On the season:
Dan: 36-15-4 (.691)
Chris: 39-12-4 (.745)
This Week’s Picks:
Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7
Rochester Institute of Technology at Army West Point
Dan: Hard to believe it took RIT six games this year before they won their first last weekend against AIC. Continuing their swing east this weekend at West Point, I think they continue getting better, setting up a typical titan matchup next week against a well-rested Bentley squad. RIT sweeps.
Chris:The teams split last season in Rochester, ending a 15-game unbeaten streak for the Tigers against the Black Knights. I like RIT to take three points this weekend, but since picking ties isn’t allowed, I’m going with an RIT sweep.
Sacred Heart vs. Holy Cross
Dan: This is as evenly-matched as a weekend can get in Atlantic Hockey; neither team has a weekend sweep of two games since Holy Cross took two from the Pioneers in February, 2012. I think that changes this weekend on one fact – Sacred Heart is ninth best in the nation with a 1.67 GAA (a number that drops to 1.33 in league play). Fun fact: the Pioneers haven’t swept the Crusaders since February, 2010. SHU sweeps.
Chris: I agree with Dan, this series could go either way and should be highly entertaining. Friday’s game is at Holy Cross; Saturday’s at SHU. I’m going with the home team each night. Holy Cross wins Friday; Sacred Heart on Saturday.
Air Force at Mercyhurst
Dan: This is the weekend for Rick Gotkin. Entering Friday at 499 wins, I think the Lakers get it done on one of these nights this weekend. I won’t take them to sweep, but I think we’re going to wake up on Saturday with the Mercyhurst coach as the 23rd coach across all divisions to hit the sacred 500-win mark. Mercyhurst wins on Friday; Air Force wins on Saturday.
Chris:Air Force has played a very tough schedule so far, but so has Mercyhurst. It’s tough to sweep the Falcons, but I think Mercyhurst finds a way. Mercyhurst sweeps.
American International at Robert Morris
Dan: This is a weekend coming at a bad time for AIC. They head to Pittsburgh to take on a Robert Morris team that is looking at the way-too-early Pairwise Rankings from just outside the top 16. I think AIC is going to be much better as the year rolls on, but this is a weekend where they’re facing down a machine playing out this year with something to prove. RMU sweeps.
Chris: I think Robert Morris is locked in right now, and the only way the Colonials don’t take four points is if they suffer a letdown after last Saturday’s big win at Michigan. I don’t think that will happen. RMU sweeps.
Friday, November 6
Penn State at Niagara
Dan: Niagara continues to search for their first win of the season after battling through a tough weekend with Cornell last week. Penn State is looking like they’re going to be a tough out for anyone this year. Call this one for the Nittany Lions. Penn State wins.
Chris: I wouldn’t be surprised for Niagara to pull out a win here, but I think Penn State has a shot at winning the Big 10 this season, and should take care of business as it tunes up for league play. Penn State wins.
Saturday, November 7
Merrimack at Canisius
Dan: I got a first-hand chance to see Merrimack this week when they beat Bentley, 5-1. They’re big, skilled, and physical. They play tenacious team defense and do a very good job mucking up the neutral zone. They play a stifling 1-3-1, and I honestly think their 16th-overall ranking in the USCHO poll is a little too low for them. That’s bad news for a Canisius offense that’s scored only 11 goals in six games, nine of which from three players. Merrimack wins.
Chris: Like Dan said, Merrimack is firing on all cylinders and on Wednesday broke open what was a close game with Bentley with a barrage of goals in the third period. This is a long way for the Warriors to go for one game, but I think it will be worth it. Merrimack wins.
Tuesday, Nov. 10
Sacred Heart at American International
Dan: After beating AIC 4-1 a couple of weeks ago, Sacred Heart rolls back to Springfield for their second game at the Olympia Ice Center. I really think AIC could shock people in this one, but the Pioneers are one of those teams that could get rolling to start the season. SHU wins.
Chris: This ends a busy stretch for AIC, which will play 8 games in 19 days. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll get a win in any of them. Sacred Heart wins.
Army West Point at Connecticut
Dan: Dr. Jeckyll UConn beat Boston University, 5-2, before 5,225 people at the XL Center. Mr. Hyde UConn gave up 10 goals to Notre Dame last weekend, including eight last Sunday at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn in the second part of the collegiate twin-bill (Army played Bentley in the front end). Depending on which UConn shows up, Army has a very good chance at picking up the win. Army wins.
Chris: I look for UConn to bounce back from a tough weekend and get a non-conference win against an old conference rival. UConn wins.