Atlantic Hockey Picks, March 18-19: Championship Edition

Last week:

Dan: 7-4
Chris: 8-3

On the season:

Dan: 129-81-28 (.601)
Chris: 144-66-28 (.664)

With just three picks left and a lead of 15 games, Chris has won his third straight title and bragging rights for another season. Better luck next year, Dan!

This Week’s Picks:

Friday, March 18
Atlantic Hockey Tournament
Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, N.Y.

Army West Point vs. Robert Morris
Dan: Robert Morris taught us one incontrovertible fact about the, in the postseason last week. They’re a ridiculously talented team that would probably win every single best-of-three series they would play. But if they’re not careful, they can lose a single game. That’s what makes this game so intriguing. Teams essentially have to play perfect because a single bad night can cost them the season. With Army West Point coming in playing incredibly hot, there’s a very good chance (one might even say “50-50”) that the Black Knights are playing on Saturday. But RMU was our preseason pick, and as they showed in Games Two and Three last week, they are ridiculously talented, capable of shutting a team down and scoring at will. Robert Morris wins.
Chris: These final picks are always the toughest of the season because by now, you have four very good teams that could each win the whole thing. I’m really looking forward to this one, which pits Army West Point’s stingy defense against RMU’s high-powered offense. This is the Colonials’ third straight appearance in this game and I think that experience could be the difference. Robert Morris wins.

Rochester Institute of Technology vs. Air Force
Dan: Air Force looks a little bit like a team of destiny with how they handled Canisius last week. And even though RIT is the defending champions with their goaltender back between the pipes, I think there’s a decided edge to the Falcons. Shane Starrett is on the verge of doing something very special, and I think the better of the two teams during the season comes east and wins it. Don’t discount how wild this crowd is going to be in favor of the Tigers, though. Air Force wins.
Chris:This won’t be a neutral ice game, being played 10 miles from RIT’s Campus. But Air Force has done very well in the past in “pumpkin convention” games, as Falcons coach Frank Serratore has referred to the sea of orange expected at Blue Cross Arena. Air Force is 3-0 against RIT in this building, outscoring the Tigers 10-0 over that span dating back to 2008. The Tigers got a measure of revenge last season with a quarterfinal sweep at the Polisseni Center, but in this building, I’m going with the higher-seeded Falcons. Air Force wins.

Saturday, March 19
Atlantic Hockey Tournament
Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, N.Y.

RIT/Air Force vs. Army West Point/Robert Morris
Dan: This is what we all would want – the two best teams in the league from the season coming forward to the championship (though the prospect of an Army-Air Force championship is enough to make even the most casual fan excited). If that’s the case, and I’m proven right, it’s going to be an incredible hockey game. But RMU is built to win it all, and they have something to prove after they didn’t win it last year. So I’m going with the Colonials to go to the tournament and represent the AHC. Robert Morris wins.
Chris: The Colonials are experienced, skilled and battle tested. Assuming my semifinal picks are correct (and even if RIT advances instead of Air Force), I like the Colonials to win it all. RMU was heavily favored last season but ran into a hot goalie and fell in the semifinals. I think that’s the extra motivation required to get it done. Robert Morris wins.