Candace’s Picks: January 14

I pretty much rocked it last week, going 11-0-1 (.958). In fact, regarding the one tie, I did say in my write-ups, “The Catamounts will probably play the Sioux tough, and one tie is possible.” Dang those Catamounts and their ties (nine and counting!). On the season, I am now 83-29-14 (.714). Let’s see how we can do this week.

Friday-Saturday, January 14-15

Brown at Mercyhurst: Aside from a couple of teams out west, Mercyhurst is one of the best squads in the country. Brown doesn’t have the guns to hang with the Lakers over the course of 60 minutes. Mercyhurst 5-1, 5-2

Ohio State at Minnesota State: An intriguing match-up between two middle-of-the-pack WCHA teams. Though the Mavericks were just swept by Minnesota in convincing fashion, they have surprised a few teams this year, including Ohio State, whom they swept on the road earlier in the year. I don’t see that happening again, but I don’t think the Buckeyes are strong enough to sweep either. Minnesota State 4-3, Ohio State 4-2

Minnesota-Duluth at Minnesota: All eyes turn to Minnesota this weekend for what should be a barn-burner of a series. Both teams have been playing second fiddle to Wisconsin this year, but both are squads that have a good chance of making it to Erie later in the year. This should end up being a split in two extremely close, hard-fought games. Minnesota-Duluth 4-3, Minnesota 3-2

Friday, January 14, and Sunday, January 16

St. Cloud at Wisconsin: St. Cloud is winless on the year, and the Badgers are the team to beat. The Badgers are, in fact, loaded. For the Huskies, this is a rebuilding year, and they will be still be seeking their first win after this weekend. Wisconsin 6-1, 6-0

Friday, January 14

Cornell at Rensselaer: The Engineers have quietly put together a respectable record in the both the ECAC and overall. They are trending up, having beaten Dartmouth and Harvard last weekend. However, Cornell is one of the best in the country, and has a good chance of going undefeated in ECAC play. Cornell 4-1

Clarkson at Dartmouth: Clarkson has had a disappointing season so far, never really able to get any consistency. Dartmouth is in the same spot, hovering in and out of the top 10 on the season. I’m calling home ice on this one. Dartmouth 4-2

St. Lawrence at Harvard: These two have fallen from their former glory, when they were the squads to beat in the ECAC and could threaten for the national title. Both teams have been frustratingly inconsistent. I think St. Lawrence has the edge here, but only slightly. St. Lawrence 4-3

Saturday-Sunday, January 15-16

Bemidji State at North Dakota: This is a huge series in the WCHA. Everyone expected North Dakota to be improved, thanks to the arrival of the Lamoureux sisters, and the Sioux have been one of the better teams in the conference. Bemidji has been a surprise, and, outside of Wisconsin, is a threat to any team in the conference. I’m calling split. North Dakota 4-2, Bemidji State 4-3

Saturday, January 15

Boston University at Boston College: Outside of Minnesota, this is the other game to watch this weekend. These two squads sit atop Hockey East, and both should end up making the NCAA tournament. Earlier in the year, they split a home-and-home, with each winning on the other’s home ice. I’m calling home ice this time though. Boston College 3-2

New Hampshire at Providence: Providence has emerged as a threat to the two Boston schools in Hockey East this year. New Hampshire is struggling through a disappointing campaign. Still, this is a big game for the Friars, and the type of game they have to win to establish themselves as a solid threat in Hockey East. Providence 3-2

Cornell at Union: Seriously, can we just pencil the Big Red in as the ECAC champion now? Cornell 5-1

St. Lawrence at Dartmouth: Another very unpredictable game. After beating Harvard the night before (if my pick holds up), I think St. Lawrence will come out a little flat. Expect the Big Green to take this one. Dartmouth 4-2

Sunday, January 16

Maine at Boston University: Despite their winning record, the Black Bears are not quite there yet as a threat to the top squads in Hockey East. However, this game has the potential to be close, especially after the Terriers face arch-rival BC the night before. Boston University 3-2

Boston College at Northeastern: This is another one where the favorite could come out flat after a draining game against an arch-rival the night before. Still, the Eagles should have enough in the tank to take this one. Boston College 4-2

Tuesday, January 18

Cornell at Mercyhurst: The Big Red have one blemish on their record, an overtime loss to the Lakers earlier in the year at home. This is probably the only other game Cornell can lose this season, and it should be an awesome contest, with Cornell out for revenge and Mercyhurst looking to close the gap at the top. A tie would not surprise me at all. I’m calling Cornell in a thriller. Cornell 2-1

New Hampshire at Quinnipiac: Aside from freshman phenom Kelly Babstock, the Bobcats have other strengths, as women’s D-I columnist Dan Hickling details this week. Expect the Bobcats to take this one. Quinnipiac 4-1