Atlantic Hockey Picks, October 21-22

Last week:

Dan: 6-4-3
Chris: 5-5-3

On the season:

Dan: 14-6-5 (.666)
Chris: 12-8-5 (.580)

 

This Week’s Picks:

Friday, October 14 and Sunday, October 16
Bentley at Air Force
Dan: Bentley has had success out west, splitting last year and taking three points back in 2013-2014. It’s not to say there’s a secret for success, but if someone is going to be able to do it, it’ll be them. I don’t they get swept, but since it’s hard to figure out who wins on what day, I’m just going to pick a Falcons sweep. See what I did there?

(Okay, fine. I’ll take Air Force).
Chris: The annual battle of the Falcons are the first conference games for each team. Each is coming off a lopsided loss after opening the season strong. I think the home team will pick up at least three points here, so I’m going with an Air Force sweep.

Robert Morris at Canisius
Dan: Robert Morris was off last week, and I think they’ll be ready and rearing to go. Canisius, meanwhile, is coming off a weekend in Alaska. I have to think the travel will weigh on them for at least one night. RMU wins on Friday, Canisius wins on Saturday.
Chris:This should be a great series. Canisius is coming off two challenging weeks on the road, with series at North Dakota and Alaska. RMU was idle last week. I think this will be a split, and am going with an RMU win on Friday and a Canisius victory on Saturday.

Friday, October 21
Sacred Heart at Boston University
Dan: It’s the home opener for a Terrier team that’s incredibly long on raw talent. While it’s not past Sacred Heart to beat them in a one game series, I think home cooking will do a 1-2 BU team more good than the Pioneers. BU wins.
Chris: I’d almost lean SHU if this game was in Bridgeport, but BU is coming off a pair of stinging loses to Denver and that, combined with this being the home opener for the Terriers, is going to be the difference. BU wins.

Niagara at Rensselaer
Dan: These are the depth games that Atlantic Hockey teams need to win in order to keep the drive alive for multiple tournament berths. RPI lost two to Maine, which leads me to think Niagara has a very good chance to win here. Unfortunately, the game’s in Troy, which balances that out. RPI wins.
Chris: Niagara leads the all-time series between the schools 4-2. Both teams are looking for their first win of the season, and I think the home team will claim the prize. RPI wins.

Rochester Institute of Technology at Union
Dan: Union continues its tour against the AHC with a home game against RIT. Key to watch in this game? The Dutch really struggled to put AIC away and tied Sacred Heart. RIT, as the defending champions, can really put a stamp on Union’s struggles against the conference with a win. RIT wins.
Chris: Old-timers remember that this was quite the Division III rivalry in the 1980s before Union moved up to Division I. The teams didn’t play each other for 14 years, picking up when the Tigers joined the D-I ranks. While RIT got the better of the Dutchmen in the D-III days, Union is 4-0-1 in the Division I era, and I think we’ll have more of the same. Union wins.

American International at Connecticut
Dan: If this game were in Springfield, I might think otherwise, but it’s in Connecticut, so I’m taking the Huskies. UConn wins.
Chris: AIC has played just one game so far, a 5-4 loss to Union. This will be the Huskies’ sixth game of the new season, and I think that will play a factor. UConn wins.

Army West Point at Massachusetts
Dan: I know I’m with Chris in this regard. Army is GOOD, and anyone who calls this an upset hasn’t paid much attention to what we’ve been selling. I’m taking the Black Knights, and if they play like we know they can, this one could be all black and gold from start to finish. Army West Point wins.
Chris: I’m picking the Black Knights, and I’m not going to call it an upset. Army West Point has looked very, very good through its first three games. Army West Point wins.

Saturday, October 22
Boston College at Holy Cross
Dan: This is a huge game for Boston College, a team desperately in need of a win after running into problems. The young Eagles will play desperate, which is something that might work out for the Crusaders. The AHC has had success against BC, and I think Providence is better than them, meaning this one should have Holy Cross as slight favorites via the transitive property. With BC using Colorado College as a warmup, I still can’t pick against the Crusaders. Remember that this is a regional rivalry dating back to ancient times for old-tyme alumni in the area. Holy Cross wins
Chris: I’m very tempted to go with the Crusaders for a number of reasons: The AHC has done pretty well against Hockey East so far (including Air Force beating BC three weeks ago), Holy Cross knocked off Providence last week at home, and the Crusaders are again hosting. Also, BC will play Friday while Holy Cross will not. But despite all that, my gut says Boston College will rebound from their slow (2-2) start. BC wins.

RIT at RPI
Dan: In the All Abbreviation Bowl, I’m going to take RPI. But never let it be said that this matchup won’t make the makers of Scrabble proud. RPI wins.
Chris: I’m referring to Rensselaer by its former name, RPI because the students at the rival (and sometimes mistaken for each other by the general public) tech schools used to call athletic matchups between them, “The battle of the alphabet schools.” In hockey, they have only met six times in 31 years with Union holding a 5-1 advantage. Even though their last meeting was in 2011 so no players on their team have faced off against each other, I’m going with history here. RPI wins.

Niagara at Union
Dan: I was going to make a realignment joke about Union playing all the AHC schools and wanting into the league, but I know that would just make someone mad. Union wins.
Chris: Despite the AHC winning more than its usual share of non-league games, I don’t think this weekend’s non-conference battles will result in very many wins, including this one. Union wins.

 
Sunday, October 23
Sacred Heart at AIC
Dan: I hope both benches get a chance to appreciate being in the building at the same time since they’re in similar boats in terms of facilities. That said, I think the Pioneers are slightly ahead on the ice at this point, though I wouldn’t put it past AIC to win on home ice. SHU wins
Chris:SHU has had a strange schedule so far with a single conference game each weekend with some non-conference tilts mixed in. Despite a couple of shutout losses to Army West Point, I think the Pioneers are going to have a pretty good season, and it starts here. SHU wins.

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