Atlantic Hockey Picks, October 19-24

Last week:

Dan: 4-3-3Chris: 4-3-3

On the season:

Dan: 10-4-5 (.658)Chris: 10-4-5 (.658)

This Week’s Picks

Thursday, October 19 and Friday, October 20Sacred Heart at Notre DameDan: I absolutely had Sacred Heart winning on Thursday, no matter if we missed the game or not. Then again, this is where I stump for the movement of football games off of Saturday so it can be hockey night. SHU wins on Thursday, ND wins on Friday.Chris: So Dan and I both missed our picks for Thursday, which means I don’t get credit for picking Sacred Heart to pull off that big 6-4 upset of the fifth-ranked Fighting Irish. Just kidding. I would have picked Notre Dame (but am glad to be wrong), and I think the Irish will definitively not be taking the Pioneers lightly on Friday. SHU won on Thursday; I think Notre Dame wins on Friday.American International at Penn StateDan: AIC’s fire and grit is one of those things that can’t count them out of any game. But I think Penn State finishes off the sweep because it’s a safer pick in the percentages. Penn State sweeps.Chris: Penn State won a wild 7-5 game on Thursday, and while I think the we won’t see 12 goals scored on Friday, the result will be the same. Penn State completes the sweep.Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21Bentley at Holy CrossDan: Over the last couple of years, these games have been pretty intense, and the points always come back to haunt the playoff race in some capacity. Bentley hasn’t played at the Hart Center since 2014-2015, and the Crusaders took three points from Bentley with two overtime games during the last weekend of the year last year. Important to note here that the Falcons are 0-3-2 in the five-game stretch at the JAR. I think it ends on Friday, and I’m going to take the Falcons with a three-point weekend. But, of course, we can’t pick ties. Bentley sweeps.Chris: In a sad bit of scheduling, these are the only games between these rivals this season. Rivalry games are tough to pick, but I’ve got a feeling Holy Cross is going to find a way to win both of these games. Holy Cross sweeps.Army West Point at Robert MorrisDan: If this series was later in the season, I might go with RMU to sweep since they typically get stronger as the year goes on. But at this point in the season, I think the Black Knights are the hotter team. I do think the Colonials take points at some point, but I can’t figure out which night, either. Army West Point sweeps.Chris: This is my pick for series of the weekend. Robert Morris is struggling a bit right now, starting conference play 1-2. Army West Point is 2-0, already banking four conference points. This early season matchup, the only weekend of play between teams that are expected to finish in the top half of the standing, may loom large in February. I’m going with a split. Robert Morris wins Friday; Army West Point on Saturday.Air Force at Bemidji StateDan: I pick that Coach Serratore will win this weekend. Bemidji wins on Friday, Air Force on Saturday.Chris: The battle of the Serratore brothers (Frank is head coach at Air Force, Tom at Bemidji) should be fun, especially when you throw in the fact that Tom’s son Matt plays for the Falcons, and he’s expected to be in the lineup after missing the first two weekends of the season with an injury. I’m also thinking this will be a split with Bemidji winning Friday and Air Force winning Saturday.Ferris State at MercyhurstDan: Ferris State is 1-3 to start the season heading to take on  a Laker team that last saw the ice for two ties against Holy Cross last weekend. I’m not sure how this will go since there’s such a little database on both teams. But you could probably say the same about every matchup. Ferris State sweeps.Chris: This series, this season’s version of Mercyhurst’s “Snowtown Throwdown” will be played at the Erie Insurance Arena in downtown Erie, a larger facility that’s home to the OHL’s Erie Otters. Ferris State is 6-0-1 all-time against Mercyhurst, and I think that trend will continue. Ferris State sweeps. Friday October 20Rensselaer at NiagaraDan: Dave Smith’s third game as head coach of the Engineers is against a team he saw pretty frequently out in the Battle of the Bridge. The Griffs went 4-0 against the Purple Eagles last year, and while it’s a new head coach in Niagara Falls, I think the ECAC team wins this one. RPI wins.Chris: Both teams have new coaches this season: Jason Lammers at Niagara and former Canisius bench boss Dave Smith at RPI. The Purple Eagles are 2-0 all-time against the Engineers at Dwyer, but I think RPI comes away with a victory this time. RPI wins.Union at Rochester Institute of TechnologyDan: Union is struggling early with an 0-5 record, including a pair of one-goal losses to Massachusetts and Vermont last weekend at home.  RIT tied Northeastern. It all depends on which results you believe in more at this point. For my pick, I’m going with the upset and giving RIT its first D1 win over the Dutch. RIT wins.Chris: This was a great D-III rivalry in the 80’s, but since going to Division I, Union has owned this series, going 4-0-1 against the Tigers. The Dutchmen, ranked 16th in the USCHO preseason poll, didn’t expect to be 0-5 at this point in the season, and they certainly won’t be taking the Tigers lightly. Union wins.Saturday, October 21Union at NiagaraDan: After losing to RIT, I think a steaming mad Union team comes out and gets the win on Saturday. Union wins.Chris: Union is much better than its record indicates, and should be able to get a weekend sweep of WNY opponents. Union wins.Rensselaer at Rochester Institute of TechnologyDan: I’m just going to point down here and say, “What he said.” RPI wins.Chris: RPI’s early season schedule will be full of nostalgia for new head coach Dave Smith. The Engineers started the season with a pair of ties at Ohio State, Smith’s alma mater. Now this weekend the Engineers travel to Niagara and RIT, two big rivals of his former team, Canisius. I think this trip down memory lane includes a victory on Saturday. RPI wins.Colgate at CanisiusDan: This is the type of game Atlantic Hockey should be willing to bank on if it wants more non-conference wins than in years past. I’m not going against that. Canisius wins.Chris: Colgate is coming off a pair of tough losses at New Hampshire, and look to rebound against a Canisius team that started its season 1-1. I’m going with the home team in what should be a close game. Canisius wins.Tuesday, October 24Bentley at American InternationalDan: In their first meeting, both teams learned they simply have to stay out of the penalty box against one another. Bentley got the equalizer late, and I think the weekend will go a long way for both teams to gel a little bit more before going into the rematch. That said, I give the slight edge in goaltending right now to the Falcons, and as a result, they’ll take the two points. Bentley wins.Chris: This is the second Tuesday night meeting between the schools this season with the first coming two weeks ago. That one ended in a 3-3 tie, but I think Bentley gets the W on the road. Bentley wins.