On the season:
Dan: 53-40-16 (.560)
Chris: 57-36-16 (.596)
This Week’s Picks:
Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10
Niagara at Air Force
Dan: Air Force is 3-2 at home this year with one loss coming against Denver, a team that could be #1 in the nation according to some. I have to take that in stride and make the quick pick. Air Force sweeps.
Chris: Niagara used to dominate (22-6-3) the Falcons back when both were in College Hockey America, but since both have been members of Atlantic Hockey, Air Force leads the series 15-6-2. I think that trend continues with an Air Force sweep.
Holy Cross vs. Army West Point
Dan: Army could really use a pick-me-up offensively after splitting last weekend. Holy Cross rolls in after picking up three points against Air Force. I have no reason to think the Black Knights are capable of getting swept, but the Crusaders are are 4-1-2 at home this year. So I’ll pick the home team in both nights. Army West Point on Friday with Holy Cross on Saturday.
Chris: The Black Knights host on Friday and then the action moves 175 miles Northeast to Holy Cross on Saturday. I’m going with the home team both nights, so an Army West Point win on Friday and a Crusader victory on Saturday.
Robert Morris at Bentley
Dan: As I pointed out this week, Bentley is starting to pick up a little steam, and they stand out as a team that could be an awakening and a reckoning in the second half. I’d like to think they’ll net at least a win this weekend, so I’ll take them at home against a bus lagged RMU team. But I don’t think RMU gets swept either, so I’ll pick the split. Bentley wins on Friday, RMU wins on Saturday.
Chris: Other than a trip to Air Force, this is the longest road trip in the league. The last seven meetings between the schools have been at RMU, so this is a welcome change for the Falcons. I think Bentley is going to come around soon, but probably not this weekend against a good, confident Colonial squad. Robert Morris sweeps.
Mercyhurst at Sacred Heart
Dan: Sacred Heart is a lot better than their standing would indicate, but Mercyhurst is just one of those steady-as-she-goes teams. The Lakers are 2-2 in their last four and 3-3 in their last six. I don’t think they Pioneers will be swept, but since I can’t figure out which night to pick them, I’m picking the deuce for the visitors.. Mercyhurst sweeps.
Chris: The Lakers are coming off a nice win at Canisius while the Pioneers lost a pair of close games at Robert Morris. SHU is currently tied for last in the conference but I still think they’ll be closer to the top of the standings than the bottom when the dust settles. I think they’ll earn a split here, with Mercyhurst winning on Friday and SHU on Saturday.
American International at Maine
Dan: AIC nearly knocked off Union and tied UConn earlier this year. Maine could really use something positive here since they’re 1-6-1 in Hockey East play. If this were in Springfield, I wouldn’t be taking the Bears to win. Maine sweeps.
Chris: AIC has held its own in non-conference games so far, and while I think they’ll give Maine a scare, I going with a Black Bears sweep on home ice.
Providence at Rochester Institute of Technology
Dan: Like Maine, Providence hasn’t been great in Hockey East play. The road cooking does the Friars some good, although if you ask me, Wes’s Rib House and Rick’s Road House can go toe-to-toe with Dinosaur BBQ any day of the week. Providence sweeps.
Chris: These teams have never met, although they do share a past fraternal connection. The 2010 RIT team that went to the Frozen Four in Detroit and the 2015 Providence squad that won the national championship in Boston shared two sets of brothers: the Saracinos (Nick at Providence, Chris at RIT) and the Tanevs (Chris at RIT and Brandon at Providence). The Friars have just one road win for far this season, but I think they’ll make themselves at home at the Polisseni center and come out with a sweep.
Tuesday, December 13
Arizona State at American International
Dan: It’s going to be a daytime high of 38 on Tuesday with lows in the 20s. I kind of wish this game was being played at the old Olympia Ice Center just so I can see what it’s like when people from Phoenix – where it will be a daytime high of 73 on Tuesday – get put in an ice box. AIC wins.
Chris: Arizona State will spend next week in Springfield, Mass., taking on AIC on Tuesday and sticking around for a weekend series at UMass. The Sun Devils will be well rested after taking this weekend off, while the Yellow Jackets have to return from Maine and turn things around quickly for a Tuesday tilt. I’m going with Arizona State to come out with a rare road win.