College hockey, at both the NCAA and ACHA levels, is gearing up for the postseason. With that, service academy hockey teams are jockeying for position to set themselves up for success to extend their seasons into March.
Army is back on track heading into their final three games of the regular season. The Black Knights traveled to Erie, PA for two games against Mercyhurst last weekend and walked away with commanding 5-1 and 4-1 wins. Army is now in sole possession of 3rd place in Atlantic Hockey standings with a 17-11-2 overall record.
The Black Knights face a tough task this weekend with a pair of match-ups at home against 2nd place Sacred Heart. The Crusaders lead Army by just 3 points, so wins this weekend would catapult the Black Knights into second place, although still out of range of #1 AIC.
In fact, Army will close out their season on the 29th at home against AIC before preparing for the Atlantic Hockey conference tournament in mid-March.
Unfortunately, the Falcons haven’t sustained their initial success heading into the second half of the 2019-20 season. Air Force is on a three-game skid with a pair of losses (6-2 and 4-2) at the hands of Colorado College. The Falcons have dropped into a tie for seventh place with Niagara. They’re still in the post-season hunt, but will need some wins over their remaining four games to get themselves in a more ideal position.
Luckily, Air Force plays at home this weekend. They welcome last place Mercyhurst for games today and tomorrow. Hopefully the travel and altitude will slow Mercyhurst and give the Falcons an edge. Air Force will then round out their regular season with two road games in Rochester, NY against RIT on the 28th and 29th.
Navy’s ACHA D1 team plays this weekend, hosting the annual Crabpot Tournament. The Midshipmen will face off against Stevenson University. Consolation and Championship games will play out on Saturday pending the results of Friday’s games.
Navy’s ACHA D2 team did not fare as well in 2019-20, and failed to make the ACC playoffs this season.
Navy’s Women’s ACHA D2 team finished the 2019-20 ranked fourth in the Southeast Region. Details on Regional and National tournament play or standings haven’t been fully released yet.
The Black Knights’ ACHA D2 team finished up their 2019-20 campaign in seventh place in their conference, the SECHL. Unfortunately, the SECHL playoffs only take the top six teams, so Army will not be advancing into the postseason this year.
The Falcons’ ACHA D3 team wrapped up the 2019-20 season ranked #2 in the Pacific Region, earning them an autobid slot to the 2019-20 ACHA Men’s D3 National Tournament. ACHA Nationals are being held in Frisco, TX from March 19th-29th.
Not to be outdone, Coast Guard’s ACHA D3 squad finished at #3 in the Atlantic Region, meaning they will be eligible for the Atlantic Regional tournament where they will have a chance to advance to the ACHA National tournament as well. The Bears came up just short in their NECHA conference tournament, falling to Thomas College 6-3.
Coast Guard will open Regionals play against Connecticut, the #10 seed, and will have to win-out in order to advance to Nationals.
While not in the ACHA D3 postseason conversation, the Merchant Marines still have some conference hardware on the line. The Mariners enter the MCHC tournament as the #4 seed and will face off this Saturday against #1 St. Thomas Aquinas.