On the season:
Dan: 109-65-29 (.608)
Chris: 116-58-29 (.643)
This Week’s Picks:
Wednesday, February 15 and Friday, February 17
Niagara vs. Canisius
Dan: The regular season can’t finish fast enough for Niagara, a team locked into 11th place. I mean that in the nicest way possible since I’m sure the Purple Eagles would like to get into the postseason and make a little noise at this point. Anything can happen in a place where the goal is just to avoid losing twice. Canisius sweeps.
Chris: Whatever can go wrong has gone wrong for Niagara, which came away from West Point last weekend with zero points, despite playing pretty well on Saturday. Despite being locked into 11th place, I think Niagara will throw the kitchen sink at rival Canisius in an attempt to end the Golden Griffins’ 12 game unbeaten streak. But Canisius, which hosts on Wednesday (Niagara will host on Friday) will be motivated for multiple reasons as well, most importantly inching closer to its first regular season title. I think Canisius will keep things going with a sweep.
Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18
Sacred Heart vs. Bentley
Dan: I’ve learned one thing from this series: get the Maalox ready. Also get the ice baths ready because they love to go at it against one another. They play physical, tough games that include some of the most fun hockey anyone can see all year. Bentley wins on Friday, Sacred Heart on Saturday.
Chris: The Pioneers have lost just twice since Jan. 6, both one-goal games. Bentley is coming off an impressive showing at Robert Morris, taking three points last weekend. I’m going with a split and taking the home teams, picking the Falcons to win on Friday and SHU on Saturday.
Army West Point vs. Holy Cross
Dan: Holy Cross is playing some of their best hockey of the season (last week’s split notwithstanding), making this a series that I can’t wait to see. I think the Crusaders tip the scales this weekend with two unbelievably exciting games, working their way into home ice in the quarterfinals. Holy Cross.
Chris: This is again a home-sand-home series, with Holy Cross hosting the first game and AWP the second. The Black Knights manhandled the Crusaders in their earlier meetings this season, outscoring them 12-3. This will be closer, but I think the end result will be the same. Army West Point sweeps.
Robert Morris vs. Mercyhurst
Dan: Lessons learned in my lifetime: never doubt Robert Morris in tough games late in the season. Lessons learned in my lifetime: never doubt Mercyhurst in tough games late in the season. It doesn’t get any better than this, but I’m going to pick against the Colonials. You can almost hear the “Rubin Curse” revving its engines again. Mercyhurst sweeps.
Chris: Another home-and-home series, this one is tough to call. Was last weekend a wakeup call for RMU? Can an up-and-down Mercyhurst squad start to string together some wins late in the season? Again I’m going with the home teams. Mercyhurst wins Friday, Robert Morris on Saturday.
Air Force at Rochester Institute of Technology
Dan: Since this game involves RIT, here’s a math problem. A hockey puck, mass 0.115 kg, is struck by a stick and begins moving at a speed of 35.0 m/s. If it hits an octopus that has a mass of 0.265 kg, at what point do I completely jinx Air Force? Air Force sweeps.
Chris: This is the only conference series that’s not home-and-home, for obvious reasons. Air Force is trying to keep pace with Canisius for the regular season crown, trailing the Golden Griffins by a point but with a game in hand. RIT has a remote shot at a bye, but also needs to avoid getting swept and potentially falling to ninth place. I’m going with the visiting Falcons to sweep.