Candace’s Picks: January 7

Well, I finished the first half strong, going 8-2-1 (.772). Overall on the season, I am 72-29-13 (.688). Almost all of the top teams are in action this weekend, so let’s get right back to it.

Friday-Saturday, January 7-8

Syracuse at Mercyhurst: Syracuse has scored some decent wins this year, showing signs that they may be ready to start challenging better teams on a more regular basis. However, Mercyhurst is simply too strong, and after a tough loss against Wisconsin last week, I expect the Lakers to come out firing. Mercyhurst 5-2, 5-1

Wisconsin at Ohio State: The Badgers erupted for 14 goals last weekend, including seven against Mercyhurst. It looks more and more like the Badgers are the team to beat this year. Ohio State is a good squad, but they don’t have the guns to hang with Wisconsin for 60 minutes. Wisconsin 4-2, 5-2

Minnesota State at Minnesota: It used to be that the Gophers only had to worry about Duluth in the battle for top squad in Minnesota. The Mavericks however, have shown great signs of improvement, including a win against North Dakota and a one-goal loss to Wisconsin and a one-goal loss earlier in the year to the Gophers. I expect this to be a battle, but the Gophers should sweep. Minnesota 2-1, 3-1

North Dakota at Vermont: On paper, this is a mismatch. The Sioux, led by the Lamoureux twins, have way too much firepower, and Vermont has struggled all season. The Catamounts will probably play the Sioux tough, and one tie is possible, but I’m calling a Sioux sweep. North Dakota 3-1, 3-2

Friday, January 7
Quinnipiac at St. Lawrence: The rising new star meets one of the old establishment in this game. The Bobcats are led by freshman Kelly Babstock, one of the leading scorers in the country. St. Lawrence scored a surprise upset of Mercyhurst right before the break. This is a tossup, but I’m going with the Bobcats. Quinnipiac 3-2

Cornell at Yale: The Big Red are the team to beat in the ECAC, and so far are undefeated in conference play. That is unlikely to change this weekend. Cornell 4-1

Saturday, January 8
Boston College at Maine: The Eagles were just stunned by Princeton on New Year’s eve, getting shut out, but they rebounded to beat Yale. BC is undefeated in Hockey East, and I expect them to start the second half strong. Boston College 4-2

Sunday, January 9
Providence at Boston University: The Terriers need to start with a bang to keep pace with arch-rival Boston College. Providence is looking to get untracked against the better schools. These teams played twice earlier in the year, with one tie and a BU win. I’m going with the Terriers on home ice. Boston University 4-2