Atlantic Hockey Picks Oct. 18-22

Last Week:
Dan: 11-5
Chris: 12-4

On the season:
Dan 12-7 (.632)
Chris 14-5 (.737)

This Week’s Picks

Friday, October 18th and Saturday October 19th:
Penn State at Air Force
Dan: Air Force needs this game more than Penn State does, especially after last week.  Frank Serratore will have his team ready, otherwise we’re getting a special treat for a press conference. Air Force sweeps
Chris: Air Force needs at least one win on home ice to help put last weekend’s oh-for-Alaska trip in the rear view mirror. The teams split last season and I think they’ll do the same this time. Air Force wins Friday; Penn State on Saturday.

Rochester Institute of Technology at Clarkson
Dan: Clarkson took out Niagara and Mercyhurst, two teams predicted to be better than RIT.  Clarkson sweeps
Chris: The Tigers managed a 3-3 tie against the Golden Knights at Ritter Arena last season despite giving up a pair of shorthanded goals. Clarkson is off to its best start in six years (3-1),  feasting on AHA teams so far, knocking off Niagara twice as well as Mercyhurst. RIT hasn’t won at Clarkson since 1985, back in the old Walker Arena.  Clarkson sweeps.

Mercyhurst at Merrimack
Dan: For what it’s worth, this is the “easy trip” for the Lakers, and they’re desperate for a win at this point.  If they want to remind everyone why they’re selected as the top team in the AHA, they’ll need to grab one in a tough rink for visitors.  Mercyhurst wins Friday; Merrimack Saturday
Chris: The Lakers continue a killer non-conference schedule but I think they punch through with a win this weekend. Merrimack wins Friday; Mercyhurst Saturday. 

Connecticut at Minnesota State
Dan: I love UConn this year, and Coach Cavanaugh really won me over about this team’s potential.  They’ll take one.  Minnesota State wins Friday; UConn on Saturday
Chris: The Huskies open their last season in Atlantic Hockey at Mankato, which was outclassed by Providence last week. I’m picking a split. Minnesota State wins Friday; UConn on Saturday. 

Northeastern vs. Holy Cross
Dan: Northeastern pummeled Alabama-Huntsville last week, which is an unfair assessment.  I still think they have major questions about their post-Rawlings goaltender situation, and I still think that the fans’ unrest is still simmering after last year.  Meanwhile, Holy Cross lost by one to a well-conditioned BU team that should contend for a top Hockey East slot.  Holy Cross sweeps
Chris: The Crusaders almost upset Boston University last weekend and will have two shots at another Hockey East opponent. Friday’s game will be a the Hart Center and the action  shifts to Matthews Arena on Saturday. I like the home team in each game. Holy Cross wins Friday; Northeastern Saturday. 


Saturday, October 19th:
Niagara at Robert Morris
Dan: This is going to be a fantastic game.  Niagara’s got the advantage in the tools department, but I know RMU is going to come in with a compete level through the roof.  Very tepidly and with zero confidence, I’m taking Niagara. Niagara wins
Chris: These games between old CHA foes are usually highly competitive and I don’t think this will be an exception. Niagara showed a lot of determination last weekend and I think they’ll keep it going on the road. Niagara wins.

Bentley at Maine
Dan: Maine resembles a slightly better version of the Northeastern team that Bentley beat last year.  Plus the Falcons are steaming mad after losing to Sacred Heart and won’t be fazed by Alfond Arena’s atmosphere.  But I’m still taking the Black Bears for Red Gendron’s first win.  Don’t be shocked if Bentley wins this, though.  Maine wins.
Chris: Bentley will be fired up coming off an upset loss to Sacred Heart.  Maine is hoping a shift to friendlier confines will erase a disappointing weekend at St. Lawrence. Maine wins. 

American International at Providence 
Dan: PC could be a sleeper team for the Frozen Four.  Even as a team that could come together fast, there’s still a rebuilding period for AIC with all the changes and graduations.  This game will help support the preaching for early-season patience in Springfield.  Providence wins.
Chris: The Friars looked sharp last weekend and AIC will have several new faces in key roles and may take some time to jell. Providence wins. 

Sacred Heart at Rensselaer
Dan: I’m starting to get sold on Sacred Heart and Alex Vazzano after their first three games’ results, but RPI won’t be fooled.  RPI wins.
Chris: This is a rematch of last Saturday’s 6-0 thumping by the Engineers. It will be closer, but not close enough. RPI wins. 



Tuesday, October 22th:
Bentley at Quinnipiac:
Dan: Quinnipiac is on the downswing after last year’s national championship appearance, and I think Bentley has the tools to beat them this year.  I’m taking the upset. Bentley wins
Chris: I really want to pick an upset here, especially if Bentley is coming off a good performance in Maine. But I’m going with the home team. Quinnipiac wins.