On the season:
Dan: 46-25-5 (.679)
Chris: 54-17-5 (.739)
This Week’s Picks:
Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21
Robert Morris at Army West Point
Dan: I’m convinced Army could very easily take points in this weekend, and I’m in agreement with Chris over the whole three-point weekend. But since we don’t take ties in this pick ’em, I’m going to take RMU in a sweep.
Chris: The Black Knights are coming off a nice road shutout of UConn while RMU was idle last weekend. I’d like to predict that the Colonials will take three points, but we don’t pick ties (which is too bad, because, as I mentioned in the picks two weeks ago when RIT visited Tate Rink, I thought it was going to be a win and tie for the Tigers, and that’s what happened). So I’m going with a Colonials sweep.
Mercyhurst at Canisius
Dan: I’m picking Mercyhurst in a sweep because I simply have that feeling. Of course, I went 3-6 last week, so what do I know? Side note – I’ll also agree with Chris on making sure that certain rivalries need to be protected for four games in the future. This is one of Atlantic Hockey’s all-time best.
Chris:This is the longest standing rivalry in the league, dating back to when both schools were in the ECAC West. These games will be the 82nd and 83rd times these teams have faced off. The Lakers lead the all-time series 40-32-10 but Canisius is 7-1-1 against the Lakers in their last nine meetings. These I-90 rivals play just twice this season — can somebody fix that, please? — and I think the Lakers will reverse the recent trend and sweep.
American International at Niagara
Dan: This is an incredibly intriguing matchup. Both teams rank in the bottom four nationally in scoring defense (Niagara at 57, AIC at 60 to bookend Dartmouth and Brown), but I don’t think that’s accurate of what either can do. Niagara tied Penn State and Robert Morris and took Cornell to overtime. AIC beat RMU earlier this season. So I think there’s more there than the numbers might show. Give me a win by each this weekend. Niagara wins on Friday; AIC wins on Saturday.
Chris:The teams are a combined 1-16-2 so far this season, but if one or the other can come away with four points, it will jump-start their season. That said, I’m thinking split. AIC wins on Friday; Niagara wins on Saturday.
Air Force at Sacred Heart
Dan: This matchup isn’t so much as intriguing as it is downright good. I’m thinking this will be the most competitive of the series. I’ve been consistent in my praise for Sacred Heart, so I’m taking them for a three-point weekend. Since we can’t pick ties, I guess I’ll provide some bulletin board material for the Falcons. Sacred Heart sweeps.
Chris: This should be a fun series between a pair of teams that look to be on the rise. SHU plays Air Force much tougher at home (5-6-1 vs. the Falcons as opposed to 2-15-3 in Colorado Springs) so I’m going with a split. Sacred Heart wins Friday; Air Force wins Saturday.
Friday, November 20
Rensselaer at Bentley
Dan: Last season, Bentley absolutely pummeled the Engineers in a sweep in Troy, outscoring them 9-2. This year, RPI makes a return trip to Watertown undefeated in their last six games (4-0-1). Their last four have been to overtime, resulting in two wins and two ties. Their only other win this year? Boston College. Bentley seems to always play well in heavyweight-type games, so it should be an absolute classic. RPI wins in a squeaker.
Chris: This is the seventh meeting between the schools, but the first time the Engineers have been to the JAR. That makes me lean towards Bentley, but taking account the uncertainty with each team’s goaltending situation (starters Jayson Argue for Bentley and Jason Kasdorf for Rensselaer are both banged up) I’ve got a gut feeling RPI will pull this one out.
Tuesday, November 24
American International at Holy Cross
Dan: AIC has a quick turnaround after having to come back from Niagara Falls, which helps Holy Cross. I’m taking the Crusaders to edge the Jackets.
Chris: It’s games like this, on a weekday early in the season, that often seem to come back to haunt a team desperate for points in February. I’m picking the Crusaders to win this one at home.
Bentley at Boston University
Dan: This is a tremendous opportunity for the Falcons, who two years ago waltzed into Agganis Arena through nor’easter conditions and took a 4-1 victory over the Terriers. I picked that game correctly because I just had a feeling. I have an eerily similar feeling about this game, especially since Bentley could be entering this game 3-1 in non-conference play if they beat RPI on Friday. So I’m going to go for it again and take Bentley to win. Side note – on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the Falcons’ 5.2 mile commute into Boston might be their longest road trip of the year (translation: if you’re going to the game, leave plenty of extra time).
Chris: This, and the RIT at BC game a few days later, will be an excellent benchmark for the league, which has struggled out of conference. But I think there will be just too much red BU vs.blue BU. Boston University wins.