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College Hockey:
Hockey East picks – Feb. 4-7

I suppose I should wave the white flag at this point.  I only got one game wrong last week, but Jim went 7-0-2.  The one game I got wrong was in the Maine-BU series, which we both picked as a split.  One game finished as a tie, Jim’s version of the split left him undefeated for the week.

But in the immortal words of John Belushi, “Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

Dave last week: 6-1-2
Jim last week: 7-0-2
Dave’s record-to-date: 69-28-21
Jim’s record-to-date: 82-21-19

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, February 4

Merrimack at Northeastern
Dave’s pick: This week, I’m picking first so do I try to go against what I think Jim will pick regardless of the choice?  Might the weasel go into a Four Corners Offense and just duplicate my picks?  I don’t think so.  He’s too cocky for that right now (witness his snarky comments at the end of this week’s column).  I’m going with an upset here, Northeastern parlaying its strong play of late into a big win going into the Beanpot.
NU 4 Merrimack 3 (OT)
Jim’s pick: I won’t go into the Four Corner offense, but in this game, at least, I’m with Dave. I think Northeastern is playing as well as any team in the league and, on home ice, I think they can handle Merrimack.
NU 3, Merrimack 2

Massachusetts at Boston College
Dave’s pick: Is BC looking ahead to its marquee matchup against BU in the Beanpot?  Only a little and not enough. 
BC 4 UMass 2
Jim’s pick: Rare is the day that BC has overlooked it’s pre-Beanpot game. Won’t happen this year either.
BC 5, UMass 1

Massachusetts-Lowell at Boston University
Dave’s pick: The River Hawks are playing better but in this case they still fall short. 
BU 4 UML 2
Jim’s pick: Lowell hasn’t had much success of late versus the Terriers. That won’t change.
BU 5, UML 2

Providence at Vermont
Dave’s pick: As I wrote in this week’s blog, this series could very well dictate who finishes eighth and who’s out in the playoff cold. I picked the Catamounts in the blog and will follow through here.
UVM 2 PC 1
Jim’s pick: I feel a split here, which should mean picking Vermont in the opener, as they’ve played much better on Fridays than Saturdays. That said, I’ll go against common wisdom, if for no reason than to give Dave a chance.
PC 4, UVM 2

Maine at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: UNH is nicely placed in the standings with its two games in hand over BC, but those could slip away fast as the Wildcats have six games remaining against nationally ranked opponents.  This is the first.  In the immortal words of Elmer Fudd, “White out the Whitt wields a Wildcat win. ”
UNH 4 Maine 3 (OT)
Jim’s pick: Touhgest game and series to pick of the weekend. I think Maine takes points, but think UNH comes out with all the momentum in the opener.
UNH 4, Maine 2

Saturday, February 5

Maine at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: Jim’s probably going to pick a split here and it would be hard to argue against that if you knew whether the Maine version of Jekyll or Hyde were going to show up.  But I’m going with UNH’s consistency.
UNH 5 Maine 4
Jim’s pick: Dave is right. Split it is for me.
Maine 4, UNH 3

Massachusetts at Merrimack
Dave’s pick: The Warriors get right back to form after Friday’s loss to Northeastern. 
Merrimack 4 UMass 2
Jim’s pick: Tough weekend for the Minutemen. Merrimack wins at home.
Merrimack 5, UMass 2

Providence at Vermont
Dave’s pick: As I said before, I’m going with the Catamounts sweeping this series to stake a serious claim on eighth place. 
UVM 3 PC 2
Jim’s pick: UVM rebounds for the rare Saturday win.
UVM 2, PC 1

Monday, Feb. 7

Harvard vs. Northeastern (Beanpot)
Dave’s pick: Unless the Huskies get spooked by a cavernous, empty Garden all the way into the second period, they’re going to win this one going away.
NU 4 HU 1
Jim’s pick: Don’t even think this one will be close.
NU 5, HU 1

Boston College vs. Boston University (Beanpot)
Dave’s pick: This should be the proverbial bahn-burnah.  The Garden will be rocking and so will the checks.  I’m picking the Eagles in a see-saw event that goes to overtime (making all the sportswriters on deadline groan insufferably). 
BC 4 BU 3 (OT)
Jim’s pick: It’s hard to pick against BU in this tournament, but when BC wins the first three games of the season series, I can’t pick against the Eagles.
BC 4, BU 2

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  • Anonymous

    You guys are still not believing in Merrimack yet, are you?? Wrong about NU game and picked the UMASS game too close.

  • Anonymous

    If Wisconsin is gonna sweep, they are going to have to do it in an extremely hostile environment. They are going to be playing in front of upwards of 16,000 on Friday night and 10,000 plus on Saturday night as well. This, in arena that not only serves beer but has a ginormous full service bar at one end of the arena that has a sweeping full view of the ice. A place that nobody on their team has ever even so much as seen before.

    Further, Wisconsin has exactly ONE win all season against a team with a winning record, January 15th against Minnesota-Duluth. So, you expect them to all of a sudden reverse that trend in one of the more hostile situations they are likely gonna face all year? They better hope THEY don’t get swept.

    • Goalie Fan30

      Ya I have to agree! This is not an easy sweep and it could definetly go the other way in favor of UNO. Should be a great series but I see a split either way….

      • hockeytimeincapitalcity

        Wisco is not afraid of an environment like UNO’s. They play in filled venues all the time. UW was a different team when they played NoDak, Denver, and UMD early in the year. Now Wisconsin is playing very well. Schultz and Gardiner might be the best scoring defenseman duo in the country and Gudmandson might be the best goalie in the country right now. That said, it’s a conference game and UW hasn’t seen much of UNO.

  • Marmoset2

    UW sweep of UNO? Unfortunately, UNO spoiled that prediction by winning 4-1 tonight. UNO sweep of UW????

    • Anonymous

      An interesting aside to this is that UNO won with it’s best player sitting on the bench. Supposedly, Terry Broadhurst slipped and fell on his way to class the other day and they don’t know how long he’s gonna be out.

  • Anonymous

    Shucks, we only managed to get 15,137 into the building tonight for the Badger beat-down.

    Having attended the game, considering Wisky’s record against team’s with winning records this year, I can say I wasn’t terribly surprised by the outcome. I consider it insulting that the Omaha World Herald’s headline tonight says “Mav’s upset #7 Badgers”. This, despite the fact that Wisconsin has NEVER been ahead of UNO in the conference standings the entire season!!! By the way, in UNO’s various games/series, all in the last 365 days, against Michigan, Miami of Ohio, Notre Dame, North Dakota, and Minnesota, their record is 9-5-0.

    A more appropriate headline would have been, “Badger woes against teams with winning records continues”.

    It was pretty obvious, even at a casual glance, that UNO is a better skating team than Wisconsin. I’m sure we’ll see a better effort out of Wisconsin tomorrow night, but, no matter what happens, they are leaving town STILL behind UNO in the standings.

    • Anonymous

      Wisconsin was higher the in the league standings then UNO. That was the weekend that UNO played UAH. If Wisconsin would have won tonight they would be tied with UNO at 26 points.

  • Fred

    UNO looked better than Wisconsin on Fri. night. The Wisc. fan next to said so halfway through the game and he was quite impressed with UNO. And they did it without Terry Broadhurst, who slipped on some ice going to class (!–yes, I know, these are not football players). Broadhurst has been scoring over one point per game this season. He won’t play on Sat. and the coaches didn’t say what was the injury, but he was at the game, limping.

    One hallmark of UNO this season is balanced scoring. Again, four different players got goals on Friday.

  • Phoenixfyre1313

    it would be nice if Theresa could get it right for a change Nick Bjugstad scored two SHORTHANDED goals, not two powerplay goals…..Get with the program. Shotty journalism strikes again!

  • Goalie Fan30

    Im thinking Lucia needs to go… With that said I wouldnt be suprised to see ol’ Deaner (Blaise that is) in there in the next few years. He is a U of M grad and the chances of him coming back to the SIOUX are slim at best. The gophers are talented every year but seem to fall apart for whatever reason? I think this weekend we will see a good game both nights with some NHL highlights from a bunch of young players. As for the Alaska~Sioux series Depending on whether or not Dell has a good friday nite makes the series interesting… WE (the sioux) will sweep if we show tonight! Ill be at the game and come back to comment later if any WCHA fans care which probably means no hahaha Like most of you, I just like to hear myself talk

  • Anonymous

    If the gopher’s don’t make the NCAA’s in the next two years Lucia will be gone. Lucia isn’t the only reason that this team doesn’t show up to play 60 minutes every night. It looks like some of the guys are just going through the motions each night. From the gopher games I’ve seen this year the team tends to quiet at some point each game.

  • cholkesvig

    Blaise will not becoming to the UofM he likes where is his he wanted the Mankato job but they stuck with a idiot of a coach he wont go to the Sioux either, if he did it would be for a year to reitre there.

  • Goalie Fan30

    Why do you think that is? Dont they have the most nhl draft picks out of any NCAA team… most depart early (prolli cause the development process is crap) and never make the big show! Also, do you think the NHL teams tell them to get out now or is it the college work and the money offered that bribes them into an AHL careeer Whatever the problem is in gopher town its has to start with Mr. Lucy I hope they keep him… I have to move down to Minni next fall semester for grad school and I would love to see Maruicci torn down after the Sioux (again hopefully) destroy them in regular season!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe he needs to stop recruiting so many NHL draft picks and start recruiting kids that can play together under the system he has in place there. North Dakota has been making it to the NCAA tournament each year with less draft picks, it’s because they buy into the system at North Dakota.