Welcome to the final week of the regular season in Atlantic Hockey. Here's what you need to know this week:
Doug Jessey was named defensive player of the week. The senior captain for Canisius anchored another strong defensive performance by the Golden Griffins in a sweep of Mercyhurst. Jessey had seven blocked shots, one assist and was a plus-one on the weekend. Canisius allowed just three goals in two games, shutting down a Lakers' offense which came into the game averaging 3.58 goals in Atlantic Hockey contests.
Playoff positioning will come down to the last day. Only three teams have locked up their position in the standings. Robert Morris clinched the regular season title and will be the No. 1 seed. Sacred Heart will be No. 8 and host No. 9 Army in a first-round playoff series. Canisius and Bentley have secured a first-round bye and home ice for the quarterfinals but their position in the top 4 is up for grabs. RIT, Mercyhurst, Air Force and Holy Cross are all fighting for a top-5 spot and a first-round bye. Niagara will be on the road for the first round of the playoffs, finishing either 10th or 11th.
Facility upgrades in Erie. Mercyhurst announced a $300,000 renovation to its on-campus ice rink, including a $15,000 donation from First Niagara Bank. The plans call for a compete makeover of the Ice Center lobby as well as increased and improved seating. The facility opened on Dec. 8, 1991 when Mercyhurst was a Division III program. It's the lastest major facility upgrade in Atlantic Hockey. This year RIT opened the new on-campus Polisseni Center while Canisius moved into the HarborCenter in downtown Buffalo.