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


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