Atlantic Hockey Picks, January 20-24

Last week:

Dan: 3-6-2
Chris: 3-6-2

On the season:

Dan: 83-55-22 (.588)
Chris: 88-50-22 (.619)

This Week’s Picks:

 

Friday, January 20 and Saturday, January 21
Mercyhurst at Holy Cross
Dan: Holy Cross is very good at home, while Mercyhurst, like so many other AHC teams, struggle more on the road than they do at home. I guess that’s obvious, but it’s something I talked about this week. After last week’s loss to Sacred Heart, I think the Saders bounce back. Holy Cross sweeps.
Chris: The Crusaders are coming off a low-scoring loss and tie at Sacred Heart while Mercyhurst had a split at Army. Holy Cross is 7-3-2 at home this season vs. 2-5-2 on the road. I’m going with that trend and picking a Crusaders sweep.

Canisius vs. Rochester Institute of Technology
Dan: Everyone should be talking about the high-powered RIT offense (18th best in the nation) against the wall of defense in Canisius (17th best in the nation). But the secondary matchup is an RIT defense averaging just under three goals per game allowed taking on a Canisius offense that is one of two teams not averaging two goals per game (better than only Anchorage). Given Canisius’ extremes, I’m taking the home team in each game. RIT wins on Friday, Canisius wins on Saturday.
Chris: Canisius goaltender Charles Williams has been a difference-maker for the Golden Griffins, and a prime example was his play back in November when he held RIT to one goal over two games. The Griffs swept then, and I’m banking on a repeat performance by Williams and his team. Canisius sweeps.

American International at Niagara
Dan: Niagara’s win last Saturday snapped an eight game losing streak, but they were a lot tougher than that stat would indicate. Four of those losses were by one or two goals. I think they win at least one this weekend against an AIC team that’s been a little bit helter skelter as of late. Niagara wins on Friday, AIC wins on Saturday.
Chris: The teams met earlier this season with one of the games ending in a 0-0 tie. I think AIC is the better team right now, especially with Niagara bitten by the injury bug. I’m going with a road sweep for the Yellow Jackets.

Air Force at Robert Morris
Dan: If you haven’t bought a ticket for this yet, you’re missing out. That’s all I got to say about that. Air Force wins on Friday. RMU on Saturday.
Chris: This is the matchup of the weekend, and one of the most anticipated series of the season; the only times these teams will meet. Air Force suffered a setback last weekend at the hands of Canisius, while RMU had the weekend off. Before the season started I would have gone with an Air Force sweep, but I’m leaning the opposite way now. I think I’ll split the difference and pick Air Force on Friday and RMU on Saturday.

Bentley vs. Sacred Heart
Dan: This is an incredibly even matchup, and the Pioneers always seem to have success against the Falcons. But there’s one added issue into this weekend – timing. Friday’s game is late – 8:30 PM start – because of television (game can be seen on ASN, which locally in New England, that means NESN-Plus). That means a short turnaround with a deceptively tough bus ride for both teams. Given the even matchup here, I’m taking the home team in both games. Sacred Heart wins on Friday, Bentley on Saturday.
Chris: There’s just six weekends left in the regular season, and these teams will square off on two of them. Sacred Heart hosts on Friday with the action shifting to the JAR on Saturday. As I usually do with evenly matched teams, I’m going with the home team, so SHU wins Friday and Bentley on Saturday.
Tuesday, January 24
Niagara at Canisius
Dan: Fun fact: there’s a Tim Horton’s restaurant accessible from street level of HARBORCENTER. It pays tribute to Horton’s career, and it’s also a bake shop in addition to a coffee shop. That should be enough for me to never pick against Canisius ever again. Canisius wins.
Chris: This is another case of teams that will play each other four times over the remaining six weeks. The Battle of the Bridge series kicks off with a Tuesday contest at HARBORCENTER (the school always capitalizes the whole thing, so I guess I will too). I’m going with the Griffs at home. Canisius wins.

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