On the season:
Dan: 95-60-20 (.600)
Chris: 109-46-20 (.680)
This Week’s Picks:
Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6
Rochester Institute of Technology at Air Force
Dan: The immovable object meets the unstoppable force. RIT is undefeated on the road this year in conference play at 9-0-2, but they’re headed to Air Force – where the Falcons are 7-3 this year and riding an eight game unbeaten streak. But history’s shown how RIT struggles to consistently win in Colorado; they’re 4-12-2 at the academy since beginning the reclassification process back in 2005-2006. Air Force sweeps.
Chris: This is a great matchup between teams with the longest unbeaten streaks in the league: eight (6-0-2) for Air Force and seven (5-0-2) for RIT. A pair of ties certainly isn’t out of the question, but I think Air Force will win two low-scoring games. Air Force sweeps.
Niagara at American International
Dan: A good weekend by AIC at home all but seals Niagara into an 11th place finish. But a good weekend by Niagara all but ends AIC’s fading hope for home ice in the first round. It’s never glamorous when 10th and 11th place meet up, but that doesn’t mean these teams won’t be bringing it. AIC wins on Friday. Niagara wins on Saturday.
Chris: And the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the two teams with the longest winless streaks: 11 for Niagara (0-10-1) and nine for AIC (0-7-2). I think both teams will get a win, with AIC getting the victory on Friday, and Niagara rebounding on Saturday.
Holy Cross at Army West Point
Dan: Expect Army West Point to play inspired hockey this weekend, but Holy Cross has too much stake in going for a first place finish. They stand to gain ground regardless what happens between RIT and Air Force. Holy Cross sweeps.
Chris: Holy Cross has the chance to be in first place by the end of the weekend, and I think the Crusaders will do their part with a sweep.
Bentley at Mercyhurst
Dan: A big weekend by Bentley (who’s had back-to-back three point weekends) would have the Falcons in position to move from eighth place to fifth in three weeks time. But they’re taking on a Laker team that swept them in Watertown to begin the year. A split here would be huge for the Falcons’ rising hopes. Mercyhurst wins on Friday; Bentley wins on Saturday.
Chris: These teams are establishing a bit of a rivalry based on last year’s postseason and a hard-fought sweep by the Lakers at the JAR at the beginning of the season. I like the Falcons to reverse the trend with the always difficult road sweep.
Robert Morris at Sacred Heart
Dan: What might’ve been the worst part of last week for RMU was losing ground to both Air Force, RIT, and Holy Cross because they were on the bye. The league’s favorite team is back in action this week, facing a deceptively good Sacred Heart team that should be hungry after last weekend at Bentley. I think the Pioneers could earn at least a point somewhere, but I don’t see the Colonials losing either. Robert Morris sweeps.
Chris: Robert Morris is coming off a bye week, but I don’t anticipate any rust. I think these games will be close, but the Colonials will take all four points.
Tuesday, February 9
American International at Massachusetts
Dan: This is a watershed game for UMass, a program that’s been in deep trouble lately. They’ve won only one game since November 7th, and last Saturday’s loss to Maine was their first one-goal loss since January 5th – a string of six straight. That’s a golden opportunity for AIC to start getting hot down the stretch. I’m taking UMass because the AHC struggles in OOC games, but don’t count out the Jackets for a big victory. UMass wins.
Chris: The crosstown rivals will meet at the Mass Mutual Center in downtown Springfield. The Yellow Jackets and Minutemen are both struggling, with a combined record of 12-36-6. I’m going with UMass in this one.