Atlantic Hockey Picks: Dec. 11 – Dec. 16

At A Glance:

Last week’s record: 6-6
Overall Record: 17-11
Over-.500 weeks: 2/3 (.667)

This Week’s Picks*:
*All games are subject to change.

Friday, December 11 and Saturday, December 12:
Long Island University at RIT
RIT’s wild five-point weekend against Niagara last week loudly announced the Tigers’ arrival into the Atlantic Hockey foray. This weekend’s games against LIU are going to be equally interesting because the Sharks are a compelling story as the league year gets underway. This is their first long trip, so to speak, and how they respond to the bus ride out to Rochester will speak to how the weekend goes. LIU is going to face some growing pains when the season settles in, but for now, its games are simply too unknown to call, one way or the other. RIT sweeps.

Niagara vs. Robert Morris
This has “series of the season” potential between two teams favored to make a run at the league’s top spot. RMU swept Air Force, and Niagara beat Clarkson, 4-1, after losing angrily losing five points at RIT. That’s right: “beat.” Those wins aren’t upsets anymore, and they shouldn’t be treated as such. Atlantic Hockey teams are legitimate contenders, and the second league win over the Golden Knights isn’t surprising for anyone who understands what happens within the league’s ranks. Nevertheless, back to this weekend, a rematch of the Purple Eagles late-season sweep. At some point, the fast and furious schedule might catch up to RMU, but head coach Derek Schooley is a master motivator. Niagara, meanwhile, didn’t play poorly last weekend but walked out of its series without a victory. To that end, it’s worth counting on the higher seeded team. RMU sweeps.

Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13:
Clarkson at Mercyhurst
If Mercyhurst wins, Clarkson might never schedule another Atlantic Hockey team ever again as a non-conference opponent. That said, it wouldn’t be an upset – repeat, it would not be an upset – if Mercyhurst won. The Lakers just split with Bowling Green, and goalie Hank Johnson is every bit as advertised as the mysterious transfer from Bemidji STate. Maybe it’s worth a second look here, but Clarkson sweeps…barely.

Monday, December 14 and Tuesday, December 15:
Sacred Heart at Quinnipiac
Quinnipiac lost the Connecticut Ice Championship to a dominant Sacred Heart team, and these two games are the first games of the Bobcats’ season. It’s kind of ironic to face a team with games played since Quinnipiac normally has five or six games played before its travel partner, Princeton, gets into the mix, but it’ll be good to see the team on the ice in the first two of its six non-conference games against Atlantic Hockey before the 2021 league schedule is released. Something about those Pioneers screams a win here after the split with a better-than-everyone-thought Holy Cross team. Sacred Heart wins.

Tuesday, December 15:
Army West Point at American International

The Black Knights split with the Yellow Jackets last year after pushing them to three games in the playoffs in 2019. This should feel like a legitimate Atlantic Hockey rivalry that reluctantly requires a winner. AIC wins.

Wednesday, December 16:
Niagara at Mercyhurst
Niagara hasn’t lost to Mercyhurst since a January 12-13 sweep in the 2017-2018 season. That’s a span of six games in a row. Make it seven this week, but expect a one-goal game and probably an overtime. Niagara wins.