Atlantic Hockey Picks: January 9-14

Last Week:

Dan: 5-5-1
Chris: 8-2-1

On The Season:
Dan: 85-33-13 (.698)
Chris: 76-42-13 (.630)

This Week’s Picks:

Thursday, January 9
Providence at American International
Chris: The 14th ranked Friars brought the hardware home from Vegas, winning the Fortress Invitational last weekend. I wouldn’t be shocked if AIC wins this one, but my head says Providence keeps rolling. Providence wins.
Dan: Providence really made me eat my words last week when I picked Army to win the Fortress Invitational. So naturally the Friars immediately pop up again, which means I’m going to pick them, and this time they’ll lose. Providence wins.

Friday, January 10 and Saturday, January 11
Air Force at Army West Point
Chris: This series is always circled on everyone’s calendars and it’s especially important this season as this is the only meeting(s) between the service academies. Air Force swept at Tate rink last season, but I’m thinking this time we’ll have a split.
Dan: The Army-Navy Game in football likes to tag itself with the appropriate line that “it’s the only place where the ones in the game are willing to die for the people watching it.” Think of that when you’re watching these games since these are the only times the service academies will play each other this season (barring a postseason matchup). Split it.

Canisius at Bentley
Chris: Canisius is playing its best hockey of the season, undefeated in its last four games. Bentley has been up and down all season (its last six games were loss, win, tie, loss, win, loss). I’m going with a road sweep by the Golden Griffins.
Dan: Canisius is 1-3 in its last four games at Bentley, dating back over the past two years when the teams played each other four times. Bentley’s been up and down, but depending on what it gets in back on defense, I’m going with the Falcons. I actually think there’s a good chance at a shootout in there too, but I’m picking against it. Bentley sweeps.

Sacred Heart at Mercyhurst
Chris: The high-scoring Pioneers had their six-game winning streak snapped by Bentley on Dec. 29 and have been sitting on that for almost two weeks. Mercyhurst is struggling, not posting a win since Nov. 16. I’m going with an SHU sweep.
Dan: This is a bad matchup for Mercyhurst right now, which is exactly why the Lakers probably win a game. But rational logic here pits Sacred Heart for six points, which is why I’m pulling a customary switcheroo. SHU sweeps.

Holy Cross at Niagara
Chris: The Crusaders ended a dry spell with a sweep of Mercyhurst last weekend, while Niagara came close to upsetting Penn State twice. I think the Purple Eagles might be the better team right now. Niagara sweeps.
Dan: Maybe if this series was in Worcester, I’d go with the Crusaders, but Niagara at home after a very good weekend tells me to go with the Purps. Niagara sweeps.

UMass Lowell at Rochester Institute of Technology
Chris: The Tigers are out of conference the next two weeks, starting with this home series against the No. 13 River Hawks. I’m (very) old enough to remember a huge upset by the Tigers over Lowell in the 1983 Division II semifinals. I think Dan Rubin was minus 2 years old at the time. Anyway, I’ve got to go with the ranked team here. Mass Lowell sweeps.
Dan: I think I said a split and then picked an RIT sweep last week. So after that verbal mess, I’m just going to pick the River Hawks. UMass-Lowell sweeps.

Saturday, January 11
Penn State at Robert Morris
Chris: This one will be played at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena. Eighth-ranked Penn State is not as good away from Pegula Arena as it is at home, but I think still good enough to win here. PSU wins.
Dan: Give me all your rivalry games. I’m picking Penn State, but this could be tough, rugged, physical, great hockey at PPG Paints Arena. PSU wins.

Tuesday, January 14
Robert Morris at Mercyhurst
Chris: In a weird bit of scheduling, Robert Morris and Mercyhurst will play three times in a row: Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. I’m going with the Colonials in round one. RMU wins.
Dan: The real winner in this game is the scaffolding, which I’m assuming is going to hold through the full 60 minutes and possibly beyond after the building blinked a number of weeks back. RMU wins.