Atlantic Hockey Picks: February 26-29

Last Week:

Dan: 7-0-3
Chris: 7-0-3

On The Season:
Dan: 136-51-23 (.702)
Chris: 128-59-23 (.664)

This Week’s Picks:

Wednesday, February 26
American International at Sacred Heart
Chris: A month ago, it looked like this game would go a long way in deciding the regular season title, but 11 wins in a row by the Yellow Jackets have locked AIC and SHU into the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively. That said, I like AIC to keep it rolling with a win.
Dan: This game is a lot like the start of the English Football Association’s season. The Premier League champion plays the FA Cup champion. If the Premier League champion owns both trophies, it plays the second place team. I think that means AIC is Man City and Sacred Heart is Liverpool. Liverpool’s season turned out okay this year. Either way, this game winds up meaning not a whole lot to the AHA season. Sacred Heart wins.

Friday, February 28 and Saturday, February 29
Holy Cross vs. Bentley
Chris: Bentley hosts on Friday, Holy Cross on Saturday. Both teams can finish anywhere from sixth to tenth, so they’re playing for home ice in the first round. I’m going with the home team each night. Split.
Dan: Bentley needs one point to clinch home ice in the playoffs. But for some reason, I have bad juju about that because Holy Cross is going to bring absolute heat to the rivalry weekend to end the season. I feel like it would behoove Bentley to get home ice out of the way on Friday, then play for positioning with house money on Saturday. Don’t be shocked if these teams are playing next week in the postseason. Holy Cross can lock into at least on Friday ninth with a win over Bentley and a Mercyhurst win in a shootout – or a win over Bentley in a shootout and a Mercyhurst regulation win – then go for gold on Saturday. I think it falls in between. Split.

Canisius at Mercyhurst
Chris: Canisius still has a small chance at home ice in the first round, while Mercyhurst looks to finish strong for a fresh start in the playoffs. I’m thinking split.
Dan: In accordance with what I think will happen above, I’m picking a wild and whacky finish somehow at the MIC. Add in a rivalry flair, and I’m going with a crazy finish. One overtime game. Probably a shootout. Split.

Air Force at RIT
Chris: The Tigers are going to finish either third or fourth, while the Falcons have more to play for here, with a decent shot at the remaining first round bye. They’ll need a sweep, and I don’t think it’s going to happen. Split ’em.
Dan: Air Force has had its share of issues winning away from Colorado, and it’s also pulling slowly into the finishing gate. Even though the cadets have a shot at a bye, I think the hotter team wins this series and causes some tiered chaos. RIT sweeps.

Robert Morris at Niagara
Chris: This is shaping up to the the battle for the (final) bye. If either team can sweep, they’ll pretty much sew it up. A split opens the door for Air Force. Road sweeps are rare, but that’s what I’m picking. RMU sweeps.
Dan: RMU has a host of options to clinch fifth place and gain a coveted bye, and they head to Niagara to play a Purple Eagle team still in the hunt. I think the hunt ends on Friday and Saturday plays out the stretch for both teams without a whole lot. Niagara likely wins that game, though, and sews up sixth given my prediction for Air Force. Split.

Saturday, February 29
American International at Army West Point
Chris: The Black Knights’ chances to stay in third would be helped by a win here, especially if RIT falters. But I’m picking AIC to run the table and finish strong. AIC wins.
Dan: I’m with Chris here. AIC wins.