To say Atlantic Hockey has had a rough stretch to start the season would be an understatement. They are a combined 1-23 so far, with the lone win coming when Canisius beat Ferris State on October 10th. According to USCHO’s Chris Lerch, this week is the first in the poll’s history when no Atlantic Hockey team is even mentioned. A year after opening the year 13-0, Air Force is 0-4 with the core of their team back.
Both RIT and Air Force come into Friday’s contest looking for their first win of the season. RIT outshot St. Lawrence, 43-20, and Clarkson, 45-29 last weekend, but couldn’t put the puck in the net. “If I had to use a word, it would be ‘disappointing’,” said RIT head coach Wayne Wilson. “Not ‘frustrating’. I’m optimistic.”
Air Force is getting outscored 18-8 on the season so far, but Jeff Hajner, Jacques Lamoureux, and Derrick Burnett each have four points to pace the team. Like Wilson, Air Force head coach Frank Serratore isn’t letting his team’s struggles get to him. “We scrapped and fought hard. We are a struggling team right now and we just have to go back to work and stick together to get through it.”
The two teams have met 22 times all time, and are tied 10-10-2. True to form, they split the season series last year. One of these two teams will take a big step forward this weekend. Since Air Force has more talent, I’m taking them.