Candace’s Picks: Feb. 11

I had a smoking week last week, going 16-3-2 (.809), including correctly picking the Beanpot winners, to improve my record  on the year to 134-47-17 (.719). It’s hard to believe there are only three weeks left in the season. Let’s dive into this week’s picks.

Friday-Saturday, February 11-12

Mercyhurst at Syracuse: The Orange have emerged as a solid team this year, with some strong out-of-conference results, including a tie with Northeastern and wins over New Hampshire and Clarkson. However, there is still a gulf between teams like Syracuse and the elite of women’s hockey. Merychurst 5-1, 4-1

Maine at Boston College: After winning a thriller against archrival Boston University in the Beanpot, the Eagles are ripe for a letdown, but I don’t think the Black Bears are strong enough to take advantage. Boston College 3-1, 4-1

Northeastern/Boston University: An ironic scheduling twist has these teams playing each other three times in five days, due to the results of the Beanpot. Let’s call the scheduled home-and-home series first though. Watching the game against BC, you could really see how BU missed star forward Marie-Philip Poulin, out with an injury suffered against New Hampshire. According to Terriers coach Brian Durocher, Poulin’s status is unclear, and a lot will depend on her pain tolerance and the call of the doctors. Even with Poulin out though, I think the Terriers have too much firepower for Northeastern. Boston University 3-1, 3-2

Minnesota-Duluth at Ohio State: Every time I think the Buckeyes are ready to prove themselves in the WCHA, they fall. That probably means they’ll score an upset this weekend, but I’m calling a Bulldogs sweep. Minnesota-Duluth 4-1, 4-2

Bemidji State at Minnesota: Since losing to the Beavers on December 3, the Gophers have been on a tear, going 11-2, with the only losses to Wisconsin. It’s almost like that game against Bemidji woke them up. I think Minnesota continues to roll, though they will be tested. Minnesota 3-2, 4-2

Friday-Sunday, February 11, 13

North Dakota at Wisconsin: The Sioux got me again last weekend, sweeping Ohio State when I thought they were back to splitting all their series. I honestly believe the Sioux is one team nobody wants to face in the postseason. Having said that, I think the Badgers are the best team in women’s hockey right now. Wisconsin 3-1, 4-1

Friday, February 11

Brown at Cornell: Cornell has been building confidence over the season, and look awfully strong right now. I’m not sure how they will do when they face the big squads from out West in the postseason, but for now, call them the Beast of the East. Cornell 4-1

Harvard at Clarkson: Clarkson got some redemption on its disappointing season last weekend by tying Cornell. Harvard was upset by Princeton last week, but righted ship against Quinnipiac and won in the first round of the Beanpot. I think the Crimson win a thriller. Harvard 3-2

Saturday-Sunday, February 12-13

Connecticut/Providence: A big series between two teams battling for home ice in the Hockey East playoffs and trying to stay ahead of Northeastern. This is coin-flip, but Providence has been the better team on the year, and I think they want to establish themselves as Hockey East’s third team. Providence 4-2, 3-2

Saturday, February 12

Yale at Cornell: The Big Red were finally tested in the ECAC last weekend, tying Clarkson and getting a one-goal win over St. Lawrence. However, the Yale women are not the Yale men in terms of program strength. Cornell 5-1

Harvard at St. Lawrence: This shapes up to be a doozy of a game between two traditional ECAC powers. St. Lawrence has been very inconsistent, but as they showed in losing a one-goal game to Cornell, they have talent. Harvard however, is playing very well right now. Harvard 3-2

Tuesday, February 15

Clarkson at St. Lawrence: Clarkson has already scored two wins over its north-country rival this season, and has played some decent hockey of late, including tying Cornell last weekend. Part of the difficulty in calling this is which version of each team will show up? I’m calling Clarkson. Clarkson 3-2

BEANPOT

Northeastern at Boston University: These teams will be very familiar with each other after a home-and-home over the weekend. This could end up being an upset, but I like the Terriers. Boston University 3-2

Harvard at Boston College: These two squads face each other for the fourth time in seven years in the Beanpot title game. Harvard’s senior class has been to four straight Beanpot championships, winning as freshmen and juniors while losing to the Eagles as sophomores. These two squads faced off in December, a dominating win for the Eagles, when the Crimson were still getting their legs under them. I expect this to be a closer game, but I think the experience of Kelli Stack and Molly Schaus carries the Eagles to a home-ice win. Boston College 3-2

38 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry Candace, that was 10-1-2. I guess you must be counting shootout results even though they don’t count. Just keeping you sharp. Love your predictions.

  2. I don’t know that those older coaches would have any more power to stop this than the current ones do/did.  It wasn’t a coaches decision.  It was more the Big 10 forcing the ADs of the Big 10 schools to comply, if they wanted to stay in the Big 10 for other sports and as much as we all hate it, it comes down to money and keeping all the other revenue generating sports is more a consideration for the school as opposed to keeping the WCHA together or for what might be best for college hockey.  It is sad, but the fact is hockey is way down on the list as far as priorities, even in a place like Minnesota where hockey is far and away the sport that they have had the most success in.

  3. Yes, we all agree that it was the Big Ten that forced this down the member AD’s throats, and that the coaches had no say. The strangest thing about this whole Big Ten thing is, why the hell does the Big Ten care about college hockey? There’s very little money to be made on it. Everyone I’ve discussed this with said, “it’s all about the Big Ten Network and wanting the hockey games on there.” What? How can that be possible? First, college hockey is not exactly an advertising magnet. Second, when exactly are they planning on airing these games? Once college basketball season starts (which is only a few weeks after hockey), there is complete overlap in the days/times of the games. So, why would the BTN choose to air a college hockey game over a college basketball game when all the advertisers know that the latter has significantly better ratings? Note, I’m talking about national ratings, not local ratings, but national ratings would be all the BTN could care about in terms of why they want to add college hockey to their programming. 

    So, someone explain this to me. How exactly does the Big Ten Conference or BTN benefit from this monetarily?

  4. What I will always remember most about Sauer, in a negative vein, is the number of UW games I saw while following WCHA hockey where his players intentionally went to the head/neck of opponents to finish a check.  It happened way too often for it not to have been coached.  Former UW player and NHL-er Sean Hill many years ago ended the hockey career of a promising Denver player named Mike Aikens in a play that unfolded right in front me, perhaps early 1990’s or thereabouts.  Unfortunately, a part of what Mr. Sauer brought to the college game and a part of his enduring legacy, successful W-L record notwithstanding.

  5. As a MN fan I’m glad to be in a different league than N Dakota. I admire their team
    but the fan base makes the game an ugly experience. I just go to games to cheer on my team and hope for a good game. They can make it very personal. I’ve had many ND fans scream in my face and I’ve never made a comment back. All for just wearing
    a Gophers jersey. What happened to sportsmanship?

  6. Sounded more to me like Sauer was talking about Alabama-Huntsville. He specifically says something about keeping programs running.

  7. What does a college education have to do with some young fellows playing hockey anyway?  Why should I care if the players on two teams in a game are enrolled as students in some particular university?  Is it critical to my enjoyment of a hockey game that the participants be wearing uniforms that represent some school when the players themselves would probably be happy to be playing on either team?  Ice hockey is a great sport that doesn’t require an affiliation with hypocritical educational organizations.  I’ll go to junior games.

  8. If Minnesota can get some help this weekend, MSU win tomorrow night and a Wisconsin rebound on Saturday (cant believe Gophers have to resort to cheering for a WI win) and can put together 6 periods of hockey they are right back in Big Ten race. Keep waiting for this team to put everything together on a consistent basis, hope it finally happens this weekend and can gain some traction to finish the season strong

  9. We all seem to be in agreement on something; We don’t like the outdoor games. What are the chances that the B10 listens to the fans on this and do not schedule any more of these “Jokes on Ice”? I’m guessing….Never.

    • Decatur, kids love it though…Is it about us or them??? Decatur and Sat who is “Nutson”??? We are gonna bust a “nut” and get three “son”…help on the way…Minn’s gonna win the Nat Champ and Wilcox will lead the way, trust me…

      • I apologize for barging into convo without an introduction-
        I am Nutson, longtime Gopher fan, also graduated from Mankato so they are my #2 team. Have two sons who would love to be Gophers in 14 and 16 years, once they can skate a bit better. And why not Minnesota this year, wide open year nation wide and they have the talent to pull it together and get hot at end of year

  10. So if I just walked up to Xcel with a 5 right now, could I get a seat? I feel like I could.

    Terrible mistake by the committee not sending North Dakota to St. Paul.

    • Just got back from the “full” arena, nearly 300 fans I’ll bet. They let/asked fans move to the middle sections, if they wanted. RINMRN, was so bad scalpers were selling tickets for $10 with no buyers. Disagree about moving Sioux to Xcel, there would have been less than 500 fans in Cincy for every game there if they did that.

      • Michigan traveled decently apparently, and St. Paul would have drawn about 900,000% more. Would have had so many more total fans at regionals.

        Bottom line is they should go back to home sites, or quasi-home sites for schools with small home rinks.

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