship game (Saturday, 7:05 p.m. at Blue Cross Arena)*
What to expect: Mercyhurst has reached the Atlantic Hockey Association semifinals for the second straight season. The Lakers lost to eventual champion Air Force 5-2 in this round a season ago. … The Lakers rebounded from an eight-game winless streak with a sweep of 11th-seeded Army at Mercyhurst Ice Center two weeks ago and a series win at No. 3 Holy Cross last weekend. … Mercyhurst hasn’t reached the title game since consecutive trips in 2008 and 2009 (lost to Air Force both times). … The Lakers haven’t won an AHA championship since beating Quinnipiac 3-2 in the 2005 title game. They also beat Quinnipiac 6-5 to capture the 2001 title, when the league was known as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. … Mercyhurst and UConn split their two-game, regular-season series in Storrs, Conn., with the Lakers losing 5-4 Jan. 18 and winning 5-0 the following night. … The Lakers lead the all-time series 32-13-3. Yet they have lost three straight and four of six games against the Huskies in the postseason, including a UConn sweep in the 2011 AHA quarterfinals. … With top-seeded and 15th-ranked Niagara (23-8-5) facing seventh-seeded Canisius (17-18-5) in the other semifinal, the conference will have a champion from a school other than Air Force and Rochester Institute of Technology for the first time since Holy Cross in 2006. Air Force, which lost to Canisius in the quarterfinals, had won five of the last six titles (2007-09, 2011-12). RIT, which lost to Niagara in the quarterfinals, won in 2010 on the way to the first NCAA Division I Frozen Four appearance for the Tigers and the AHA. … Senior F Grant Blakey has five goals and seven points in the Lakers’ five playoff games. … UConn senior G Matt Grogan has a 14-3-3 record, 1.88 goals-against average and .939 save percentage since taking over as starter midway through the season. He was the Huskies’ only player to earn all-conference honors (third team). Mercyhurst features three all-stars – junior D Nick Jones (first team), sophomore F Ryan Misiak (second) and sophomore F Matthew Zay (third). … Niagara has never reached the title game. Canisius hasn’t reached the final since 1999 (lost 4-3 to Holy Cross). … Niagara junior G Carson Chubak leads the nation with six shutouts and ranks among the top five in winning percentage (.773), goals-against average (1.81) and save percentage (.941). He’s one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which honors the nation’s top men’s hockey player. … Freshman F Ralph Cuddemi, a former Erie Otters draft pick, has two goals and seven points in 34 games for Canisius.
* If the Lakers win tonight

- Victor Fernandes

Atlantic Hockey Association final four schedule
at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 1 Niagara (23-8-5) vs. No. 7 Canisius (17-18-5), 4:05 p.m.
No. 4 Connecticut (19-13-4) vs. No. 6 Mercyhurst (18-16-5), 7:05 p.m.
Championship game – Saturday
Semifinal winners, 7:05 p.m.
Note: Champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I tournament.

Posted: March 14th, 2013

No. 6 Mercyhurst (16-15-5) at No. 3 Holy Cross (19-12-3)
Today and Saturday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m.*
Where: Hart Center – Worcester, Mass.
On the air: (live stream), WMCE-FM/88.5 & (radio), (live statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst earned a spot in the Atlantic Hockey Association quarterfinals with a two-game sweep of 11th-seeded Army in the first round last weekend. … With those wins, the Lakers snapped an eight-game winless streak (0-5-3) and swept a series for the first time since winning two games at Sacred Heart Nov. 2-3. … They also won consecutive games for the first time since 8-1 victories against Army and Robert Morris Feb. 2-5. … The Lakers and Crusaders meet in the quarterfinals for the second straight season. Mercyhurst won in three games at Mercyhurst Ice Center to advance to the AHA’s final four in Rochester, N.Y., a season ago Fifth-year senior G Max Strang stopped 111-of-115 shots in that series. … The Lakers split two games with the Crusaders at MIC in the regular season, losing 2-1 Jan. 11 and winning 4-2 the following night, but lead the all-time series 27-12-5. … The Lakers are 15-5-1 all-time at Hart Center. … They have a 3-1 record against Holy Cross in AHA tournament play and a 4-1 overall playoff mark dating back to a 2000 meeting in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (which became the AHA in 2003). … Rick Gotkin became the 26th college coach to reach 450 career wins last weekend. … Junior Fs Daniel O’Donoghue and Kyle Just and sophomore F Zac Frischmon combined for four goals and 11 points last weekend. They were teamed on a line for the first time this season in those games. … Holy Cross earned a first-round bye with a third-place finish in the regular-season standings. … The Crusaders enter this series with a five-game unbeaten streak. … They need one win to record consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in program history. … They have their best record through 34 games since posting a 23-9-2 mark in the 2005-06 season.
* Sunday’s game if necessary

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

No. 6 Mercyhurst (16-15-5) at No. 3 Holy Cross (19-12-3), 7 p.m.*
No. 8 Rochester Institute of Technology (15-16-5) at No. 1 Niagara (21-8-5), 7:05 p.m.
No. 5 Robert Morris (20-12-4) at No. 4 Connecticut (17-13-4), 7:05 p.m.
No. 7 Canisius (15-18-5) at No. 2 Air Force (17-11-7), 9:05 p.m.
* Game 3 on Sunday (if necessary) would begin at 5 p.m.
Semifinals – March 22
at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.

Quarterfinal winners, TBA
Championship game – March 23
at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.

Semifinal winners, TBA
Note: Champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I tournament.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 9th, 2012


No. 5 Holy Cross (19-13-4) at No. 4 Mercyhurst (18-14-4)

When: Friday-Sunday, 7:05 p.m.*

Where: Mercyhurst Ice Center

On the air: (live stream), (live statistics)

Fast facts: Mercyhurst were eliminated in the quarterfinals the past two years. They were swept by Canisius at MIC in the 2009-10 season and swept at Connecticut a season ago. … With a series win, the Lakers can reach the AHA’s final four for the first time since 2008-09, when they beat Rochester Institute of Technology 5-4 in overtime in the semifinals before losing to Air Force 2-0 in the championship game. … Mercyhurst and Holy Cross meet in the AHA playoffs for the second time. The Lakers won 4-3 in overtime in the 2005 semifinals. The teams met once in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference playoffs – a 10-3 quarterfinal win by the Lakers in 2000. … The Lakers are 13-9 all-time in the playoffs, while the Crusaders are 14-10. … The Lakers lead the all-time series with Holy Cross 24-10-5, including an active six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) that began in 2009-10. … Mercyhurst won 3-2 Jan. 20 at Holy Cross on sophomore F Daniel O’Donoghue’s goal 19 seconds into overtime. The following night, they rallied in the third period to take a one-goal lead before settling for a 5-5 overtime tie. … Mercyhurst has 12 freshmen and only seven upperclassmen on the roster. In contrast, Holy Cross features nine seniors and 15 upperclassmen. … The Crusaders are unbeaten in 10 straight games (9-0-1), including a two-game sweep of Army in last weekend’s first round. Their last loss was Jan. 28 (3-0 at home against Connecticut). … Redshirt junior G Max Strang starts tonight for the Lakers.

* Sunday games if necessary


Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament schedule

Quarterfinals (best-of-three series)


No. 5 Holy Cross (19-13-4) at No. 4 Mercyhurst (18-14-4), 7:05 p.m.

No. 6 Bentley (15-14-8) at No. 3 Rochester Institute of Technology (17-11-6), 7:05 p.m.

No. 7 Robert Morris (17-15-5) at No. 2 Niagara (15-10-9), 7:05 p.m.

No. 8 Connecticut (15-17-4) at No. 1 Air Force (17-9-7), 9:05 p.m.

* Sunday games if necessary; start times apply to all three games


Semifinals – March 16

at Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, N.Y.

No. 1 – Quarterfinal winners, 4:05 p.m.

No. 2 – Quarterfinal winners, 60 minutes after completion of Game 1

Championship game – March 17

at Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, N.Y.

Semifinal winners, 7:05 p.m.