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Atlantic Hockey: Upset Wins For Sacred Heart, Bentley Highlight Weekend Action

Niagara picked up the first conference win of the 2013-14 Atlantic Hockey season.

Bentley senior forward Brett Gensler and his teammates upset Nebraska-Omaha Friday night.
Bentley senior forward Brett Gensler and his teammates upset Nebraska-Omaha Friday night.

Two Atlantic Hockey Association teams with vastly different expectations heading into the season sent shockwaves throughout the college hockey world on Friday night.

Sacred Heart, a team that won just two games last season, upset defending Hockey East Regular Season and Tournament Champions UMass-Lowell on the night that the River Hawks raised three banners at their home rink. Less than 24 hours later C.J. Marotollo's Pioneers came crashing back to earth with a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of RPI, but for one night, they were the toast of college hockey.

The AHA coaches in the preseason poll might not have picked Bentley too high, but the Falcons have the potential to contend with their high-powered offense. Ryan Soderquist took his team to Omaha to face Dean Blais' Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks for a weekend series. Bentley upset UNO 6-4 on Friday night before dropping a 4-2 decision Saturday.

Niagara and Canisius met in the first conference game of the season in the Atlantic Hockey Association. The Golden Griffins jumped out to a 4-2 lead after one, but Niagara scored a pair of goals in the second and third periods to complete the comeback.

The rest of Atlantic Hockey took it on the chin in nonconference action. Mercyhurst (IceBreaker) and Air Force (Kendall Hockey Classic) went winless in tournament action while Robert Morris was swept at Lake Superior State.

Army fell 4-1 to Penn State in the opening of the Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pa. while Holy Cross put up a respectable fight at Agganis Arena, only losing 3-2 to Boston University.

Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.