Atlantic Hockey Picks, March 14-16 (The Championships)

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

On the season:
Dan: 154-88-23 (.625)
Chris: 160-82-23 (.647)

This Week’s Picks

Friday, March 21

No. 7 Canisius vs No. 1 Mercyhurst
Dan: Having seen Canisius last week, I can unequivocally state they’re not a team of destiny. The term “team of destiny” implies they’re not good enough to win it. The Griffs are a team built to win games late – hang in enough to stay close, score a couple of goals, then pack it in on defense. It’s the most frustrating game to play against, and it creates boring games reminiscent of when the Devils won the Stanley Cup in the late 90s. But that boring hockey is good enough to win. I’m taking Canisius in an upset.
Chris: This is the 78th meeting between the schools, dating back to their days in the Division III ECAC West. The Griffs have all the necessary ingredients to defend their title, but Mercyhurst has too many weapons including the league’s top goaltender. I like the Lakers to win.  

No. 6 Niagara vs. No. 5 Robert Morris
Dan: Nine times this year, I picked Robert Morris to win, and they lost. Five of those times happened before the Three Rivers Classic. So for me to pick them here would be an inevitable kiss of death. That said, Niagara is playing classic Ewing Theory – they get better by subtracting their best players. Expect a lot of offense – both teams struggle with defense and both like to pull the trigger. Niagara wins it.
Chris: The road to the AHA title almost always goes though Air Force, and that’s the route Niagara took to get to Rochester. But Robert Morris reminds me of teams that have won championships in Rochester.  Colonials win. 


Saturday, March 22
The Championship
Dan: Calling for Canisius and Niagara in the AHA Championship game irks me for some odd reason, and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I want someone different to win the title, or maybe it’s because Niagara isn’t “as good” as their team last year. But that said, I think the Purple Eagles are going to be on a mission, and the lessons learned from last year’s playoff disappointments help them hang a banner in October. Niagara wins.
Chris: In what I project to be the battle of Pennsylvania, My head says Mercyhrust with its top goaltender and offensive prowess. But I’ve leared to expect the unexpected in Rochester, and that means I’m picking Robert Morris to win it all. 


And the winner is….

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