Atlantic Hockey Picks, Feb. 6-7

Last week:

Dan: 5-3-2
Chris: 6-2-2

On the season:

Dan: 97-62-23 (.596)
Chris: 108-51-23 (.657)


This Week’s Picks:

Friday, February 6 and Saturday, February 7
Mercyhurst at American International
Dan: I don’t think anyone can ever bet against AIC, but that’s also something we say every weekend. Mercyhurst is in desperate need of points, and I think they get back on the horse this weekend by getting four. Just be wary of the Yellow Jackets as usual. Mercyhurst sweeps.
Chris: Mercyhurst is looking to stop an 0-3-1 skid that has dropped it into a group of four teams in fourth-through-seventh place that are separated by a single point. I’m guessing a win for and a tie for the Lakers (AIC is good at stealing points each weekend) but will go with a Mercyhurst sweep.

Holy Cross vs. Bentley
Dan: The last time these two teams met, a truck rollover on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving caused the Mass Pike to back up traffic only slightly worse than it’s been this week. The game ended up delayed by roughly 40 minutes, and the bus lag allowed Holy Cross to impose their will. This weekend, things will be different. Juxtapose an image of extreme and bitter cold for Friday night against extreme and bitter rivals in Massachusetts. Bentley sweeps.
Chris: Rivalries are best when there is a lot riding on the games, and that’s the case this weekend with Bentley hosting Friday and Holy Cross on Saturday. The Crusaders snapped a dry spell last weekend and are looking to get back on track against a Bentley team coming off a great road weekend against Mercyhurst. I’m going with the Falcons in a sweep.

Rochester Institute of Technology vs. Niagara
Dan: I still thing Niagara is a team nobody will want to face in the playoffs. That said, they’ve done nothing to prove me right, so I have to pick RIT. The Tigers get their first win at Niagara in an eternity, then back up the weekend with two more points in the house Gene Polisseni built. RIT sweeps.
Chris: The Purples Eagles host Friday and the action moved down I-90 to Rochester on Saturday. I guess I have to keep trotting out this factoid: RIT has never ever ever beaten Niagara at Dwyer Arena dating back to when the schools were rivals in the ECAC West in the 1990s. I can’t put my finger on why Niagara has struggled as much as it has this season, especially after getting past their injury-plagued start. But if it’s confidence they lack, history can help with that. I’m going with Niagara on Friday and RIT on Saturday.

Canisius at Robert Morris
Dan: If Robert Morris sweeps, they all but clinch the #1 seed in the playoffs. If Canisius sweeps, they can pull within a weekend of first and essentially eliminate a couple of teams from two of the four home ice slots in the Quarterfinals. I would make this a split, but I think RMU is going to keep winning and make everyone aware that the Pairwise Rankings are an inaccurate judge of who belongs in the tournament. RMU sweeps.
Chris: Two of the hottest teams in the country will go at it in Moon Township this weekend. RMU leads second-place Canisius by 8 points with the Golden Griffins holding two games in hand. The Colonials can essentially clinch the regular season title with a sweep, while Canisius can make it a two-dog race if they can claim four points. As good as the Griffs are playing right now, I have to go with Robert Morris to sweep at home.

Air Force at Sacred Heart
Dan: After riding high on Air Force, the jets were grounded by Robert Morris’ offensive artillery in Colorado (enough military references yet?). Now Air Force comes east still battling an identity crisis of if they’re really good enough to be a top four team. That’ll get positioned nicely against Sacred Heart, a team with more fight than probably anyone else in the league. The Pioneers have done a great job lately of “not losing,” going 1-0-3 in their last four. That signifies a team that will be extremely dangerous down the stretch. Sacred Heart sweeps.
Chris: Air Force has a commanding lead in the all-time series (21-6-4) but is only 5-4-1 in games played at Sacred Heart. Still, I think the Falcons will rebound after a tough weekend against RMU. Air Force sweeps.