Atlantic Hockey Picks, Oct. 30-Nov. 4

Last week:

Dan: 10-2-1
Chris: 10-2-1

On the season:

Dan: 27-11-3 (.695)
Chris: 29-9-3 (.744)


This Week’s Picks:

Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31
Rochester Institute of Technology at American International
Dan: The youth movement is very much on in the 413, where eight of AIC’s top ten scorers are either freshmen or sophomores. Even though they’re very raw, they’re long on talent, which means as they get more experience, they’ll make strides. Unfortunately, it’s still early enough where contrasting that against the deep, experienced roster of the defending champs means they’ll take some more bumps long the way. RIT sweeps.
Chris: These teams are a combined 0-10-1 so far. RIT is riding a 12-game unbeaten streak against AIC and I like that to continue. RIT sweeps.

Canisius at Sacred Heart
Dan: In his first four games, Brett Magnus is sporting a .939 save percentage and a 1.47 GAA. Of the six goals he’s allowed, the majority came against UMass a couple of weeks ago. There’s still time to jump on the bandwagon before the train completely leaves the station. Sacred Heart sweeps.
Chris: Canisius has ended SHU’s season the past two years, and I like the Pioneers to extract some revenge. Key for the Golden Griffins will be getting on the board early – they have been outscored 7-0 so far in the first period. I think they’ll break that streak, but am going with Sacred Heart to sweep.

Niagara vs. Cornell
Dan: It’s opening weekend for Ivy League schools, which means there will be a palpable energy in their games. That kind of emotion is bad news for anyone playing Cornell, who need a bounceback year after going under .500 last season. Cornell sweeps.
Chris: The Purple Eagles host on Friday and then the action shifts to Ithaca on Saturday. Niagara has the advantage of four games under its belt while these are the first two official games of the season for the Big Red. But I still like Cornell to sweep.

Mercyhurst at Ohio State
Dan: One of my good friends is from Ohio, so I’ve been waiting all week to make every possible Ohio reference I could make. I like Mercyhurst a lot, and like Chris mentions, the Lakers gave That Team Up North all they could handle last weekend. Ohio State is really struggling to open the season, but consider those games came against teams ranked third (defending national champion Providence), 12th (Bowling Green), and 15th (Miami). Mercyhurst could very well win one of these, but I’m taking the Buckeyes. Ohio State sweeps.
Chris: Mercyhurst gave Michigan all they it could handle last weekend, and if the Lakers play like that against the winless (0-6) Buckeyes they should come out with at least a split. I’m taking Mercyhurst on Friday and Ohio State on Saturday.

Robert Morris at Michigan
Dan: These are games Robert Morris absolutely has to win if they want to be considered for an at-large selection later in the season. I think that’s a clear message after what happened last year, so I’m going with the Colonials to get at least one of these games. Michigan wins on Friday. RMU wins on Saturday.
Chris: Michigan came away with a pair of hard-fought wins against Mercyhurst last weekend, and I’m predicting the same results. The games will be close, but I’m going with the home team. Michigan sweeps.

Saturday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 1
Bentley vs. Army West Point
Dan: Sunday’s Bentley home game is at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, scheduled opposite the NYC Marathon, which runs right by the arena. I’m suggesting people get there incredibly early and take in some of the sights and sounds of the day. As for the games themselves, moving to Brooklyn is a benefit for the Falcons since the Black Knights usually play better on JAR ice against Bentley than at Tate Rink. I’m taking the Falcons to sweep this weekend, but if you get the chance, these will be tightly-played, physical games worth the admission. Bentley sweeps
Chris: The teams will square off Saturday night at West Point and then rise and shine for an 11:15 am contest at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The teams were 1-1-2 against each other last season, but I think Bentley will put two in the win column to open a season series that will conclude the final weekend of the regular season. Bentley sweeps.

Saturday, Oct. 31
Holy Cross at Brown
Dan:  This game will be won on special teams, where Brown went just 10% on the power play last year and 76% on the penalty kill. Through five games, the Crusaders are scoring on the power play at 15%, but their penalty kill is struggling at 68%. I’m taking the home team to come away with the victory on opening night at Meehan Auditorium. Brown wins.
Chris: The Crusaders have already made a trip to Providence, taking on the Friars on Oct. 16. This time they’ll face off with the Bears, who will be playing their first game of the season. I like the Crusaders to pick up a road victory. Holy Cross wins.

Wednesday, Nov. 4
Merrimack at Bentley
Dan: Although they’re in very different leagues in college hockey, the two schools are Division II Northeast-10 Conference rivals. Merrimack may be better equipped to handle the JAR than Northeastern was, but I’ll refute that with this – they also have to go the JAR, with its lack of amenities, midweek through Boston-area traffic. Having done that ride in reverse, it’s as miserable as advertised. Bentley wins.
Chris:Merrimack has been a surprise so far this season, but the JAR is a tough place to play (just ask Northeastern). I’m going with the upset. Bentley wins.