At A Glance:
Last week’s record: 5-0
Overall Record: 26-15
Over-.500 weeks: 3/5 (.600)
This Week’s Picks*:
*All games are subject to change.
Saturday, December 26 and Sunday, December 27
American International vs. Quinnipiac
The Bobcats finish their six-game tour of Atlantic Hockey with a home-and-home against the Yellow Jackets, with the series shifting to MassMutual Center on Sunday afternoon. Quinnipiac is outscoring AHA teams by a 20-4 margin and are coming off of a 9-1, two-night aggregate thumping of Holy Cross. It’s safe to say QU is playing with the sense of urgency we expected out of ECAC programs when the four-team abbreviated league returned to play this year. In a year defined by its awkward sluggishness, the high-flying start is one of those moments under the radar. That’s why they sweep AIC and motor into league play on New Year’s Eve.
Sunday, December 27
Colgate at Holy Cross
This is a sneaky critical game for the Raiders because their first weekend against Clarkson, a split in a pair of non-league games, is so far removed from the present day. They haven’t played in over a month, and this is the first road trip out of New York state. It’s especially important for the goaltending tandem of Carter Gylander and Andrew Farrier to absorb some data from an opponent outside of their league. Gylander stopped 18-of-19 shots in his first two appearances, both in relief of Farrier, and it’ll be interesting to see if he gets the start. Farrier could use some good minutes after that first weekend. Colgate wins.
Monday, December 28
Long Island University at American International
Things said about LIU in the Sharks’ first two weekends: “It’s just an expansion program, so it doesn’t make sense to pick them,” and, “Beating Holy Cross was a great start, but RIT is a preseason favorite for this season.” Things LIU did in its first two weekends: beat Holy Cross and beat RIT. AIC will be playing its third game in three days, and this one is after the home-and-home with Quinnipiac. Given that the Yellow Jackets can and should give the Bobcats all they can handle, the Sharks waiting in the wings is a recipe for an update. You know what? Let’s get weird. Brett Riley is already doing something pretty special down on the Island. LIU wins.
Tuesday, December 29
Robert MOrris at Bowling Green
The paper statistics from the teams’ first meeting indicate a Bowling Green blowout. The Falcons outshot the Colonials, 40-18, and scored four unanswered goals to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 advantage en route to a 6-3 win. What the stats don’t show is how the Colonials took that 2-0 lead or that the power play was responsible for three goals, including one on a five minute major in the last minute of the first period. It also doesn’t show how RMU rallied to pull within one before another power play goal gave BGSU a 5-3 lead. The 6-3 game is honestly 3-2 game powered by a couple of missteps and an empty net goal. Translation: Robert Morris is going to give Bowling Green all it can handle, and nobody would be shocked to give this game to Atlantic Hockey. Bowling Green wins.
RIT at Colgate
RIT’s hot-and-cold results build a super interesting case study to sift through. The Tigers beat CLarkson 8-5 but lost 5-1 the next night. They slipped that overtime shootout debacle game past Niagara but won a 5-1 game on the road. They lost to LIU by one but bombed the Sharks for a 5-1 win the next night, and their 5-4 win over NIagara on Tuesday clinched the season series. If they show up and play like they did on Tuesday, they’ll win this game running away. If they don’t, Colgate might win by four. Colgate wins.
Niagara at Clarkson
Clarkson is 4-2 on the season but lost to RIT and in its first game against Niagara. The sweep over Mercyhurst needed overtime in the first game. The Golden Knights are ranked eighth in the nation, and there isn’t an Atlantic Hockey team until No. 19 AIC. Everyone knows how I feel about that. Niagara wins.