Atlantic Hockey Picks, December 29-January 2

Last week:

Dan: 1-1
Chris: 1-1

On the season:

Dan: 50-45-14 (.522)
Chris: 56-39-14 (.578)

This Week’s Picks

Friday, December 29 and Saturday, December 30
Holy Cross vs. Sacred Heart
Chris: With the RIT at Mercyhurst series postponed due to a ridiculous amount of snow in Erie, PA, these are the only conference series on tap. Sacred Heart hosts on Friday and Holy Cross returns the favor on Saturday. I like the Crusaders to take all four points. Holy Cross sweeps.
Dan: I’m going to begin my massive second half comeback this weekend. New look for USCHO. New pick ’em day for Dan Rubin. For all of you who just eye-rolled me because I referred to myself in third person, I apologize for absolutely nothing. Holy Cross sweeps.

Niagara at Ohio State
Chris: With a couple of exceptions, non-conference games in Atlantic Hockey this weekend feature an AHC team on the road against a ranked opponent. Here the Purple Eagles, coming off a pre-Christmas stinging sweep at the hands of rival Canisius, head to Columbus to face the No. 9 Buckeyes. I think the Purple Eagles will present a challenge, but ultimately fall short. Ohio State sweeps.
Dan: Things tend to get weird when there’s a long layoff. I think the couple of weeks off gave Niagara a good chance to reconnect after losing to Canisius, and I like them this weekend. I think Ohio State comes out firing though, and I’m taking the Buckeyes. Ohio State sweeps.

Army West Point at Minnesota
Chris: I think the Black Knights have the best chance of any AHC team this weekend to pull off a upset, but the probably is still low against the tenth-ranked Gophers at the Mariucci Center. Minnesota sweeps.
Dan: For those of you who haven’t heard, good friend of the program Nikolai Busko took a couple of weeks off from Army radio in order to tend to his wife, who is fighting a form of lymphoma. Nikolai returns to the booth this weekend at Mariucci Arena. His team will reward him accordingly, and I’m losing all objectivity in the process. Minnesota wins on Friday, Army wins on Saturday. 

Friday, December 29
Colorado College at Air Force
Chris: Air Force has been the better team in this local rivalry in recent years, but CC is making strides so far this season. Still, I like the Falcons to take this one at home. Air Force wins.
Dan: My annual “Did You Know:” The 18 miles between Colorado College and Air Force will include a 1,200-foot climb. The Academy sits at 7,200 feet, which means even a team from Colorado will have to deal with altitude. Air Force wins.

Lake Superior at Robert Morris
Chris: This is the opening round of the sixth annual Three Rivers Classic, hosted by the Colonials at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena. RMU has won three of the previous five Three Rivers Classic titles, including the last two. I think the quest for a three-peat starts off on the right foot. Robert Morris wins.
Dan: This is annually one of the must-see tournaments in the nation. RMU is one of the must-see teams in its home tournament. So take the transitive property. Robert Morris wins.


Saturday, December 30
Arizona State/Providence at Robert Morris
Chris: Providence is the only ranked team in the Three Rivers Classic field, and the only team currently over .500. If the Friars can get past Arizona State, I like them to win the whole thing. But if the Sun Devils come out of the semifinals, I’m going with RMU to take the title. So, Providence beats RMU or RMU beats ASU.
Dan: (Points up) What he said. Providence beats RMU or RMU beats ASU.

Canisius at Cornell
Chris: Another road game against a ranked team (No. 5). But in this case, Canisius is also ranked (20th). Still, I like the Big Red at home. Cornell wins.
Dan: Canisius will give Cornell all it can handle, but there’s something about Lynah Rink during this time of year. Cornell wins.

American International at Northeastern
Chris: No. 8 Northeastern was 3-0-1 in December, and I look for that to continue against the Yellow Jackets, who may be rusty. This will be AIC’s first game since Dec. 9. Northeastern wins.
Dan: This is a trap game for Northeastern. AIC is older and bigger, with something to prove. The Yellow Jackets have also been unafraid of opponents with better resumes. They nearly beat Connecticut and split with Penn State. NU would behoove themselves to not take this game lightly. Northeastern wins.

Air Force at Denver
Chris: The Falcons usually give Denver all it can handle, and despite the disparity in records, I expect a close game. But I’m going with the second-ranked Pioneers. Denver wins.
Dan: Denver is one of those teams that has been rolling since the season began. It’s a good rivalry game, but that’s too much right now to pick against. Denver wins.

Tuesday, January 2
Canisius at Clarkson
Chris: And finally…stop me if this sounds familiar….a road game against a ranked opponent. The No. 4 Golden Knights have won 11 in a row, including defeating the Golden Griffins 5-1 at Harborcenter back on Dec. 2. I’m picking the favorite here. Clarkson wins.
Dan: I’ve been told Clarkson’s train whistle of a goal horn is one of those that you have to hear to believe. It’s that loud. Unfortunately for Canisius, I think they might hear it. Clarkson wins.