The color of drama is Purple as Niagara and Holy Cross battled a tight first-round series. Sacred Heart won for the first time in five years and Air Force has an offense that's rolling with confidence.
Here's your Atlantic Hockey playoff update, complete with quarterfinal round pairings:
- Niagara finished last in Atlantic Hockey, but pulled off the first-round upset, eliminating Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., Sunday night, 5-3. The Purple Eagles won the opener on Friday but Holy Cross evened the series Saturday, well early Sunday morning, in triple overtime and the longest game in Atlantic Hockey history. The deciding game went to Niagara thanks to three power play goals (Kevin Patterson, Keegan Harper and Chris Lochner) and some impressive penalty killing. Niagara had a 3-1 lead but Holy Cross tied it quickly in the second period. Lochner had the game winner on the power play early in the third while Hugo Turcotte added an empty netter to seal the series win.
- Sacred Heart won its first postseason series since 2010, sweeping Army, 2-0 and 5-2.
- Air Force piled on AIC in its first-round series, 6-1 and 10-3, with Cole Gunner collecting six points (four gola,s two assists) over the weekend.
The matchups for the best-of-three quarterfinal series which begin Friday and are at the higher seed:
No. 1 Robert Morris vs. No. 11 Niagara
No. 2 Canisius vs. No. 8 Sacred Heart
No. 3 RIT vs. No. 7 Air Force
No. 4 Bentley vs. No. 5 Mercyhurst
It will be the first playoff series at HarborCenter for Canisius. The games on Friday and Saturday start at 7:35 while Sunday's game, if necessary, will begin at 5:05 p.m. Individual tickets along with two promotional packages (HarborCenter Playoff Happy Hour and Canisius Hockey Fan Pack) are available.