Picks 2/25/11

Last week:  7-3-1
On the season: 96-62-23 (.593)

Two first-round byes are still up in the air going into the final weekend of the regular season. All of the series are home-and-home with the obvious exception of Air Force and Robert Morris.

Friday, February 25 and Saturday, February 26
Robert Morris at Air Force – This is the most interesting series of the weekend, with teams going head-to-head for a playoff bye. Air Force needs three points to clinch it; so therefore RMU needs two. A split gives it to the Colonials and I think that’s what’s going to happen. RMU 3, Air Force 2; Air Force 4, RMU 2.

Sacred Heart vs. Army – The Black Knights need some help but are still in the running for a bye. I’m thinking split, though, which would all but knock them out of contention. Army 3, Sacred Heart 1; Sacred Heart 3, Army 2.

Mercyhurst vs. Canisius – Both of the teams are locked into road first-round playoff games. I’m thinking split again, with the road team(s) coming out on top. Mercyhurst 3, Canisius 2; Canisius 4, Mercyhurst 3.

Bentley vs. Holy Cross – The Crusaders have clinched a first-round bye and can wreck the Falcons’ chances of getting the same. I like the home team(s) in this series. Holy Cross 4, Bentley 2; Bentley 4, Holy Cross 3

Niagara vs. RIT – A few weeks ago, it looked like this series might decide the regular season title, or at least a playoff bye. Instead, both teams are locked into their postseason spots – the Tigers have a bye and the Purple Eagles will host either Mercyhurst or Canisius in the first round. RIT has never beaten Niagara since moving up to Division I, but I think they split. RIT 4, Niagara 3; Niagara 4, RIT 2.

American International vs. Connecticut – UConn needs three points to clinch a playoff bye. If it winds up tied with Army the Huskies get the bye; a tie with Bentley means the Falcons get it. A three way tie goes to the Huskies. I think they take care of business and won’t need the tiebreakers. UConn 4, AIC 1; UConn 3, AIC 1.

Guest Analyst

The guest analyst for the final week of the regular season is Seth Dussault, radio color commentator for AIC. Here are his unedited picks:

Bentley vs. Holy Cross (2/25 at HC, 2/26 at BEN)
The Crusaders are on fire. Clearly, they are the best team in the East,
and I think they’ll continue their winning ways.
Holy Cross 5, Bentley 1; Holy Cross 4, Bentley 2.

American Int’l vs. UConn (2/25 at CON, 2/26 at AIC)
The Jackets are desperate to not finish in last place for the first time
in a long time. I think that desperation will help them split with the
Huskies and finish out of the basement.
UConn 3, AIC 1; AIC 4, UConn 1.

Army vs. Sacred Heart (2/25 at Army, 2/26 at SHU)
The Pioneers have done well at Harbor Yard, but it won’t translate into
points here, particularly as Army looks to pass UConn.
Army 5, Sacred Heart 1; Army 3, Sacred Heart 0.

Mercyhurst vs. Canisius (2/25 at CAN, 2/26 at MH)
This is a pretty evenly matched series and it will be reflected in the
scores, but I think Mercyhurst has the edge in net.
Mercyhurst 3, Canisius 3 (yes, a tie); Mercyhurst 3, Canisius 2.

Niagara vs. RIT (2/25 at RIT, 2/26 at NIA)
The Purple Eagles have two of the best scorers in the country, but the
Tigers are the best team in the league, so I expect a split.
Niagara 5, RIT 4; RIT 3, Niagara 2.

Robert Morris vs. Air Force (2/25 at AFA, 2/26 at AFA)
It’s hard to win in Colorado, and with a first-round bye on the line,
it’ll be impossible.
Air Force 3, Robert Morris 1; Air Force 4, Robert Morris 2.

Check back Monday for playoff pairings and to see how Seth and I did