Atlantic Hockey Picks Nov. 15-19

Last Week:
Dan: 7-5
Chris: 8-4

On the season:
Dan: 45-22-5 (.660)
Chris: 50-17-5 (.729)

This Week’s Picks

Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16:
Canisius at Ohio State
Dan: Canisius got the train back on the tracks with a big win last week against Robert Morris.  But despite raising their championship banner, last year’s 7th place team finished the regular season under .500 and is 2-5-0 to start this year, which was one of my preseason concerns.  Ohio State sweeps.
Chris: Canisius coach Dave Smith returns to his Alma Mater for a weekend series, the first ever meeting between the two schools. The Buckeyes swept Niagara last weekend but I think the Golden Griffins can earn a split. Ohio State wins Friday; Canisius wins Saturday.

Army at Niagara
Dan: There’s a wide chasm between the league’s top teams and the league’s bottom teams.  Niagara might be down compared to last year, but Army’s only win has come against a Sacred Heart team that’s come back to earth at times since beating UMass-Lowell.  Niagara sweeps.
Chris: Army is coming off a crazy week that saw the Black Knights lose 11-0 on Sunday at Boston College but win convincingly, 6-2 at Sacred Heart on Tuesday. Saturday’s game sold out early in the week and Friday might be a sellout as well. Niagara leads the all-time series 9-1 and I think will take both games. Niagara sweeps.

Friday, Nov. 15:
American International at Holy Cross
Dan: You know what?  I’m buying on AIC.  Their offense is explosive, and they can score goals.  I think they might be for real in the east.  But they struggled to stop shots, and their defense is suspect.  They’re going to be good this year, but Holy Cross is still a little better.  Holy Cross wins.
Chris: AIC has been involved in some high scoring games so far this season but I expect this one to be a little less run-and-gun. The Yellow Jackets are off to a great 2-0 start in league play, but I like the Crusaders on home ice. Holy Cross wins.

Bentley at Connecticut
Dan: There’s no way Bentley’s defense plays as badly as it did against AIC.  I also think revenge is a dish best served cold after they were blown out at Freitas Forum last year, 9-0.  Bentley wins.
Chris: This one’s a tossup. UConn has more momentum right now, and I think they’ll have the edge on home ice. UConn wins.

Saturday, Nov. 16:
Robert Morris at Air Force
Dan: Chris and I will probably have the same reasoning, which is that RMU has to fly west for one game.  That’s a long way to go for a couple of hours.  Air Force wins.
Chris: Meetings between these old CHA foes are always entertaining. It’s tough for visiting teams to go out to Colorado Springs for a single game. Air Force wins.

Sacred Heart at Yale
Dan: It won’t be an upset if Sacred Heart wins in my book.  CJ Marottolo used to be an assistant for Keith Allain, knows his system like a book, and I’m sure would love to beat his old boss on his own home ice.  I’m rooting for SHU big time, but my head is telling me otherwise.  Yale wins.
Chris: It’s a short trip for the Pioneers but a tall order to knock of the defending national champs. Yale wins.

Holy Cross at Bentley
Dan: This is a budding rivalry, and it’s the only time they’ll play at Ryan Arena since the other Bentley “home game” is at Fenway Park later this year.  It’s a series that usually goes to Holy Cross, but I really think Bentley is going to have a compete level through the roof for this.  Bentley wins.
Chris:I don’t think this will be the kind of game the Falcons saw in their first contest at the JAR (a wild 8-7 loss to AIC). A big difference will be a Bentley win this time out. Bentley wins.

Sunday, Nov. 17:
Connecticut at Boston University
Dan: A lot of Hockey East is watching this game.  They want to know what they’re getting when UConn comes into the league.  BU can’t be taking this team lightly, especially with their own growing pains under David Quinn.  I was actually on the fence on this one to the point where I had to consult with my hockey expert on who would win – my future wife.  Boston University wins.
Chris: This game will be a great measuring stick for the Huskies for their transition to Hockey East. I think BU wins a close one. Boston University wins.

Tuesday, Nov. 12:
Rochester Institute of Technology at Canisius
Dan: RIT is off to back-to-back bad starts to a season, going 1-5-2 this year after going 2-5-1 last year through its first eight games.  They struggled with Canisius last year.  Canisius wins.
Chris: RIT used to own Canisius but the Golden Griffins won all three meetings last year. The Tigers will be rested while Canisius is coming off a weekend series in Columbus. I think that will be the difference. RIT wins.

Niagara at Mercyhurst
Dan: Like last week, this is a game that Mercyhurst needs to win to establish themselves atop the league table.  They rose to the occasion last week, and I think they do it again this week.  Mercyhurst wins.
Chris: I expect both these teams to finish in the top four this season, so this is a key game for both teams. I’m picking the Lakers on home ice. Mercyhurst wins.

Air Force at Colorado College
Dan: Colorado College is 1-6-1, but that’s because they’re 1-4-1 in the NCHC.  They were swept by Clarkson, who’s a lot better than people thought.  I’m thinking they’re going to be better than the stats indicate when the teams meet at World Arena.  Colorado College wins.
Chris: This is my upset special, if you can call a win over a 1-6-1 team an upset. Air Force wins.