Atlantic Hockey Picks Dec. 6-7

Last Week:
Dan: 5-2-2
Chris: 5-2-2

On the season:
Dan: 69-31-8 (.676)
Chris: 70-30-8 (.685)

This Week’s Picks

Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7:
Canisius at Army
Dan: Army’s defense really struggled through the last month or so.  In going 2-8 in November, they gave up 47 goals.  The two wins they picked up were against Sacred Heart and AIC.  While both of those teams are improved, there’s still a Grand Canyon-like chasm between the top and the bottom.  Canisius sweeps.
Chris: These are my favorite kinds of weekends in Atlantic Hockey, with all 12 teams squaring off in six two-game series. First up is Army, one of those teams that will beat you unless you come to play. The odds are you’re not going to outwork the Black Knights, but if you can come close, teams with depth like Canisius can prevail. Canisius sweeps.

Robert Morris at Bentley
Dan:No AHA team is hotter right now than the Bentley Falcons. They’re starting to pick up steam, and with several players chasing down program history, there’s a lot at stake. They’re also 4-4-2 lifetime against the former CHA squad. But RMU needs wins badly or risk having to make up some serious ground against their western foes later in the year. I’m calling it a split. Bentley wins on Friday. RMU wins on Saturday.
Chris: Dan knows more about Bentley than I do, but I think he’s hedging his bets here. I’m going all-in. Bentley sweeps. 

Air Force at Holy Cross
Dan: My hockey expert future wife said it best when she said, “Holy Cross beat BC? Nobody will take them lightly ever again.” Cue up Air Force, stinging from their first conference weekend loss. And really, how can we not take Air Force at least on Pearl Harbor Day? Air Force sweeps. 
Chris: As Air Force coach Frank Serratore says, it usually comes down to goaltending and special teams. Both teams have experienced guys in the pipes that can win a game on their own. But I’m going with Torf over Ginn this weekend. Air Force sweeps. 

Sacred Heart at Mercyhurst
Dan:   I hope Rick Gotkin plays Bachman-Turner Overdrive the entire way to Connecticut because this weekend has to be about “Takin’ Care of Business” for the Lakers. But I say that with a caveat – would anyone be shocked if Sacred Heart took a point? Mercyhurst sweeps.
Chris: I usually pick before Dan, so this is fun to follow him this week. The Lakers have won four in a row against the Pioneers and I think it’s going to be the” Same Old Song” and Four Tops, errr, four points for the Lakers. Mercyhrust sweeps. 

American International at Rochester Institute of Technology
Dan: AIC is positively reeling. They’ve lost five in a row, including a game against Army and Tuesday night’s 6-1 beating by UMass-Lowell. In addition, bad defense is rearing its ugly head. The losing streak in shots allowed – outshot 38-18 (UConn); outshot 40-24 (Army); outshot 50-29 (Mercyhurst); outshot 53-26 (Mercyhurst); outshot 44-21 (UML). RIT sweeps.
Chris: Right now you have two teams moving in the opposite direction, with the Tigers on a three-game winning streak and the Yellow Jackets coming in in a downward spiral. But they’ve beaten Holy Cross and Bentley this year, and if one of their goalies find his groove, fortunes can reverse quickly. Still, I think the Tigers have something to prove at home, where they are 0-1 in league play this season. RIT sweeps. 

Niagara at Connecticut
Dan:  Besides the RMU-Bentley series, this presents the juiciest opportunity for a split. Connecticut is 1-3-1 since November 12th, but they’ve lost to a white-hot Bentley team, a Boston University team getting back their mojo, and Canisius. I think they can take a win in this series, at home, against a Niagara team ranked 53rd nationally in goals allowed. UConn wins on Friday. Niagara on Saturday.
Chris: I think both teams are better than their record indicates. This one’s a tossup for me, but I’m going with the Purple Eagles to pick up their first road wins of the season in a pair of close games. Niagara sweeps.