Atlantic Hockey Picks, October 7-9

Last week:

Dan: 0-0-1
Chris: 0-0-1

On the season:

Dan: 0-0-1 (.500)
Chris: 0-0-1 (.500)


This Week’s Picks:

Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8
Holy Cross at Niagara
Dan: Starting the season with conference play is always risky because there’s so many variables the first time teams step on the ice. Given our preseason predictions, we’re all high on Holy Cross, but given that it’s the first weekend, is this the time for a weekend-based upset? Maybe, but it’s not prudent to pick that way. Holy Cross sweeps.
Chris: We get right into conference play with a total five league games on tap this weekend. I think Niagara will be better this season, but I’m going with Holy Cross to pick up four points on the road. Holy Cross sweeps.

Robert Morris at Rochester Institute of Technology
Dan: Robert Morris has a great chance to prove they won’t miss a beat after graduating a ton, but RIT is raising a championship banner. That’s always good for a couple of points in my mind. RIT sweeps.
Chris: This is a rematch of last year’s title game. Robert Morris was hit harder by graduation than the Tigers, so I’m going with RIT to sweep.

Canisius at North Dakota
Dan: Speaking of banner raisings, the Fighting Hawks will raise a national championship to the rafters at the Ralph. That’s too much for anyone to overcome. North Dakota sweeps.
Chris: Canisius has a killer early schedule, starting with a series at the preseason Number One. I’ve got to go with the defending national champions. North Dakota will sweep.
Friday, October 7
Sacred Heart at Army West Point
Dan: Is it too early to call this a game of the year candidate? This is going to be a tough, physical game with a statement on the line. I like the home ice advantage in West Point, so I’m taking Army. Army West Point wins.
Chris: These teams will play on consecutive Friday nights, and I’m picking the home team here. Army West Point wins.

Air Force vs. Boston College
Dan: Air Force returns four of its top scorers and one of the league’s best goalies. Boston College is the preseason fifth-ranked team, but 20 of their 25 players are either freshmen or sophomores after getting ravaged by turnover. Also remember the altitude factor; Denver is at 5,000 feet, but the Air Force Academy is actually closer to 7,000 feet. The Falcons will be less impacted than the Eagles. Air Force wins.
Chris: The Falcons open at the Ice Breaker Tournament in Denver. I think it will be close, but I’m going with the fifth-ranked Eagles. Boston College wins.

Saturday, October 8
Air Force vs. Ohio State/Denver
Dan: Depending on who plays in this game, I’m going with Chris’s choice. But the Air Force win for me gives them the Ice Breaker championship. Air Force wins.
Chris: Air Force will play either Ohio State or host Denver in the Ice Breaker finals or consolation game, based on Friday’s results. I’m picking the Falcons to defeat either opponent. Air Force wins.

Bentley at UNH
Dan: This is the second all-time meeting between the Falcons and Wildcats, who staged an epic 5-4 post-Thanksgiving battle last year on Lake Whitt. UNH took home that game, and I think the Olympic ice plays to their advantage in taking the season opener from the Falcons. UNH wins
Chris: Hey, it’s Dan again. So Chris and I totally forgot this pick our first time around, so I’m blaming him 100% for it. It’s our first full weekend, so we’ll be in midseason form by next week…we hope. Chris took UNH, though. UNH wins
Sunday, October 9
Sacred Heart at Merrimack

Dan: I’m really high on Sacred Heart this year, and a non-conference win over Hockey East’s Warriors would go a long way to starting the year off right. Sacred Heart wins.
Chris: I think the Pioneers have a good chance to make some noise in Atlantic Hockey, and a non-conference win would be a good place to start. SHU wins.