On the season:
We’re back! And we’ve returned to our previous method with each of us picking every game involving an Atlantic Hockey team in a friendly, head-to-head competition…where Chris remains undefeated. Will this be Dan’s year (Dan’s note: probably not)? Tune in each week and find out!
This Week’s Picks
Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6
Mercyhurst at Arizona State
Chris: This would be a great way for the league to get out of the gate with a non-conference win or two against a ranked opponent (the Sun Devils are ranked 20th in the first USCHO.com poll of the season). But I’m going with an ASU sweep.
Dan: In covering the NCAA Tournament last year, I learned a bit about Arizona State’s run. The Sun Devils essentially have to beat some of the right opponents and avoid losing to the wrong teams, then hold serve in the middle without a conference to play through. That’s a formula, and while I don’t know how it plays out this year, I’m going with the team to sweep Mercyhurst to start.
Michigan Tech at Robert Morris
Chris: RMU kicks off the season with a four game homestand, starting with a pair against the Huskies, who were picked to finish fourth in in the WCHA by the conference’s coaches. I think the Colonials find a way to win one of these. I’m going with a split.
Dan: Stats are almost impossible to chart from one year to the next, but RMU hasn’t started a season 0-2 since 2013-2014, when it lost two to Lake Superior. Granted the majority of these games were in league, but after the Colonials split with Bowling Green (a tournament eventually bound for the tournament), I think they find a way to get one. Split these games however you like.
Saturday, October 5
Connecticut at Sacred Heart
Chris: Sacred Heart has won the previous six meetings between the schools including every year since the Huskies moved from Atlantic Hockey to Hockey East. I think I’ve picked the wrong team to win every time during this streak, so why not again? UConn wins.
Dan: I refuse to pick against every Atlantic Hockey team this weekend, and Sacred Heart honestly seems the team in the best matchup situation. I’d even take this as a multi-goal game if I were to put down the score entirely. Sorry, Huskies. Sacred Heart wins.
Rochester Institute of Technology at Colgate
Chris: Remember when the Ice Breaker tournament opened the college hockey season? Yeah, the Tigers play in that next weekend. Up first are the Raiders, who hold an 11-2 all-time advantage over the Tigers. But RIT won 6-1 in their most recent meeting, last season’s Brick City game in front of 10,000 fans. Still, I’m going with the Raiders on home ice. Colgate wins.
Dan: Colgate is a sneaky good team at the start of seasons, even though it can be easy to overlook the Raiders. There are ECAC teams with bigger name profiles, but this is a team that hasn’t lost its first two games since 2006-2007. Colgate wins.
Sunday, October 6
Union at Army West Point
Chris: Union hosts Boston University on Saturday before heading to West Point on Sunday. The Black Knights opened their season against Union last year, a 4-1 loss. I think history will repeat. Union wins.
Dan: Army West Point’s biggest question entering this season is how well it performs in back. We get a really quick, short, case study answer in game one against a team that scored 112 goals last year. Union wins.