Ready for some hockey? I had said in my last blog entry before Christmas that the picks wouldn’t returning until January 7. But peer pressure from my follow writers at USCHO.com has made me decide to do some quick picks.
The schedule this week is a smorgasbord of leagues games, holiday tournaments and straight-up nonconference affairs.
AHA Conference Games:
Air Force at Bentley (12/30 and 12/31) – In a battle of Falcons, I’m picking the visitors to sweep. Air Force 3, Bentley 1; Air Force 4, Bentley 3.
Holy Cross at Connecticut (12/29) – This game doubles as a league contest as well as the first round of the UConn Holiday Classic. I like the Crusaders to win a close one. Holy Cross 3, UConn 2.
RIT at Robert Morris (12/30) – This one is part of the NHL Winter Classic weekend and will be played at the Consol Energy Center in downtown Pittsburgh. I think Robert Morris will avenge an earlier loss to RIT and regain first place in the AHA. Robert Morris 4, RIT 2.
UConn Holiday Classic (12/29 and 12/30) – Assuming my first pick is correct, I think UConn finishes fourth and Holy Cross falls in the title game against either Bowling Green or Princeton.
Ledyard Bank Tournament (12/30 and 12/31) – Mercyhurst will face off against host Dartmouth in the semifinals, and I think the Lakers will spoil things for the home team. Mercyhurst 3, Dartmouth 2. I think Boston College will will this tournament, with the Lakers either falling to the Eagles in the title game or defeating Colgate in the consolation, based on what happens in the first round.
Catamount Cup (1/1 and 1/2) – Army plays three games in four days this weekend. After squaring off against Merrimack at home on 12/30, the Black Knights travel to Vermont and will face Harvard in the first round and Ohio State in the other game. I’m a split for Army. Army 3, Harvard 2; Ohio State 3, Army 1.
Canisius at Notre Dame (12/29) – I’m picking the Irish in a close one. Notre Dame 4, Canisius 3.
Merrimack at Army (12/30) – The No. 17 Warriors are enjoying their best season in quite some time. Merrimack 3, Army 1.
Merrimack at RIT (1/1) – The Tigers’ home ice advantage will be diminished, and along with it their chances of an upset. Merrimack 4, RIT 2.
Holy Cross at Yale (1/2) – The Crusaders will get their chance against the top team in the country. I expect Yale to pull away. Yale 5, Holy Cross 3.
St. Lawrence at Sacred Heart (1/3) – A rare Monday game and I have a feeling the Pioneers are going to jump on the Saints and earn an upset win. Sacred Heart 4, SLU 3.