At A Glance:
Last week’s record: 6-2
Overall Record: 11-5
Over-.500 weeks: 2/2 (1.000)
This Week’s Picks*:
*All games are subject to change.
Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5:
Long Island University vs. American International
Stat of the week: LIU goaltender Garrett Metcalf is a transfer from Mercyhurst with a previous stop at UMass-Lowell prior to his time with the Lakers. He skated against AIC three times last year with one win, a 35-save, overtime win the day after the Yellow Jackets’ infamous 12-0 win. The Sharks will need more defense in front of Metcalf if they want to steal one from the two-time champs; they were outshot 87-34 against Holy Cross. AIC sweeps.
Army West Point vs. Bentley
Bentley lost a tough one to Holy Cross on Tuesday night in overtime but saw the emergence of goaltender Nicholas Grabko. The freshman made 26 saves, including 10 in the third period, before a breakaway goal in overtime sent the Crusaders home with three points. Expect two rough and tumble games as usual between these two teams, especially for a Black Knight team that’s been waiting to take the ice for its 2020-2021 season. Split.
Robert Morris at Air Force
RMU jumped on Bowling Green on Tuesday with a 2-0 lead before the No. 18 Falcons scored four unanswered goals across approximately 10 minutes of game time. The Colonials, to their credit, battled back with Roman Kraemer’s first career goal before the end of the second, but a goal halfway through the third gave the visitors an edge before an ENG. That’s why the game read 6-3 on the final tally but was, in all fairness, a good hockey game. Now comes the first trip of the year for any team out to Colorado. Air Force’s home dominance in the altitude has been tested in recent years, and last year was the second time in three years it finished one game over .500 in Cadet Ice Arena. Maybe that means teams figured out the altitude, or maybe it means the Falcons will shove that stat right back at the league this year. Split.
Friday, December 4 and Sunday, December 6:
Sacred Heart at Holy Cross
Early season battle-testing is going to be a good thing for Holy Cross if it keeps playing like it did on Tuesday when it dropped the first goal, battled back by imposing its game plan, then won in overtime on a slick individual effort. It also means all five teams in the east are going to be highly-competitive, and the Crusaders have a golden opportunity to gain some front runner status against Sacred Heart, which is playing its first two games of the year. It’s hard to really pick against the Pioneers, but don’t be surprised if these turn into one-goal games. SHU sweeps.
Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6:
Mercyhurst vs. Bowling Green
Bowling Green continues its Atlantic Hockey Pennsylvania circuit with a home-and-home against the Lakers. Mercyhurst goaltender Hank Johnson transferred from Bemidji State after posting six wins over the past two years with a GAA around the 2.00 mark and a save percentage well over .900. Freshmen Matt Lenz and Kyle McClellan each won 40 games in junior hockey and will also bolster the back end. As the season progresses, it makes the Lakers a team to watch. Bowling Green sweeps.
RIT vs. Niagara
Niagara’s season debut comes at the Polisseni Center against the Tigers one weekend after RIT victimized Clarkson on that same ice. Maybe that’s a sign, maybe it’s not, but it’s enough to consider the home team to win each game this weekend. Split.
Wednesday, December 9:
Clarkson at Niagara
Clarkson’s loss to RIT did nothing to impact the Golden Knights in the national polls, and the one-off game is the first of two non-conference games for the Purple Eagles against the North Country’s college hockey representation. The two teams will meet again after Christmas at Cheel Arena. Clarkson wins.
Bentley at Holy Cross
This is the return match from Tuesday’s game and the second leg of last weekend’s postponement. The Falcons are 3-0-1 over the past two years at the Hart Center, and there’s reason to believe they’ll have their sea legs back after this weekend’s games against Army West Point. Bentley wins.