On the season:
Dan: 102-64-26 (.599)
Chris: 110-56-26 (.641)
This Week’s Picks:
Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11
American International at Air Force
Dan:For the second time this season, Air Force is in the national polls, sliding into the 20th spot after spending one week at #18 in October. At 17th in the Pairwise, they’re also knocking on the door of potentially finding themselves as an at-large team in the NCAA Tournament. All of that is added incentive for a team to get a sweep. Air Force sweeps.
Chris: Air Force gets to show off its shiny new ranking, coming in at No. 20 this week. Air Force need a single point to wrap up a first-round bye. That, and home ice should propel the Falcons to a sweep of the Yellow Jackets.
Niagara at Army West Point
Dan: Niagara heads east looking to break a six game losing streak. There’s no time like the present to take points, but I still feel like the season got away from them with the injuries mentioned by Chris below. Army West Point sweeps.
Chris: Niagara has been decimated by injuries, a familiar story that’s played out over the past couple of seasons. Last season, they got fairly healthy near the end of the season and played some of their best hockey. But this season I think the injuries have cut deeper. I’m going with a Black Knights sweep.
Holy Cross at Rochester Institute of Technology
Dan: Holy Cross has done a great job of simply not losing, dropping only one of their previous seven games and only three since Christmas. At 6-3-3 over that stretch, they’re a team that could make some noise and unjam the three-way tie for fourth by winning their way out of it. This is a huge weekend for the playoff hunt with RIT only two points behind the Crusaders, Mercyhurst, and Army West Point. Holy Cross sweeps.
Chris: Speaking of injuries, RIT has also suffered some devastating ones as well. The Tigers were 18-1-2 against the Crusaders through 2013, but the Crusaders have the edge since then at 6-2-5 (yes, five ties in their last 13 meetings, including a pair of draws at the Polisseni Center last season). Holy Cross is on a bit of a roll right now, so I’m going with a Crusaders sweep.
Canisius at Sacred Heart
Dan: Speaking of not losing, there’s Canisius. Assuming predictions hold, this will be the Griffs’ first home quarterfinal series in two seasons. Canisius sweeps.
Chris: Sacred Heart is coming off a three-point weekend at Mercyhurst and has just two losses in its last seven games. But Canisius has the longest unbeaten streak in Division I, currently at 10 games (8-0-2). The Golden Griffins need a single point to wrap up a home quarterfinal series and I think they’ll get that and more. Canisius sweeps.
Bentley at Robert Morris
Dan: Bentley’s head of steam ran right into an Air Force brick wall last week, though Saturday’s lopsided result was more of a 2-1 game that turned into a lopsided result in the last 90 seconds or so. When they met earlier this year, the team’s split. That would follow a trend for the Colonials, who as of late lose on Friday and win on Saturday. But after my beloved Patriots just won the Super Bowl, you think I can take Pittsburgh over Boston for two straight (Sorry, I had to.). Bentley wins on Friday. RMU wins on Saturday.
Chris: I think Bentley will bounce back from a tough weekend, but not enough to get more than a point. Since we don’t pick ties I’m picking an RMU sweep.
Saturday, February 11
Mercyhurst at Bowling Green
Dan: Any time you have a chance to hear someone waffleboarding a puck, you have to take it. Bowling Green wins.
Chris: This is the final non-conference game for the league this season (at least until the NCAA tournament), and Mike “Doc” Emerick will be calling the game, going back the place where it all started for him. As for the game itself? I think it will be close, but I like BGSU to win.