Atlantic Hockey Picks, January 6-9

Last week:

Dan: 11-1-1
Chris: 12-0-1

On the season:

Dan: 61-46-15 (.561)
Chris: 68-39-15 (.619)

This Week’s Picks

Friday, January 5 and Saturday, January 6
Mercyhurst at Air Force
Chris: These two traditional powerhouses have struggled recently, going a combined 3-7 for the month of December. I think home ice will help the Falcons right the ship…plane? Air Force sweeps.
Dan: We’ll learn a lot about Air Force in the next couple of weeks. They closed the first half of the season in tenth place, but a lot of us don’t really believe they’re going to finish there. I think they start the long climb now with some home cooking against the Lakers. Air Force sweeps.

Holy Cross vs. American International
Chris: AIC hosts on Friday, Holy Cross on Saturday. I’m tempted to pick the home team in each game, but I’m leaning towards a Holy Cross sweep.
Dan: Expect a couple of low scoring games. Holy Cross has always had one of the league’s best defenses with solid goaltending, and AIC is limiting opponents to the least shots in the league. That’s going to create a fun atmosphere. I think AIC is going to make some noise this year, and I’m not afraid to put my money where my mouth is. AIC wins on Friday, Holy Cross on Saturday.

Rochester Institute of Technology at Niagara
Chris: This is am important series for Niagara, which has struggled recently after getting off to a strong start. I think the Purple Eagles get back on track on home ice. Niagara sweeps.
Dan: Dwyer Arena isn’t quite a total house of horrors for the Tigers, but it’s close. Niagara is 9-4-6 at home against RIT, and the Purps creamed the team last year with a 13-3 aggregate score. Niagara sweeps.

Bentley vs. Northeastern
Chris: I’ve been in the John A Ryan Skating Center, affectionately known as the JAR, when it’s been very cold outside, and learned that also means it gets very cold inside. And it’s supposed to be very, VERY cold on Friday. That said, I think Northeastern overcomes the elements. My gut says the upset chances are actually higher for Bentley on Saturday at Matthews Arena, but not so much that I’ll make that my pick. Northeastern sweeps.
Dan: The “bombogenesis” whacked Boston with a foot or so of snow and combined with a storm surge on the coast to result in flooded streets and subway stations. It also ushered in and pulled arctic air from Canada, which means wind chills this weekend will dip down to -20 and below. Friday’s game is at the JAR. I rest my case for the upset. Bentley wins on Friday. Northeastern wins on Saturday.

Saturday, January 6
Army West Point at Sacred Heart
Chris: This game, played at Nassau Coliseum, should be fun for fans and players. Army played well against Minnesota last week despite getting swept, but I think if the Black Knights can keep it up, they’ll be rewarded here. Army wins.
Dan: This one’s getting moved to Nassau Coliseum, a building that once housed the New York Islanders. If you’re unfamiliar with Long Island hockey culture, I suggest checking this out, especially since the arena underwent a massive overhaul renovation. It’s no longer the place where rain and snow meant you needed an umbrella indoors. Army West Point wins.


Tuesday, January9
Sacred Heart at Bentley
Chris: These games are always entertaining. As the clock ticks down on the JAR, I expect a couple more wins for the Falcons, including this game. Bentley wins.
Dan: A classic Atlantic Hockey matchup between two teams who have played more in the past two or three years than any other rivalry in the league. I’m giving the edge here to Bentley. Bentley wins.

Robert Morris at Niagara
Chris: Niagara opened its home schedule with a big win over the Colonials back on Oct. 6, but I’m picking RMU, which played very well last weekend in the Three Rivers Classic, to take this one. Robert Morris wins.
Dan: I had no idea who to pick in this game, so I flipped a coin. That’s about how evenly played I think it’s going to be. Also, I’m not telling you who was heads or tails. Niagara wins.