Atlantic Hockey Picks, Feb. 13-14

Last week:

Dan: 9-0-1
Chris: 6-3-1

On the season:

Dan: 106-62-24 (.615)
Chris: 114-55-24 (.656)

 

This Week’s Picks:

Friday, February 13
Sacred Heart at Bentley
Dan: When Bentley beat Sacred Heart earlier this year, it was their first win over the Pioneers since October of 2013, a string of five consecutive games. Sacred Heart’s gone 5-2-1 against the Falcons since the start of the ’12-’13 season, but I think Bentley can ride the current wave of momentum over the Pioneers in this one. This game is going to be a great battle. Bentley wins.
Chris: Just a single game as teams try to avoid being idle over the final weekends of the regular season. Game two of this series will be played on Thursday, Feb. 26. The Falcons want to keep the momentum going that has seen them win four in a row to move into sole possession of second place. But watch out for the Pioneers who have put together a six-game unbeaten streak including a sweep of Air Force last weekend. But I think Bentley will keep it going with a win.

 
Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14
American International at Air Force
Dan: AIC is 2-3-1 against Air Force in their last six games. In 2012-2013, the last time the Yellow Jackets played two in a row out in Colorado, they won and tied the Falcons. I find it incredibly hard to beat a team four times in a single season. So I’m going to take AIC to win a game. We always say the Yellow Jackets are going to steal a game, but this time – I’m actually going for it. AIC wins on Friday. Air Force wins on Saturday.
Chris: The flipside of SHU-Bentley are these contests which pit a pair of struggling teams. Air Force has lost four in a row and AIC is winless in its last 11. One of these teams is going to feel better this weekend and I’m picking the home team. Air Force sweeps.

Army at Canisius
Dan: Canisius came up short with just a point against first place Robert Morris last week, but I still think they’re still on the inside track to host a second round series. I think they handle business this weekend against the Black Knights. Army can help Sacred Heart and Air Force clinch home ice in the first round if they get swept, if my math is right. Canisius sweeps.
Chris: The pattern lately with these teams has been a dominant Canisius win on Friday and an Army shutout on Saturday. That’s happened three times in a row, including back in October. Cansisius came up short against Robert Morris last weekend but showed they’re a top four team, and based on that I’m picking against recent history and taking the Golden Griffins to sweep.

Rochester Institute of Technology at Holy Cross
Dan: After sweeping Niagara, Holy Cross failed to keep momentum going with a sweep loss to Bentley. That makes them 2-6 in their last eight games. RIT is very quietly becoming one of the hottest teams in the league with a 6-2-2 record since returning from the Mariucci Classic at Minnesota. At 10-7-5 in league play, the ghosts of the Corner Crew and Tiger domination of years past could finally be back. RIT sweeps.
Chris: This is a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal series that went to overtime in Game Three. RIT used to own Holy Cross but lately the Crusaders have had the better of things, including taking three points in Rochester back in November. I like that trend to continue. Holy Cross sweeps.

Niagara at Mercyhurst
Dan: The injury bug is biting Mercyhurst at the wrong time of the year with senior goalie Jimmy Sarjeant and junior forward Kyle Cook reportedly out for the remainder of the season. That said, they have plenty of firepower to go around and two very capable goalies in Brandon Wildung and Spencer Bacon. Wildung is coming off a performance as goalie of the week in the AHC, and the Lakers should be able to ride him the rest of the way. Mercyhurst sweeps.
Chris: I saw Niagara play last weekend, and there were sparks of life despite what has been a miserable season so far for the Purple Eagles. Niagara came away with a point last weekend against RIT (two if the Tigers hadn’t rallied in the final minute on Saturday), but gave up a total of 11 goals in the two games. That’s why I have to go with a Mercyhurst sweep on home ice.

44 COMMENTS

  1. Eichel wins. One and done in college hockey for him. Watched him 10+ games this season, no other compares. That comes from a guy who watches a ton of western (B1G, NCHC, WCHA) college hockey.
    Shout out to Hildebrand; best goalie in D1 hockey.

    • LPH, MSU lost to BU 1-0, I came to Boston and watched Sparty score 1 goal v BU and UML, we let up 3. Our bed is made and we gotta beat MI and MN to get in. Rodent Dylan Larkin is the Hobey as the best player in College Hockey, but not POY in the B1G. Jake Hildebrand…Ponder that…

  2. Speaking of players that are critical to a team’s success, you guys should really watch a UND game sometime. Zane McIntyre is backstopping the #1 team in the country at the moment. He also has the highest save % and GAA in UND history. This year he has 1.99 GAA, 93.14 SV %, and 25 wins.

    It’s a foregone conclusion that Eichel will win, but Zane has to be in the conversation for the top 10.

    • I’ve watched several North Dakota games, as I am the NCHC columnist. I know McIntyre’s value, but McIntyre is 13th nationally among goalies. He’s not even the best goalie in his conference statistically, as Jay Williams has a better GAA and save percentage, so I don’t see McIntyre making the top 10 list.

      • I’m sorry, but if you think Jay Williams is a better goaltender than McIntyre, I don’t know what I can offer to you for help. Friday’s win against Williams and Miami was a perfect example. 25 wins lead the country and he’s 13th GAA and 7th in SV% against the toughest competition.

        • i said STATISTICALLY better. Big difference. Williams is fifth nationally in GAA and barely trails McIntyre in save percentage. Hobey Baker announces a top 10 finalists. Most will be forwards. McIntyre is 13th among goalies in GAA, so I don’t see him (or Williams, for that matter) getting a nod. if any goalie does, it will be either Yale’s Lyon, Minnesota State’s Williams, or Michigan Tech’s Philips.

          • Agree with Lyon, statistically best goalie in the country. I kind of doubt if he will crack the top 10 in Hobey though.

          • Funny part of this convo to me is that I played against both Lyon and McIntyre in HS. Both were phenomenal then and it’s funny to see them again competing for honors at the national level

          • Candace, did you look at the Hobey voting results? Bounce your opinions off @SchlossmanGF, he should be able to enlighten you.

          • I’m sorry they’re so rude to you. They drive me nuts. You’re a skilled journalist, intelligent person and I’ve enjoyed your articles for years.

            Remember what you did to BroncoHeard? I would use that approach. :)

      • Statistics don’t tell the whole story. Williams splits time with Ryan McKay depending on which way the wind is blowing in Oxford. Zane is the undisputed starter and has the most wins(also a UND regular season record) for the best team in the country per mathematical and opinion polls(currently), in the toughest conference in the country.

        Also, Zane is up for(and has a great chance to win) the player of the year in the NCHC and is the goaltender of the year.

        If all we’re looking at is purely statistics then yes Zane isn’t in the conversation, but if we’re looking at those pesky little things called wins and being a “difference maker” he absolutely is. If we want to fall back on stats alone then there’s no point in having a Hobey Baker committee.

        A side note regarding Austin Ortega:He didn’t even make the 1st or 2nd team in the NCHC as one of the 6 best FORWARDS in the league. I’d be astonished if he even sniffed the top 10 best PLAYERS in the country.

        • You can’t reason with people unable to reason. Statistics are helpful only if they are not the sole argument. Here’s the problem with relying on statistics. Two different goalies. One has a NCAA career GAA and save% of 2.43 and .915. The other has 2.56 and .912. The stats say they should be comparable, right?? The first is Ed Belfour. The second? Alex Kangas. Those that keep going back to statistics, please tell me how they are even remotely close to comparable!!

        • You probably don’t look beyond North Dakota. Let’s see, Minnesota State has been 1 or 2 for much of the second half, Michigan Tech is having it’s best season in years and has been in top five since November, Yale is at home for this round of the ECAC and is in Pairwise position. Those teams are all having just as much success and their goalies are better in the stats.

  3. Third guy in the hobey hat trick has to be Laleggia in my opinion. Gets it done on both ends of the ice. Is a lock-down defender, blocks shots, great point man, and racking up huge offensive numbers for a D-man

  4. This is a complete joke,do these “columnists” even cover the NCHC. We all know who the best goalie is in the league. GO SIOUX!

    • Oh North Dakota fans Yes, I cover the NCHC, which is why, on a list of 10 NATIONAL finalists, I think it’s more likely that LaLeggia and Czarnik make it than anyone else. .

    • Don’t let facts cloud your judgment. McIntyre is 7th is save percentage, with 1 shutout. Nationally there are a lot better goalies.

      • You want to talk about the “best goalie in the nation” statistically?? His team played three games against TWO teams in the top 16 currently. Is it fair to say his numbers are better than Zane’s? Yes, but it’s also fair to say he didn’t face the same caliber of competition. This is where the frustration comes from for UND fans. This award isn’t supposed to be all about statistics and yet that’s the case here. Even in the columnist reasoning there’s no logic, only argue numbers that aren’t comparable on their own.

  5. McIntyre > Williams, not even close. McIntyre plays every game, meanwhile Williams didn’t even start their first playoff game. That’s why he was 1st team and up for NCHC PotY. I also think Brodzinski and Moore have better chances than Williams, Massa or Czarnik

  6. Has anyone bothered to keep up with the actual fan voting numbers for the award? Eitchel garnered a measley 2 k votes, two or three others were up over 25,000.

    • The fan voting is for fun. Its results comprise 1% of the actual ballots, which means in the first round of voting by the 59 D-I coaches, less than a half a vote goes to the fans.

  7. Can anyone explain why Mike Reilly isn’t getting more attention? He does everything for that team and they would be a complete disaster without him. Also he has 42 points in 36 games. That leads all defenseman. Why shouldn’t he be a finalist?

  8. Could someone please explain why Mike Reilly isn’t getting more attention? I have been a lifelong gopher fan so maybe I’m biased, but I just can’t see how there are other players more deserving than him. He does everything for that team and is leading all defensemen in scoring. I’m not trying to complain about it but was just curious if anyone had a reason why he isn’t getting more attention.

    • Deserved a mention, too, but the stigma laid down by other conference writers on the B1G Ten is hurting 1st & 2nd teamers like Reilly.

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