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Service Academy hockey round-up: Air Force, Army both make Atlantic Hockey tourney

Army and Air Force NCAA D1 both make Atlantic Hockey tournament, Navy ACHA D2 makes surprising move.

Photo provided by Air Force Athletics

NCAA D1

After rounding out the regular season last weekend, both Army and Air Force have made the Atlantic Hockey tournament and have a chance to advance to the NCAA tournament if they manage to emerge as the Atlantic Hockey conference champion.

Air Force

The Falcons capped off the regular season with a split against RIT, winning the Friday night game 3-0 before falling on Saturday 5-3. With that, Air Force locked in the #6 seed heading into the Atlantic Hockey tournament.

The Falcons will host #11 Mercyhurst in a best-of-three series starting tonight, with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals. As the highest seed in the first round, the winner would play #3 RIT.

During the regular season, Air Force won both games against Mercyhurst, one in regulation and the other in OT.

Army

The Black Knights ended their regular season with a 4-1 loss against AIC. As the #4 seed heading into the Atlantic Hockey tournament, Army secured a first round bye and will be competing against #5 Niagara next weekend in the quarterfinals.

The Black Knights made an improbable postseason push last year as the #10 seed, nearly knocking off #1 AIC. As a better team this season, Army should be confident in another deep run.

The Black Knights’ Michael Wilson is still one of the front-runners in fan voting for the 2020 Hobey Baker award, which will be awarded in April.

ACHA

Navy

Navy’s D1 team ended their regular season with two wins over Stevenson and Towson to claim the Crab Pot tournament. The Midshipmen now turn their attention to the ECHA playoffs, where they await Friday’s game results as the #2 seed. They will play on Saturday with the winner advancing to the championship game on Sunday.

Navy’s D2 team unveiled some surprising news this past week. Starting in the 2020-21 season, they will dropping down to compete in ACCHL at the ACHA D3 level.

The Women’s D2 team has been selected as one of 12 teams to compete in the 2020 ACHA Women’s D2 National Championship tournament. They are the #4 seed in the Southeast Region, and more details regarding game brackets are still pending.

Air Force

The Falcons wrapped up their season with two wins over Texas Tech and are locked in as the #2 Pacific Region seed in ACHA D3 standings. They automatically qualify for the ACHA Men’s D3 National Tournament taking place March 19-29.

Air Force goaltender Mark Anarumo was named to the ACHA Men’s D3 All-Pacific Region Second Team.

Coast Guard

The Bears will be skating in the ACHA Men’s D3 Atlantic Regional this weekend to play for a bid to the National Championships along with Air Force. Coast Guard will face off against the University of Connecticut on Saturday, with the winner advancing to a game on Sunday. The Bears will need to win both games in order to advance to Nationals.

Merchant Marines

The Merchant Marines capped off their season with their first-ever conference championship, and are the 2020 MCHC Champs. Unfortunately, they did not make the cut for ACHA Men’s D3 Regionals, so they are done for the season, but at least ended on a high note.