Atlantic Hockey Picks, October 28-November 1

Last week:

Dan: 6-6-2
Chris: 8-4-2

On the season:

Dan: 20-12-7 (.603)
Chris: 20-12-7 (.603)


This Week’s Picks:

Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29
Rochester Institute of Technology at Bentley
Dan: The Tigers will make what might be their final trip to the JAR (depending on next year’s schedule), a place where they’ve won three in a row and are 9-4-1 since joining Atlantic Hockey. I like a split in this series, if only because streaks are made to be broken. Bentley wins on Friday, RIT on Saturday.
Chris: This has been a streaky series, with each team sweeping on the other’s home ice last season. The Tigers have won the last three meetings at the JAR, but I’m thinking this will be a split. I like Bentley to win Friday and RIT to win Saturday.

American International at Mercyhurst
Dan: Once AIC starts playing 60 minutes combined, they’re going to be incredibly dangerous, especially with Zackarias Skog leading the country in save percentage. As they’re starting to come together early, I think Mercyhurst is just a shade ahead of them developmentally, which gives the Lakers an edge.  Mercyhurst sweeps.
Chris: The Yellow Jackets are coming off a tough loss to Sacred Heart last Sunday where they gave up five third period goals. Mercyhurst reminds me a lot of SHU and I think the Lakers will rebound from a big loss to Penn State and sweep at home.

Army West Point at Robert Morris
Dan: Parker Gahagen has the nation’s best GAA and best save percentage (.956, 2nd in the nation overall) among goalies with 100 saves or more. Unfortunately for him, right behind in the national stats is Francis Marotte, who ranks third with a .955 and 63 saves. Army West Point wins on Friday, RMU on Saturday in a pair of really low-scoring games.
Chris:This is a rematch of last season’s conference semifinal. I think the Black Knights can shut down RMU at least once, so I’m going with a split here. I’m going with Army West Point on Friday and Robert Morris on Saturday.

Ohio State at Niagara
Dan: Ohio State is one of the most underrated teams in the country, in my opinion. They’ll handle the wins this weekend. Ohio State sweeps.
Chris:Niagara gets to host the No. 15 team in the country.The Buckeyes are undefeated so far (3-0-2) while the Purple Eagles are winless (0-3-2) and have allowed three or more goals in each of their five games to date. I’m picking Ohio State to sweep.

Canisius at Penn State
Dan: Speaking of underrated, here’s Penn State. After a split against Notre Dame last weekend, the Nittany Lions return home for the first time in three weeks. With football taking on Purdue on the road on Saturday, I expect a couple of wild atmospheres in Hockey Valley. Penn State sweeps.
Chris: The Golden Griffins will play five of their next six games on the road, starting with a pair at No. 19 Penn State. I’d pick a split if these games were at HarborCenter, but they’re in Happy Valley, so I’m going with a sweep by the Nittany Lions.

Friday, October 28
Brown at Holy Cross
Dan: Special teams is the wild card in this game. Brown was third worst on the kill last year, and since they haven’t played yet this year, they haven’t gotten into the muck of the new penalty emphasis. Holy Cross is currently one of the least-penalized teams in Division I. With four games under their belt, I think experience will win out in that area. Holy Cross wins.
Chris: The Crusaders have played a couple of tough non-conference games already, beating Providence and losing to Boston College. Brown isn’t as tough and will be playing its first game of the season. That and home ice should result in a Holy Cross victory.

Saturday, October 29
Sacred Heart at Yale
Dan: Everyone knows my fascination with Connecticut as a fertile hotbed located just away from the Massachusetts college hockey corridor. So I like this game as a potential rivalry moving forward. I’m taking Connecticut as a red state over a blue state; oops, sorry, I didn’t mean to make an election joke there. Sacred Heart wins.
Chris: This should be a good game between state rivals. The No. 17 Bulldogs will be playing their first game of the season, but they’re always well prepared and tough to beat at the Whale. Yale wins.

Tuesday, November 1
Union at Holy Cross
Dan: Union continues its barnstorming tour of Atlantic Hockey. I’m taking the Dutchmen to head home with the victory. Union wins.
Chris: After playing a pair of home games at the DCU Center, the Crusaders play their first contest this season at the Hart Center. I’m going with a bit of an upset and taking Holy Cross to win.