Atlantic Hockey Picks, Jan. 16- 17

Last week:

Dan: 8-3-1
Chris: 7-4-1

On the season:

Dan: 77-52-20 (.584)
Chris: 86-43-20 (.644)


This Week’s Picks:

Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17
Army at Air Force
Dan: Army hasn’t had a win over Air Force in a really long time, but the gap is starting to close. That said, it’s not quite there yet. This is going to be an exciting weekend, the one time of year when America’s finest boys go head-to-head on an ice rink. Divided in hockey, united in defense of our country. If you get the chance to get out and watch a game, I absolutely recommend it. Air Force sweeps.
Chris: This built-in rivalry usually lives up to its billing. The Falcons swept the Black Knights at Army last year, so Brian Riley’s team is looking for revenge. But I expect Air Force to find ways to win at home, as they so often do. Air Force sweeps.

Bentley at Canisius
Dan: Bentley is one of those teams that just doesn’t go away, and they’re developing a reputation as one of those teams that plays hard every night. Canisius is on a roll. They’ve met each of the last two postseasons, with Canisius winning each. Bentley will be up; get ready for a great weekend of hockey. Canisius wins on Friday; Bentley wins on Saturday.
Chris: Canisius is playing some of its best hockey of the season, and a sweep of Holy Cross last weekend and a win at Mercyhurst on Tuesday has vaulted the Golden Griffins into second place. Fourth-place Bentley has split its regular season series with Canisius each of the past five seasons, but it was Canisius that ended Bentley’s run last year in an epic quarterfinal playoff series. I think this will be another split, with Canisius winning on Friday and Bentley on Saturday.

Holy Cross at Mercyhurst
Dan: This won’t be the last time these teams play each other. I’m really high on Mercyhurst, especially if you read my weekly piece this week. I’m also high on Holy Cross. Coin flip comes up………Mercyhurst. Mercyhurst sweeps.
Chris: Despite the distance between the two schools, this has turned into something of a rivalry, with the Lakers ending the Crusader’s season in each of the past three postseasons. It’s a match-up of Mercyhurst’s offense, currently second in the league, with the Crusaders top-ranked defense. I like the Lakers to win a pair of close games. Mercyhurst sweeps.

American International at Robert Morris
Dan: You know what? I’m going out on a limb and will say that Robert Morris will not sweep AIC this weekend. The Yellow Jackets will pick up at least a point. I think they have a great chance to pick up a win. Problem is, I can’t figure out what night that’ll be, so I can’t pick them in my right mind. I’m telling you I’m wrong on one of these nights, and I’m completely devaluing my picks along the way. RMU sweeps.
Chris: AIC has taken points each weekend but one so far in conference play, albeit it often a single point, as it did in a loss and tie against the Colonials earlier in the season. I can’t pick ties, so I’m going with an RMU sweep.

Rochester Institute of Technology at Sacred Heart
Dan: This is going to be a huge series for the playoff race since RIT and Sacred Heart have a good chance to land right at the 8-9 swap for home ice in the first round. The winner or loser could face a long bus trip. If this were in Rochester, I’d take the Tigers, but it’s not. Sacred Heart sweeps.
Chris: The Tigers have traditionally played well against Sacred Heart, especially at the Milford Ice Pavilion. The teams split in Rochester in late November, and I think that will be the case again this weekend. RIT wins on Friday; Sacred Heart on Saturday.

Niagara at North Dakota
Dan: All year I’ve said I thought Niagara is better than some of the stats and records indicate. That said, I don’t think they’ve ever really found a rhythm this year, and that’s not good since North Dakota can score at an alarming rate and is playing at a very high level of hockey. North Dakota sweeps.
Chris: On paper this isn’t much of a match-up between No. 3 North Dakota and Niagara, which is 59th and last in the Pairwise Rankings. But it is for that reason that North Dakota can’t afford to falter, as a loss against a team low in the PWR will do damage to North Dakota’s Pairwise. I think that will keep ND focused. North Dakota sweeps.