2017-18 Previews: Atlantic Hockey Prediction

We have spent the last 11 days introducing each team from Atlantic Hockey in our first preview series. Atlantic Hockey is a league that last season was built on strong goaltending at the top of the league and has many top scorers returning to their teams this season. Even with the scholarship limit in the league being raised it is still hard to picture Atlantic Hockey being more than a one bid team for the NCAAs, with that team winning the playoffs. The playoffs are a tough thing to predict, especially with single elimination games but we still will predict how we see the regular season standings shaking out in Atlantic Hockey this season. Follow past the jump to have a good laugh and discussion at what will surely be our wildly inaccurate picks.

Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Robert Morris
  2. Air Force
  3. RIT
  4. Holy Cross
  5. Army
  6. Canisius
  7. Bentley
  8. Mercyhurst
  9. Sacred Heart
  10. American International
  11. Niagara

Tier I- Robert Morris and Air Force

The Falcons and Colonials seem to prime to separate themselves from the rest of the league this season. Air Force would easily be the odds on favorite to win the league, but the loss of goaltender Shane Starrett from last season was a big enough blow to have me feeling that Robert Morris could unseat them. Robert Morris returns a stacked offense this season with who we predict could be the top goaltender in the league Francis Marotte.

Tier II- RIT, Holy Cross and Army

RIT was the best possession team in the conference last season and were hurt by injuries to their top players. The Tigers should be a threat this season with most of their stars back. Holy Cross is a team I think will surprise this season with an improved season from a senior goaltender. Army will be hurt by the loss of a program leading goaltender but should have enough talent returning to hold onto the last 1st round bye spot for the league playoffs.

Tier III- Canisius, Bentley, Mercyhurst, Sacred Heart

Canisius being this far down will surprise many, and it could be a risky prediction. However, the Griffins were a low team in the league in possession and lost the best goaltender in Atlantic Hockey. If they can get stellar goaltending play again they can hold on to the top tiers, but even a minor regression at that position could see a tumble down the standings. Bentley, Mercyhurst and Sacred Heart could play better this season but I don’t see them improving enough to move ahead of the teams in front of them.

Tier IV- American International and Niagara

Each team features coaches very early in their tenure, 2nd and 1st year respectively. These are long rebuilding projects that are not quite ready to bear results.

 

 

 

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