Atlantic Hockey capsules

By: Joe Paisley
October 10, 2013 Updated: October 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm

American International Yellow Jackets

Predictions: 11th, coaches and media

Last year’s record, finish: 12-17-6, ninth out of 12

Coach: Gary Wright, 29th year

Top returners: Jon Puskar, Sr. F (24 points, 12 goals); Blake Peake Sr. F (23, 15 assists); Chris Porter, So. F (20, 13 assists); Brandon Fagerheim, Jr. F (15, 10 assists)

Quotable: “Everything is on the table right now,” Wright said.


Army Black Knights

Predictions: 10th, coaches and media

Last year’s record, finish: 7-22-5, 11th

Coach: Brian Riley, 10th year

Top returners: Mac Lalor, Jr. D (18, 12 assists); Joe Kozlak, So. D (17, 10 assists); Josh Richards, Jr. F (16, 11 assists); Rob Tadazak, Jr. G (3-13-4, 3.02, .907)

Quotable: “We have to be better defensively,” Riley said. “That was a huge problem last year.”


Bentley Falcons

Predictions: ninth, coaches and media

Last year’s record, finish: 12-20-3, 10th

Coach: Ryan Soderquist, 12th year

Top returners: Brett Gensler, Sr. F (40, 26 assists); Alex Grieve, Jr. F (31, 21 assists); Andrew Gladiuk, So. F (29, 16 assists); Branden Komm, Sr. G (11-19-1, 3.12, .915)

Quotable: “We have a lot of depth in scoring,” Soderquist said. “If we can continue to tighten up our defense, we will be a good team this year.”


Canisius Golden Griffins

Predictions: fourth, coaches and media

Last year’s record, finish: 19-19-5, tied for seventh

Coach: Dave Smith, ninth year

Top returners: Kyle Gibbons, Sr. F (43, 21 goals); Patrick Sullivan, Sr. F (22, 14 assists); Mitch McCrank, Jr. W (21, 16 assists); Tony Capobianco, Sr. G (18-19-4, .929 saves, Division I-high 1,256 saves).

Quotable: “The guys are motivated (by last season’s NCAA berth) and it is fun to manage that,” Smith said. “Kyle had a wonderful season after a tough start. He was the top scorer in the nation after Jan. 1.”


Connecticut Huskies

Note: UConn leaves for Hockey East next season

Predictions: sixth coaches; fifth media

Last year’s record, finish: 19-14-4, fourth

Coach: Mike Cavanaugh, first year

Top returners: Brant Harris, Sr. F (31, 16 assists); Jordan Sims, Sr. F (31, 21 assists); Trevor Gerling, Jr. F (25, 13 assists); Shaun Pauly, So. F (21, 14 assists)

Quotable: “It would be a disservice to our seniors to not try to win the Atlantic, which Connecticut has never won,” Cavanaugh said.


Holy Cross Crusaders

Predictions: eighth, coaches; tied for seventh, media

Last year’s record, finish: 20-14-3, third

Coach: Paul Pearl, 18th year

Top returners: Shayne Stockton, Sr. F (28, 15 assists); Adam Schmidt, Sr. F (25, 14 goals): Karl Beckman, So. D (18, 14 assists); Matt Ginn, Jr. G (19-13-3, 2.63, .915)

Quotable: ‘“They are all capable of providing more points,” Pearl said. “They will all be given the opportunity to step forward.”


Mercyhurst Lakers

Predictions: tied for second, coaches and media

Last year’s record, finish: 19-17-5, sixth

Coach: Rick Gotkin, 25th year

Top returners: Matthew Zay, Jr. F (39 points, 26 assists); Ryan Misiak, Jr. F (38, 18 goals); Daniel O’Donoghue, Jr. D (36, 24 assists); Jordan Tibbett, Sr. G (7-7-1, 2.51, .925 saves)

Quotable: “(Tibbett) could be every bit as good as anyone in the league when he is on his game,” Gotkin said.


Niagara Purple Eagles

Predictions: first, coaches and media

Last year’s record, finish: 23-10-5, first

Coach: Dave Burkholder, 12th year

Top returners: Ryan Murphy, Sr. F (36, 21 assists); Kevin Ryan, Sr. D (24, 23 assists); Patrick Divjak, Sr. F (22, 14 assists); Ryan Rashid, Sr. F (20, 11 assists)

Quotable: “Ryan (Murphy) is who we will be looking to for leadership,” Burkholder said. “We will see how the goalie question gets answered.”


Robert Morris Colonials

Predictions: seventh coaches; tied for seventh media

Last year’s record, finish: 20-14-4, fifth

Coach: Derek Schooley, ninth year

Top returners: Cody Wydo, Jr. F (33, 21 goals); Colin South, Sr. F (27, 14 assists); Scott Jacklin, Jr. F (22, 12 assists); Terry Shafer, So. G (1-2-0, 3.08, .888)

Quotable: “We have 195 minutes experience in net as of now,” Schooley said. “That is Here are capsules on the 11 other Atlantic Hockey Association teams:our big question for this season. Terry Schafer will get the first opportunity.”


Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers

Predictions: fifth coaches; sixth media

Last year’s record, finish: 15-18-5, tied for seventh

Coach: Wayne Wilson, 15th year

Top returners: Matt Garbowsky, Jr. F (33, 21 assists); Michael Colavecchia, Sr. D (30, 18 assists); Greg Noyes, Sr. D (29, 20 assists); Jordan Ruby, Jr. G (8-10-1, 3.05, .911)

Quotable: “There is not a lot separating the pack from the top teams,” Wilson said.


Sacred Heart Pioneers

Predictions: last, coaches and media

Last year’s record, finish: 2-30-4, last

Coach: C.J. Marottolo, fourth year

Top returners: Brian Sheehan, Jr. F (28, 17 assists); Nick Curry, Jr. F (14, 11 assists); Chad Filteau, Sr. F (13, nine goals); Andrew Bodnarchuk, Jr. G (2-12-3, 4.61, .877)

Quotable: “Everyone looked at our scoring as the problem but it was the team defense and not controlling the puck more,” Marottolo said. “Our team defense will improve.”

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