Atlantic Hockey Picks 1/28

Last week:  6-3-3
On the season: 76-44-16 (.618)

This weekend marks the home stretch as teams play their remaining 8-10 games against schools in their regional scheduling pod.

Friday, January 28 and Saturday, January 29:

Canisius at Air Force – These teams are 5-5-3 all-time against each other, but I think that Air Force comes out on top in two close games. Air Force 3, Canisius 2; Air Force 4, Canisius 3.

Robert Morris vs. Niagara  - This should be a great series. If either team can sweep, they’re set to take a run at first place. Niagara hosts on Friday with the action shifting to Robert Morris on Saturday. I’m going with the home team(s). Niagara 4, RMU 3; RMU 4, Niagara 2.

American International vs. Sacred Heart – Sacred Heart won the first meeting this season between the two teams, but I like AIC to pull off the sweep. AIC 4, Sacred Heart 2; AIC 4, Sacred Heart 3.

Army at Bentley – This will be a good test for Army, which has been playing well over the last few weeks. Bentley is coming off a wild 8-5 loss to Mass-Lowell on Tuesday. I;m thinking split. Army 4, Bentley 2; Bentley 3, Army 2.

Connecticut at Holy Cross – This series will go a long way in determining the Number One seed in the East pod. I think it will also result in a split. Holy Cross 3, UConn 2; UConn 4, Holy Cross 1.

Saturday, January 29:

Mercyhurst at Rochester Institute of Technology – The Tigers swept the Lakers earlier this season and are putting a 14 game home unbeaten streak in AHA on the line. RIT 4, Mercyhurst 3.

Guest Analyst

This week’s guest analyst analyst Jim Koewler, an RIT alum (class of ’88). Here are his picks:

Canisius @ Air Force
The Falcons have been surprisingly beatable at home this year and they haven’t had a home sweep. The
Golden Griffins had a couple of practice games last weekend vs. AIC but they will find much tougher
competition out west this weekend. Air Force gets 4 important points by scores of 4-2 and 5-2.

Army @ Bentley
This pair of Eastern pod games matches the two worst offenses in league play. Bentley has just 2 more
wins than my pet hamster since Thanksgiving. Army earned hard-fought points each of the past 3
weekends against RIT, Air Force, and Robert Morris. But Army’s struggles on the road will cost them a
game this weekend. Bentley takes the Friday game 3-2 but Army gets even on Saturday by a 3-1 score.

Connecticut @ Holy Cross
By rule, someone has to lead the Eastern pod and going into this weekend it is UConn. But the Huskies
are winless in their past 6 games. Meanwhile, Holy Cross hasn’t given the home crowd much to cheer
about with just 2 wins on home ice. Last Saturday’s tie at RIT might be a small confidence builder for
the Crusaders this weekend. When in doubt, predict a split. Holy Cross takes the Friday game 4-2 and
UConn recovers on Saturday by the same 4-2 score.

American International vs. Sacred Heart (home and home)
Neither team can score goals and neither team can stop others from scoring. So what does that mean?
Let’s go with one game of no offense and one game full of goals with home teams winning each game.
Sacred Heart wins the low-scoring Friday game 2-1 while AIC fills the net on Saturday at home with a
6-3 win. Special bonus prediction: there will be more shots on goal in the 2 games combined than the
official attendance at the AIC home game.

Robert Morris vs. Niagara (home and home)
The premier series of the weekend is a home-and-home battle with each team owning outstanding
home records. Game 1 is at Niagara and I can’t see the Purple Eagles dropping this one with so much
on the line trying to catch RIT in the standings. Look for Niagara to dominate on Friday with a 5-2 win.
Game 2 is back at Robert Morris who can’t afford to get swept 2 weekends in a row. Once again, home
ice prevails with the Colonials edging the Purple Eagles 4-3 in what could be a testy matchup.

Mercyhurst @ RIT (Saturday)
The Lakers skate into Ritter Arena for the 3rd game of a 4-game road trip while RIT starts a 4-game
homestand. The Tigers have points in 10 of their last 11 games with a 7-1-3 record during that span
and the lone loss coming to #14 Merrimack. The homer in me says the Tigers start their traditional end
of the season run with a blowout victory. History says these teams play close games. Homer wins out
versus history….RIT prevails 5-1.

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