Atlantic Hockey Picks, October 11-12

Last week:

Dan: 2-4-1
Chris: 2-4-1

On the season:

Dan: 2-4-1 (.357)
Chris: 2-4-1 (.357)

It was a rough start to the season for us – AHA teams did better than our predictions, going 3-3-1 to our 2-4-1.

This Week’s Picks

Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12
Bentley at Robert Morris
Chris: The last game Bentley played was against the Colonials, a game three upset loss in last year’s AHA quarterfinals. Despite being on the road, I like the Falcons to get some revenge with a sweep.
Dan: I love the fact that this series opens up the Atlantic Hockey season because last year’s playoff series was so electric. Game-winning goals in the last 90 seconds, plus an overtime third game? Yes please. I’m going with a split.

Sacred Heart at Penn State
Chris: The Pioneers are coming of a 3-3 tie with Connecticut and get right back in to non-conference action. SHU is 0-4 all-time against the 13th-ranked Nittany Lions, and I don’t think that will change this weekend. PSU sweeps.
Dan: Penn State’s high-flying style is one of those things that I just don’t like for any Atlantic Hockey team. PSU sweeps.

American International vs. Quinnipiac
Chris: This is a home-and-home series with the Yellow Jackets hosting on Saturday. AIC knocked off the No. 1 team in the nation in last year’s NCAA tournament, so why not the ninth-ranked Bobcats? I’m calling for a split.
Dan: One of the greatest moments in hockey is the banner raising celebration because it’s the last moment where a trophy-winning team can celebrate together. In the pros, free agency means the teams aren’t the same from year to year. But in college, it feels so much different. That said, I think Quinnipiac has a long formula to winning hockey games. Sorry, AIC, but the Bobcats spoil the party on Saturday. Quinnipiac sweeps.

St. Lawrence at Mercyhurst
Chris: The Lakers put on a strong showing in the desert last weekend, earning a split with Arizona State. I think they’ll win at least once against the Saints at the MIC. I’m thinking split.
Dan: St. Lawrence makes its first debut under new head coach Brent Brekke. A new style will ultimately help the Saints, but they still have a long way to go until they’re where they want to be. There will be some hiccups, and I’m calling for a split.

Canisius at North Dakota
Chris: North Dakota will be looking for payback from last year’s sweep by the Golden Griffins that knocked UND out of NCAA tournament contention. If the Fighting Hawks were caught overlooking Canisius last season, it won’t happen this time. UND sweeps.
Dan: There is no way North Dakota will overlook the Griffs at home after what happened last year. UND sweeps.

Friday, October 11 and Sunday, October 13
Air Force at Notre Dame
Chris: These teams used to play all the time way back when they were independents, but have met only once since 1993. I expect the Falcons to put a scare into the No. 8 Fighting Irish, but I think the home team comes out on top both nights. Notre Dame sweeps.
Dan: I like some fun here in a series bookending a football game against USC (shoutout to the Jeweled Shillelagh) on Saturday. But I think the Irish win. Notre Dame sweeps.

Friday, October 11
Army at Connecticut
Chris: The Black Knights looked good in a season-opening win against Union last weekend. UConn has struggled against AHA teams since leaving the conference in 2014, but I’m picking the Huskies at home. UConn wins.
Dan: Army’s win over Union showed a lot of guts since the team lost a 1-0 lead and rallied from down 2-1 to score in the third period. The defense was especially stingy in that third, holding the Dutchmen to three shots on goal. That type of bearing down makes me think they can take this one. Army West Point wins.

Holy Cross at Providence
Chris: Holy Cross will look to get off to a better start than it did last season, but I don’t think it’s going to happen against the No. 6 Friars. Providence wins.
Dan: Providence has only lost two non-conference home games in October in the last decade. It’s part of a Friar machine that current Holy Cross head coach David Berard helped lay the groundwork for in so many different ways. Providence wins.

Rochester Institute of Technology at Bowling Green
Chris: RIT head coach Wayne Wilson and associate head coach Brian Hills face off against their alma mater in the first round of the Icebreaker Tournament, held this year in Toledo, Ohio. It’s yet another matchup of an AHA team and a ranked opponent this weekend (there are 11 in all), and I don’t think we’ll see an upset here against the No. 17 Falcons. Bowling Green wins.
Dan: The IceBreaker is where AHA teams can really punch up in weight class against national tournament contenders. Unfortunately, I think playing Bowling Green is a tall order for RIT, and I don’t see a win happening. Bowling Green wins.

Saturday, October 12
Rochester Institute of Technology vs. Western Michigan/Ohio State
Chris: Win or lose on Friday, the Tigers will get either No. 12 Ohio State or No. 14 Western Michigan on Saturday. I’m again going with the ranked team. OSU or WMU wins.
Dan: I’m with Chris here. RIT might be able to steal something if it catches a team napping (based on our projection, in the third place game), but I’m still going with the ranked team. OSU or WMU wins.