Atlantic Hockey Picks, January 14-16

Last week:

Dan: 6-4-1
Chris: 8-2-1

On the season:

Dan: 83-49-11 (.619)
Chris: 92-40-11 (.682)


This Week’s Picks:

Thursday, January 14 and Saturday, January 16
Niagara vs. Canisius
Dan: Few things beat good, clean hate. The Battle of the Bridge takes to the ice this weekend with Canisius hosting on Thursday and Niagara on Saturday. I hope the crowds get as up for this one as I am. Canisius wins at home on Thursday. Niagara on Saturday.
Chris: This is the first of two big rivalry series this weekend. Canisius hosts on Thursday with the second game scheduled for Saturday at Niagara. Both teams are on the verge of breaking out, with Canisius’ power play showing improvement and Niagara goaltender Jackson Teichroeb looking like he’s fully recovered from injury. So I’m calling for a split, with Canisius winning at HarborCenter on Thursday and Niagara coming through on home ice on Saturday.


Friday, January 15 and Saturday, January 16
Air Force at Army West Point
Dan: On Twitter this week, I deemed this America’s Game, which is a moniker used for Army-Navy in football. Because Navy doesn’t sponsor Division 1 hockey, this is one of those series that transcends the actual game being played. Guessing there’s going to be a great crowd on hand, and if you don’t get up for something like this, then you just don’t get it. At the end of the day, though, I’m picking Air Force in two really hard fought games. Air Force sweeps.
Chris: You can throw out the records and yadda yadda yadda. If we could pick ties, I might even predict two, but I’ve got a feeling Air Force is going to cure its road woes and come away with a sweep.

Robert Morris at Holy Cross
Dan: RMU looked like a team getting ready for a historic second half run last weekend, but Holy Cross is the league’s best team at home. I honestly think this series is going for a split, but I just can’t put my finger on where. I also think that little bit of home cooking gives the edge to the Crusaders, who can really put a hold on the league’s top slot with a big weekend. Count me among the believers, even if it means I have to pick against Robert Morris AGAIN. They’re going to split, but since I can’t figure out when, I’m going with the home team the whole way through. Holy Cross sweeps.
Chris: It doesn’t get much better than this: the top two teams in the conference squaring off in their only meeting this season. It’s going to be a classic battle between RMU’s potent offense and special teams, and Holy Cross’ defense, currently second in the conference. But on the flip side, the Crusaders can score goals and the Colonials have excellent goaltending , so it’s truly a clash of titans. Robert Morris looked scary good last weekend against Bentley, and I’m banking on that and more experience in big games to carry the Colonials. Robert Morris sweeps.

Rochester Institute of Technology at Bentley
Dan: A huge rivalry weekend in Atlantic Hockey this week. Air Force-Army. Canisius-Niagara. And the top teams in the league play each other. None of that matters, though, when you put RIT and Bentley in the same rink.

But seriously, I think Bentley gets off the schneid playing at home (FINALLY) in freezing temperatures. The ice surface will be a little bit faster and slicker, an edge I give to the Falcons, who absolutely need points to jump back into the driver’s seat for a race to a first round bye and will be playing angry after last weekend’s performance at RMU. I’m coming for you, Chris. Bentley sweeps and wins it for Rubin.
Chris: Can the college hockey universe handle Dan and myself in the same rink? Dan will have the radio call for Bentley and I’ll be doing the same for RIT. With that important note out of the way, which team’s going to come out on top? Bentley has to be motivated after getting shellacked by Robert Morris last weekend, and RIT has struggled with consistency, as well as the recent loss of starting goaltender Mike Rotolo to injury. For those reasons, I’m going with a Bentley sweep on home ice.

Sacred Heart at Mercyhurst
Dan: This is a great test for the Pioneers, a team currently tied for fourth with Mercyhurst. If they want to finish up top and challenge for quarterfinals home ice, they need to take care of business against one of the stalwart teams – on their ice. I don’t know if they can do it for two nights, but they can absolutely do it for one. Sacred Heart wins on Friday. Mercyhurst on Saturday.
Chris: The Lakers found a way to win a pair of games last weekend in which they were outshot handily. Sacred Heart looks to have righted the ship, undefeated in its last four games after an eight-game winless slump. There’s enough here to like about both teams to call for a split, and I’m going with Mercyhurst on Friday and Sacred Heart on Saturday.