Atlantic Hockey Tournament Preview: Semifinalists team capsules

Mercyhurst junior forward Ryan Misiak - David Leisenring

ROCHESTER, NY --- The 2014 Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament semifinals and final return to Blue Cross Arena this weekend. Canisius and Niagara were the last two teams to punch their tickets to the semifinals, doing so in three games over Bentley and Air Force, respectively. Robert Morris and Mercyhurst swept their playoff series against UConn and Holy Cross, respectively.

The Atlantic Hockey semifinals will be played Friday and the championship game is set for 7 p.m. Saturday. Mercyhurst will take on Canisius at 4 p.m. followed by Robert Morris and Niagara battling in the second semifinal at 7:30 p.m.

TEAM CAPSULES

No. 1 Mercyhurst

Location: Erie, Pa.

Record: 21-12-7 overall, 17-4-6 AHA

Past Tournament Championships: 2001, 2003, and 2005

Head Coach: Rick Gotkin (Brockport State '82)

Captains: Nick Jones (C), Daniel O'Donoghue (A), Matthew Zay (A)

Leading Scorers: Matthew Zay (17-25-42), Daniel O'Donoghue (14-27-41), Ryan Misiak (13-25-38), Nick Jones (9-23-32), Daniel Bahntge (15-16-31)

Starting Goaltender: Jimmy Sarjeant (18-4-6, 2.42/.932)

The regular season champions of the Atlantic Hockey Association were spectacular in all facets of the game as the Lakers ran through the league gauntlet. Leading scorer Matthew Zay returned from injury last weekend after missing four games. He tallied a goal and an assist on the weekend.

The Lakers certainly have their share of high-end talent, but the offensive balance and depth is remarkable. Seven skaters are in double digits for goal scoring and 10 Lakers have found the back of the net at least eight times.

No. 7 Canisius

Location: Buffalo, NY

Record: 16-20-3 overall, 11-13-3 AHA

Past Tournament Championships: 2013

Head Coach: Dave Smith (Ohio State '92)

Captains: Ryan Bohrer

Leading Scorers: Kyle Gibbons (15-22-37), Ralph Cuddemi (13-15-28), Ben Danford (5-22-27), Cody Freeman (10-14-24)

Starting Goaltender: Tony Capobianco (12-13-2, 2.75/.916)

The Golden Griffins are back in Rochester to defend their tournament championship, thanks to another run through the first two rounds of the tournament from the No. 7 seed.

Canisius was staring elimination in the face, but rallied from a three-goal deficit to force overtime on Saturday night before eventually winning in double overtime. A night later, the Griffs finished off No. 2 Bentley with a 3-2 win, thanks to a hat trick from Mitch McCrank.

No. 5 Robert Morris

Location: Moon Township, Pa.

Record: 17-17-5 overall, 13-9-5 AHA

Past Tournament Championships:

Head Coach: Derek Schooley (Western Michigan '94)

Captains: Colin South

Leading Scorers: Cody Wydo (26-21-47), Zac Lynch (18-23-41), Scott Jacklin (14-19-33), Greg Gibson (12-16-28)

Starting Goaltender: Dalton Izyk (3-1-0, 2.39/.929)

The Colonials went on quite a roll from mid-January to mid-February, going 9-1-2 over that span, but RMU went 0-2-1 to close out the regular season. Derek Schooley's team was forced to a game three against Army in the first round, but upset No. 4 UConn in two games in the quarterfinals.

Everyone knows about Cody Wydo who paces the offense, but an interesting storyline entering this weekend is the goaltending situation. Dalton Izyk has taken over for Terry Shafer between the pipes, starting with game three against Army. The freshman has allowed just two goals over the last three games after coming in mid-game for Shafer. He has a 0.77 goals against average and a .977 save percentage in that time.

No. 6 Niagara

Location: Niagara, NY

Record: 15-19-5 overall, 11-11-5 AHA

Past Tournament Championships: 2000, 2004 and 2008

Head Coach: Dave Burkholder (RIT ‘84)

Captains: Ryan Rashid and Kevin Albers

Leading Scorers: Hugo Turcotte (11-16-27), Isaac Kohls (12-12-24), Ryan Rashid (11-10-21), T.J. Sarcona (11-9-20)

Starting Goaltender: Jackson Teichroeb (9-13-3, 2.65/.910)

The Purple Eagles will have to win the conference tournament this weekend if they have plans on making a second straight NCAA Tournament. Dave Burkholder's team received an at-large bid last season, paving the way for the league to get two teams into the big dance for the first team in history.

NU was hit hard by losses to graduation, early departures to the pro ranks and a key player being kicked off the team. That being said, this is a team that is better than its record and could challenge this weekend, especially if Jackson Teichroeb plays to the best of his abilities between the pipes.

Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation College Hockey

You must be a member of SB Nation College Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation College Hockey. You should read them.

Join SB Nation College Hockey

You must be a member of SB Nation College Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation College Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker