Here’s what we learned with some notes… Obviously anything can happen, but with all things being equal, this is how I see it playing out…
BA is the real deal. They are well coached, deep and poised to make a run at it. They are missing their spark plug Jennings, and they are only going to get better when their rink is open. The dose of reality that the Atlantic has to deal with is that the only team that can compete with them on any level is Farmingdale. Nobody else is capable of generating sustained pressure on them at any point, in any other zone baring a bad game. They are simply that good!
Farmingdale. Like I said in September, the clear number 2 in the region. Has the most difficult schedule outside Michigan, deep roster and coaching staff. Missing their leading scorer for virtually the entire semester, they still generate what they do without him. Ranked 4 because they lost to CAL, who lost to Fairfield, who they beat, is what people go off of, but the Classic showed to anybody who watched that they are significantly deeper then CAL, and the score doesn’t always reflect that. They have 2 vs. BA, 1 vs. Rowan and 1 vs. Fairfield before the semester ends. That will make or break them.
3./4./5. Fairfield - Rowan - CAL - All of these teams are very, very good. and I believe round out the top 5, barring any major collapses. Rowan took game 1 of the series vs Fairfield at the Classic (2-1), and their rematch in January will be a major factor for Rowan staying in the top 4, as Fairfield plays Rowan twice and CAL twice, with a win over CAL already. Rowan is very well coached, and tactically disciplined. Teams will have to literally beat them in all phases, because they will not beat themselves. Their schedule isn’t as deep, without CAL on the sheet, but still good enough to autobid if they win out. Fairfield has a great opportunity to advance to the top 2, but they’d have to win their next two vs. Farmingdale. Fairfield’s core is deep, and they are capable of playing the speed game and the physical game. They are a very dangerous for any opponent. CAL is unique, they are extremely well coached and are committed to playing team defense. They don’t have the ponies to run with BA or Farmingdale, but their PP is tremendous as always. They capitalize on the mistakes of their opponents and make the best of their chances, though few at times. This is how they beat Farmingdale the first time and kept BA and Farmingdale close this weekend. They took 70 shots on net and probably 90 attempts from BA and lost in OT, and the next night took about 75 attempts and 60 on net from Farmingdale and lost in OT. They just concluded the best part of their schedule, with 1 game left vs. BA. It is impossible to keep them ahead of Farmingdale or Fairfield with a split against one and a loss to the other, with their remaining schedule. Judging Rowan vs. CAL is hard when they don’t play each other.
6 SCSU - On the door step, but has a schedule for a 5,6,7 team. Their only move up would be to beat Fairfield to tie the series, and Farmingdale who already won the first 2, then they could move to 4 if Rowan or CAL fall.
7-10. Now we split hairs. George Mason is the next best team, followed by UPJ, and Fredonia. The 10 spot is almost impossible to determine as the schedules these teams play is very difficult to measure against.
Is going to be interesting…