It wasn’t a banner week for prognostications, but a fourth-place tie after the total-goals tiebreaker meant that the only casualty of the first round of picks was MAAC correspondent Jim Connelly.
The standings last week:
Paula C. Weston: 5-0
Todd D. Milewski: 3-2
Dave Hendrickson: 2-3
Jayson Moy/Becky Blaeser: 2-3
Natasha J. Parker: 2-3
Jim Connelly: 2-3 (lost tiebreaker)
The remaining five candidates advance to the semifinals, where the object is the same — pick the winners, straight up. The games under consideration this week are the four first-round NCAA matchups: Colorado College-St. Lawrence, Minnesota-Maine, Michigan-Mercyhurst, and Wisconsin-Providence.
Without further ado, the picks…
Dave Hendrickson (Hockey East)
Colorado College 4, St. Lawrence 2: The WCHA gets the first win of the regionals at the expense of the ECAC’s lone representative.
Maine 4, Minnesota 2: The first of the five WCHA teams falls, setting up a Hockey East showdown on Saturday night.
Providence 3, Wisconsin 2: Hockey East’s least-known representative wins to set up a David vs. Goliath matchup against Michigan State.
Michigan 6, Mercyhurst 1: Critics of the MAAC autobid will gain some ammo from this lopsided contest.
Todd D. Milewski (WCHA)
Minnesota 3, Maine 2: Despite a recent slump, the Gophers squeak by.
Michigan 6, Mercyhurst 2: Nice to see you, Mercyhurst, but the Wolverines should make it a short stay.
Colorado College 4, St. Lawrence 1: CC got a favorable draw, and it’ll show against the Saints.
Wisconsin 5, Providence 3: I just can’t pick against these WCHA teams. With new life, the Badgers make the most of it.
Paula C. Weston (CCHA)
Minnesota 4, Maine 3: I’m going against the conventional wisdom that says an Eastern team playing East should win. This could come back to bite me, as Maine is the more playoff-tested team.
Colorado College 5, St. Lawrence 3: The Saints are my sentimental favorite, and it’s clear that they can score some goals, but I can’t pick them.
Michigan 6, Mercyhurst 1:This one is hard for me. I have very strong ties to Erie, and Rick Gotkin is one of the nicest coaches I’ve ever met. Having said that, go CCHA!
Wisconsin 4, Providence 2: The Badgers are 4-1-0 against Hockey East teams this season.
Becky Blaeser/Jayson Moy (ECAC)
St. Lawrence 3, Colorado College 2: You just have to go with the experience factor here. The Saints have been there; the Tigers are back after a hiatus.
Minnesota 4, Maine 2: Yeats will have to stand tall for the Black Bears, while the Gophers have to get their consistency together.
Providence 3, Wisconsin 2: Dany Heatley needs a supporting cast to help him out. The Friars get it done with determination.
Michigan 6, Mercyhurst 2: It seems like a mismatch on paper. The game will be played respectfully, but the bigger talent wins out.
Natasha J. Parker (CHA)
Maine 4, Minnesota 2
Michigan 5, Mercyhurst 1
Colorado College 3, St. Lawrence 2
Wisconsin 3, Providence 1