AHA picks 1/21/11

This is the final weekend of inter-pod play with the Eastern and Western scheduling pods squaring off in six two-game series.

Friday, January 21 and Saturday, January 22

Robert Morris at Army – The teams have never met. RMU needs one more win to have its best season ever, and is currently 7-1-2 against teams in the East pod. RMU 4, Army 3; RMU 3, Army 1.

Mercyhurst at Bentley – The Lakers lead the all-time series 24-9-5, but Bentley has only lost three times to Mercyhurst in the last ten meetings between the schools. Still, I think Mercyhurst is starting to hit its stride and will sweep. Mercyhurst 5, Bentley 5; Mercyhurst 3, Bentley 2.

Rochester Institute of Technology at Holy Cross – The Tigers have dominated this series 15-1-1 since moving to Division I. But Holy Cross has the top power play in the league (21.2 %) and RIT is averaging over 20 penalty minutes a game, tops in the nation. I’m going with a split with the Crusaders winning Saturday, as they’ve typically done in series this year at home. RIT 4, Holy Cross 2; Holy Cross 3, RIT 2.

Sacred Heart at Niagara – The Purple Eagles are home for the first time in six week and I think will sweep. Niagara 4, Sacred Heart 3; Niagara 5, Sacred Heart 2.

Air Force at Connecticut – I’m thinking this series will be a split as well, with a pair of young goaltenders playing well. Connecticut 3, Air Force 2; Air Force 4, Connecticut 3.

Sunday January 23 and Monday, January 24

American International at Canisius – I like the Golden Griffins to sweep at home, making it another weekend of West pod teams getting the edge. Canisius 3, AIC 1; Canisius 5, AIC 3.

Guest Analyst

This week’s guest analyst is David Santee, a former world-class figure skater (World Championships silver medal in 1981 and two Olympics, including 4th place in 1980). He’s the father of Army sophomore forward Mike Santee. Here are his picks:

“The top teams in the West Pod will continue to roll this week as I predict RIT, Robert Morris, and Niagara to sweep their series. The matchup of Air Force’s offense against Garrett Bartus should be good and I predict a Connecticut win Friday night and an Air Force victory on Saturday. Mercyhurst and Bentley will split with Mercyhurst winning Friday, and Canisius will take advantage of their home ice to sweep AIC.  On Tuesday, I have both UMass Lowell and Princeton winning at home.”

Check back on Monday to see how David and I did.