Atlantic Hockey Picks, February 19-20

Last week:

Dan: 4-5-2
Chris: 4-5-2

On the season:

Dan: 104-69-24 (.589)
Chris: 119-54-24 (.665)


This Week’s Picks:

Friday, February 19 and Saturday, February 20
Robert Morris at Air Force
Dan:The two best teams in the league are going head to head, with RMU as the team that’s been on top tape-to-tape for a second straight year essentially. But Air Force has a brilliant opportunity, at home, to all of a sudden retake the lead as the standard bearer. With all of that behind them, this is a good opportunity to, as Bruce Springsteen would say, find out if you’re “real, baby, or just a brilliant disguise.” I’m going with the home team in the altitude.Air Force sweeps.
Chris: You can’t ask for a better late season matchup, with first-place RMU and second-place Air Force tangling on the penultimate weekend of the regular season. Air Force just doesn’t get swept at home, so even though I think RMU might be “Tougher Than the Rest”,  I’m going with a split. Air Force wins Friday; Robert Morris on Saturday.

American International vs. Holy Cross
Dan:Holy Cross hosts on Friday before heading to Springfield on Saturday. Fun fact: Holy Cross hasn’t lost to the Yellow Jackets since November 15, 2013, and they haven’t lost in Springfield since January 16, 2010. Alex Murray is probably the league’s most underrated goalie, and he could easily steal a game, but I’m taking a team searching for “Glory Days” in the form of a first round bye.Holy Cross sweeps.
Chris: As we’ve seen over the last few weeks, there’s no “Fade Away”  in AIC, which has lost some heartbreakers. But I think the Crusaders will be up to the task as they close in on a first-round bye. Holy Cross sweeps.

Mercyhurst at Army West Point
Dan: Army West Point is absolutely on “Fire” at this point, led by goalie Parker Gahagen. We’ve been showering the with love, but the reality is that they’re drawing an incredibly tough team this weekend. I love the Black Knights, and I don’t think they’re going to lose, but I don’t necessarily think they’re going to sweep either when playing a Laker team with so much to play for. That said, stay tuned for “The Rising” of Army, who I still think is a team to watch heading into the postseason.Army wins on Friday. Mercyhurst wins on Saturday.
Chris: As we’ve pointed out in the past, there’s a nice connection between these teams, some family “Ties That Bind” between Army West Point coach Brian Riley and his son Jack, who’s a key player for Mercyhurst. I’m going with a split here. Army wins Friday; Mercyhurst wins Saturday.

Sacred Heart at Canisius
Dan:Sacred Heart’s struggled to pick up wins, having only beaten UConn since their last league win against Mercyhurst over a month ago, but they were able to reset last week thanks to a bye week. Canisius is 4-1-3 over that same stretch, coming off a huge weekend in which they outscored Bentley, 9-4. Needless to say, the winner of this weekend will have “No Surrender” in them.Canisius sweeps but don’t be shocked if the Pioneers take something back from Buffalo with them.
Chris:I’m looking for Canisius to build off a great weekend at Bentley and take care of business at home. The Golden Griffins are within striking distance of the “Promised Land” of a first round bye, and success here will affirm they’re a team that’s peaking at the right time. Canisius sweeps.

Rochester Institute of Technology vs. Niagara
Dan:This series starts out in Niagara Falls on Friday before turning back to Rochester on Saturday. Given RIT’s offense scoring nearly three goals per game, we’ll really find out how “Born to Run” they are against Niagara, a team entering tied for 50th in scoring defense at 3.37 goals per game. RIT sweeps.
Chris: This series pairs teams from “My Hometown” as well as that of the girl I told, “I Wanna Marry You” over 25 years ago. With RIT’s goaltending situation uncertain and Niagara’s propensity for finishing strong, I’m going with a Niagara sweep.

Dan was fortunate enough to see Bruce Springsteen a couple of weeks ago in Boston, and I will be in the house for his concert in Rochester next weekend. Dan trails me in our head-to-head picks battle by a wide margin, but with the Boss’ encouragement, he’s “Working on a Dream.”



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