Last Week: 8-3-1
On the Season: 88-43-21 (.648)
This Week’s Picks:
Friday, Jan. 18 and Saturday, Jan. 19
Robert Morris at American International – There could be some good goaltending in this series between AIC’s Ben Meisner and RMU’s Eric Levine. The Yellow Jackets have been struggling to score goals since early December, so RMU should have the upper hand. Robert Morris sweeps.
Rochester Institute of Technology at Army - The Tigers are 9-2-5 all-time against the Black Knights including 5-1-2 at Tate Rink. But this Army team is the best since the 2007-2008, and RIT is off to its worst start ever in the AHA. Both squads have more than their fare share of ties over the past few seasons, including with each other. I’d like to take Army for three points, but no draws allowed, so I’m picking Army on Friday and RIT on Saturday.
Mercyhurst at Connecticut – The teams meet for the 46th and 47th times in another chapter of a series that goes back to the MAAC. The Lakers are the stronger team right now, but the home ice advantage will lead to a split. UConn wins Friday; Mercyhurst Saturday.
Niagara at Holy Cross - The premier series of the weekend features (tied for) third place Holy Cross hosting the Purple Eagles, who are still undefeated in league play at the turn – both teams will play their 14th and 15th of 27 conference games. They’ve split their last two series, and I think it will happen again. Holy Cross wins Friday, Niagara Saturday.
Canisius at Bentley – While the Niagara-Holy Cross matchup is the one everyone will be watching closely, I think this series will be the most entertaining. It features the classic offensive vs. defensive battle, with the Falcons ranked fourth in the nation in goals scored, and the Golden Griffins fourth in fewest goals allowed. Bentley is on home ice for the first time in six weeks, and I think that will carry it to a Falcons sweep.
Saturday, Jan. 19 and Sunday, Jan. 20
Air Force at Sacred Heart – Both games will be played at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, where Air Force has an interesting history. It’s the site of the Falcons only NCAA tournament win, 2-0 over Michigan in 2009. Air Force lost to Vermont in bizarre fashion the next day in overtime (the “a goal was scored but play continued for several minutes” game). AFA also lost to Yale there in the 2011 NCAA tournament. The Pioneers and Falcons have tangled once before at WBA, earlier in 2011, with SHU coming out on top 4-2. I like Air Force to even its all-time record in Bridgeport this weekend. Air Force sweeps.
Feel free to chime in by posting your picks in the comments and follow me on Twitter @chrislerch for updates throughout the weekend.