Atlantic Hockey Picks, January 8-10

Last week:

Dan: 8-4-1
Chris: 7-5-1

On the season:

Dan: 77-45-10 (.621)
Chris: 84-38-10 (.674)


This Week’s Picks:

Friday, January 9 and Sunday, January 10
American International at Air Force
Dan: Here are the following series Air Force has been swept at home since joining Atlantic Hockey: 2007 vs. Mercyhurst, 2009 vs. Canisius, 2015 vs. Robert Morris. As much as I love AIC, that’s a tall order to go up against. Air Force sweeps.
Chris:Air Force has taken points every weekend in league play, but is still looking for its first sweep. The Yellow Jackets are playing some of their best hockey of the season, going 3-1-1 in their last five. But I think Air Force will win the first game, as they usually have this season, and find a way to take the second game as well.  Air Force sweeps.

Niagara vs. Mercyhurst
Dan: I’m with Chris on this weekend. Both teams are better than their records indicate, and I think this will be a good weekend of games to watch. But I think Mercyhurst is a hair ahead of Niagara, which gets them the points. Mercyhurst sweeps.
Chris: Both teams got swept last weekend in league play. Niagara is better than its record, and frankly so is Mercyhurst. The Lakers host on Friday, with Saturday’s contest at NU’s Dwyer Arena. I’m predicting a rebound for Mercyhurst and a sweep.

Canisius at Rochester Institute of Technology
Dan: I’m going to ride my RIT picks until they prove me (well, okay…my wife) wrong. Just for the record she won a March Madness basketball bracket challenge by picking teams from states she had visited or who had “cool mascots.” Maybe we’re doing this all wrong with the whole “analysis” thing. RIT sweeps.
Chris: RIT owned this series, which has seen either 80 or 67 meetings between the schools depending on which school you ask. But then Canisius got rolling and won four straight three years ago. But the Tigers have rebounded and gone 4-0-1 against the Golden Griffins including their last meeting in the 2015 AHC semifinals. This is the first visit to the Polisseni Center for Canisius, which, despite being the closest neighbor to RIT (about 70 miles), is the final AHC team to play there. I think RIT will pick up three points, but since we don’t pick ties I’ll go with a Tigers sweep.

Bentley at Robert Morris
Dan: This is my pick for series of the weekend. Prediction: it’ll be high energy, fast paced, and extremely competitive. I boil this series down to goaltending, which is as dead even as it’s going to get. But in the interest of being a “wicked homah” (and because I’m losing round to Chris), I’m taking the Falcons. Bentley sweeps.
Chris: This is the series of the weekend for sure between teams that are skilled up front and have great goaltending. I’m going with home ice as the difference. RMU sweeps.

Sacred Heart vs. Army West Point
Dan: This is one of those underrated matchups that could steal the show this weekend. Sacred Heart bounced back from their first half with a big sweep of Niagara last weekend, while Army returns to conference play after beating Merrimack and losing to UMass. I’m taking the home team in competitive, physical games. Army wins on Friday; Sacred Heart wins Saturday.
Chris:There have always been some elements of a rivalry between the schools – proximity and their games are often hard-fought affairs, including the first round of the playoffs last season that saw the Pioneers sweep in Milford. That’s the site of Saturday’s game, with the Black Knights hosting on Friday. I’m going with the home team. Black Knights win Friday; Pioneers win Saturday.

Sunday, January 10
Holy Cross at Dartmouth
Dan: It’s not officially recognized by the NCAA, but the six Ivy League schools sponsoring college hockey sill compete for an “Ivy title” within ECAC based on how they finish against one another. If Holy Cross wins on Saturday, they should be in the running for that title. Holy Cross wins.
Chris: This is a big game for the Crusaders, who moved into first place on Tuesday and are 21st in the Pairwise. They’ve beaten some other ECAC teams (Brown and Princeton) and a win would go a long way in keeping them within striking distance of an at-large NCAA bid. I think they’ll get it. Holy Cross wins.



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