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College Hockey:
Hockey East picks, Oct. 14-18

Dave got off to a one-game lead over Jim last weekend and came within an extra-attacker goal at 19:58 of doubling that lead at Northeastern on Friday.  Yes, folks, Jim’s win last year was a total fluke. This year will be back to the norm of Dave’s superiority.

Dave last week: 6-3-1
Jim last week: 5-4-1
Dave’s record-to-date: 6-3-1
Jim’s record-to-date: 5-4-1

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, October 14

Boston University at Providence 
Dave’s pick: The Terriers played an exhibition game two weeks ago and then shut out New Hampshire, 5-0, last weekend. By contrast, the Friars are jumping into the fray without so much as an exhibition game.  This pick is the no-brainer of all no-brainers.
BU 6 PC 1
Jim’s pick: Last week’s performance by BU certainly made me a believer.
BU 4, PC 2

New Hampshire at Northeastern 
Dave’s pick: New Hampshire might have lost to BU, 5-0, last weekend, but I’m not jumping off the bandwagon yet.  That game was a lot closer than the score indicated and I see UNH coach Dick Umile turning things around right away. Those boisterous Husky fans in the student section may have something to say about it, though.
UNH 4 NU 3
Jim’s pick: Can’t see the Wildcats starting their Hockey East schedule 0-2.
UNH 5, NU 3

Bentley at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: My analysis on this one begins and ends with the admission that I’m a Hockey East snob.
UMass 4 Bentley 1
Jim’s pick: Not as much a Hockey East homer as Dave, but I am a realist.
UMass 6, Bentley 2

Denver at Boston College
Dave’s pick: I’m going with BC all the way after its impressive performance in the Ice Breaker where the Eagles defeated Michigan State, 5-2, and North Dakota, 6-2.  (How ’bout them apples, Sioux fans?  Heh, heh, heh.  [Now that should get the comments section cooking.]  )  By contrast, Denver has only played two exhibition games, a tie with a Canadian team and a 3-0 win over the US U-18 squad.
BC 4 Denver 2
Jim’s pick: This is probably the game of the week for Hockey East teams. I think BC proved last weekend they’re the top team in the country right now, but Denver may have something to say about it. Right now I think home ice will be the difference.
BC 3, Denver 2

Massachusetts-Lowell at Minnesota State
Dave’s pick: The Mavericks scored a total of two goals in two games last weekend against Rensselaer, but that was good enough for a split (a 1-0 win and a 4-1 loss). I think modest scoring will again be good enough, this time against the River Hawks.
Minnesota-State 2 UML 1
Jim’s pick: Not sure what to expect from Lowell this season, but I’ll start off with confidence and say the River Hawks win coach Norm Bazin’s opener.
UML 3, Minnesota State 2

Maine at North Dakota
Dave’s pick: The Sioux struggled to defeat Air Force in the Ice Breaker opening round and then got smoked by BC, 6-2.  Put this series at a neutral site and I might go for a split, but not at the Ralph.
ND 3 Maine 2
Jim’s pick: Have a feeling that North Dakota will watch last year’s debacle at Maine as motivation. And it will work.
ND 5, Maine 3

Saturday, October 15

Boston College at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: This should be a great matchup and it’s on the Wildcats home ice, but I like BC this year a lot.
BC 4 UNH 3
Jim’s pick: UNH always a tough place to play for BC (and any other team) but I think I’ll keep picking BC until the give me a reason not to.
BC 3, UNH 2

Massachusetts at Providence
Dave’s pick: Welcome to Hockey East, Nate Leaman.  After a lopsided loss to BU, the Friars are going to make it an oh-fer weekend to start their new coach’s tenure. T.J. Syner will lead the Minutemen with a goal and two assists.
UMass 4 PC 2
Jim’s pick: I’m going to disagree with Dave here. I think Nate Leamen gets his first with at Providence this weekend and UMass is the more likely game.
PC 3, UMass 1

Army at Merrimack
Dave’s pick: See Bentley at UMass above. Cross-referenced under “Hockey East snob.”
MC 4 Army 2
Jim’s pick: Merrimack’s play last weekend at Maine makes me a believer once again.
MC 5, Army 1

Denver at Boston University
Dave’s pick: Denver seems like too good of a team to incur a Beantown sweep, but I think BC and BU are good enough to inflict it. Kieran Millan once again stars.
BU 3 Denver 2
Jim’s pick: I can’t see Denver getting swept. Not that I think BU is an automatic, but if the Pioneers lose on Friday, they’ll be hungry as heck on Saturday.
Denver 4, BU 3

Maine at North Dakota
Dave’s pick: The Black Bears almost pull out the split, but overtime on the road isn’t kind.
ND 4 Maine 3 (OT)
Jim’s pick: Agreed. Even though I think Maine is too good to get swept, on the road in Grand Forks is one place I see it happening.
ND 6, Maine 4

Massachusetts-Lowell at Minnesota State
Dave’s pick: The Mavericks finish off the sweep in another low-scoring contest.
Minnesota State 2 UML 1
Jim’s pick: This ends up a series split.
Minnesota State 3, UML 1

Tuesday, October 18

Connecticut at Massachusetts-Lowell
Dave’s pick: The River Hawks get off the schneid after a lost weekend in Mankato.
UML 4 UConn 2
Jim’s pick: AHA got one win last weekend in non-conference play. Don’t see that changing against Hockey East.
UML 6, UConn 2

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  • CollegeHockeyFan

    As a BU fan, I am seriously worried about them looking past this Providence game to Denver. This is a classic trap game, with the win last week and PC’s low ranking and an important game against Denver on Saturday. BU is known for sleepwalking through games that should be “easy wins”.

    • Joe C

      Good call. Then again, maybe the Friars have truly gotten better.

  • Kwd_13

    After losing at home to Merrimack it is inconceivable that UMO could win on the road at North Dakota.  On the other hand, the Souix should have joined HEA.  That way, they could get a proper a** kicking on a regular basis and maybe then the whining would go away –

  • Sioux2b07

    What are Sioux fans whining about? The matchup doesn’t play well for ND because HEA and the WCHA play totally different styles of hockey and the winner if all other things equal is the way the game is officiated, if it is called very tight the HEA team will more than likely win because they will live on the power play because they play a more skilled brand of hockey. If the game isn’t called as tightly the WCHA team will probably win because they can use their size to push around the usually smaller HEA team. Don’t take this as a whining Sioux fan because I do really like HEA because the type of hockey they play is the way I play my game and the way I wish hockey was always played, but saying that UND would get crushed in HEA is too simple to say because when you play non-conference it is all up to officiating but if they were in HEA they would recruit players that fit the HEA style and not the players it takes to compete in the WCHA.

    • After Further Review

      I do agree with you, to a point.  The styles of the two leagues are very much different.  The officiating does certainly have an impact on the outcome, but I think the biggest problem UND has had with Hockey East opponents recently is that no matter who officiates, they can’t catch the smaller, quicker players to actually hit them.  I am a UNH/HE fan and that is not meant to bash the WCHA or the Sioux, just seems that the speed has really been able to bury the size on many occasions.

      • After Further Review

        But to amend my story, apparently if you play UNH, you don’t have to catch them.  Just let them skate and pass and eventually they will hit your goalie with the shot.  With 63 shots and 0 goals in 2 games, with BC on the schedule for tomorrow, it might be a VERY LONG season!

  • MnGopherFan

    Looks like Dave and Jim picked the wrong team in the Denver at BC matchup Friday night. Denver looked solid. Another case of east coast bias?

    • Joe C

      Number #1 ranked team upset at home by the Number #3 ranked team.

      Even though I cheer every time BC loses, not sure how “East Coast Bias” plays into this. They split the pick for Pioneers at Terriers.

      Give full credit to Denver for playing a great game last night. Hopefully, BU can shake off last night’s loss to the Friars…

  • JJM

    So much for the “no brainer of the year” and  ”going with BC all the way”

  • http://twitter.com/bsmiley_73 Brian Smiley

    Wow Dave, Glad that you blew the two PC games!

    It’s going to be an interesting season…

    • Joe C

      It looks like Providence is pretty good and New Hampshire has a lot of issues.

      There seems to be a good balance between WCHA and Hockey East this year. I sure hope there will be more out-of-conference play in 2013-2014

  • Keith Linsley

    Your rankings are quite the joke.  BC splits and moves to top spot.  And ND and Merrimack should both drop out of top 10 for the paper tigers they are.  UMD should be in top spot after a good sweep and have play great since their early sweep by the Gophers. 

  • Scottymtoughguy

    How is Coach McDonald doing at Thomas Creek rink?  Still sucker punching old men in your over 30 no check league?  How were those hand cuffs?  Bet you thought you might get deported!

  • Guest

    The problem is that UND hasn’t played all that well yet this year. Seems like the younger guys just aren’t ready right now. Seems like the same old same old for UND. Play about .500 until the new year and then try and turn it on. They better hope that when they hit the switch something happens this year because DU and CC are stacked with talent and even MN seems to have gotten up off the floor. Could be a long winter in Grand Forks is the Sioux don’t pick it up quickly.

  • Fan Man

    I know one young guy that isnt ready yet.  Grimaldi has barely even touched the ice so far this season…  I expect when he is fully healthy, he will contribute over a point a game!  Look at what Rau is doing for the goofs.  Grimaldi will smoke him when he finally gets in the action.  Does anybody know what kind of injury he is dealing with even?

  • ed

    One of the beauties of this sport is the fact it is a TEAM sport. Right now, the Gophers are getting it done. The Sioux are not (yet). Thank you through “Fan Man” for proving what Sioux fans are all about – bragging about things that they have no idea about. Heaven forbid you actually look into Grimaldi’s injury before posting or even the fact the Sioux continually come out and have a mediocre first half and blow the doors off in the second half of the season. Funny that even a Grand Forks hockey “fan” can’t mention anything besides one player coming back will change his entire teams outlook on the season. If that’s truly the case, the Fighting Susies have a lot more to worry about that just a return date for Grimaldi.