Hockey East picks: Mar. 4-5

The race between Jim and me is getting close to a mathematical close-out, but I’m still holding out hope that he’ll choke like the New York Yankees.  

Dave last week: 5-2-3
Jim last week: 5-2-3
Dave’s record-to-date: 95-35-28
Jim’s record-to-date: 105-31-26

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, March 4

Boston University at Northeastern
Dave’s pick: In past years, this would be the type of series that BU would sweep to roar into the playoffs. Not this time, though. The Huskies have taken four-of-eight points the last two weekends against BC and UNH. They get this home-and-home series off on the right foot.
NU 3 BU 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: I’m with Dave here that NU is playing well enough to win at home in this series.
NU 4, BU 2

Maine at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: The Minutemen haven’t won since Jan. 22 but in their last six games have recorded three ties and three one-goal losses.  Add one more.
Maine 4 UMass 3
Jim’s pick: Despite the fact that Amherst has been a nightmare for Maine at times, I think the Black Bears are one of the hottest teams in the league right now.
Maine 3, UMass 1

Providence at Merrimack
Dave’s pick: The Warriors need a win to lock up home ice.  They get it. 
MC 4 PC 1
Jim’s pick: Agreed. Merrimack dominates at home.
MC 6, PC 2

Massachusetts-Lowell at Vermont
Dave’s pick: The River Hawks may well split this weekend, but since I think Jim will pick that way I’m going with a Catamounts sweep. 
Jim’s pick: Here is where Dave is very wrong. Too much on the line for the Catamounts, so I think they’ll sweep.
UVM 4, UML 1

New Hampshire at Boston College
Dave’s pick: What a finale for Hockey East!  I’m going with the Eagles at home to take temporary residence atop the standings. 
BC 4 UNH 3 (OT)
Jim’s pick: The trophy may be in the building on Friday, but it won’t be presented until Saturday.
BC 5, UNH 3

Saturday, March 5

Merrimack at Providence
Dave’s pick: The Warriors finish off the Friars’ playoff hopes and move back into third place, which could prove significant given their recent trouncing at Maine’s hands. 
MC 4 PC 2
Jim’s pick: I’ll throw Dave a bone here and pick the upset for the Friars. Combined with a Maine sweep of UMass, PC miraculously makes the playoffs.
PC 3, MC 2

Maine at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: The Minutemen lose but hold onto a playoff berth; Maine wins but remains locked out of home ice. 
Maine 4 UMass 2
Jim’s pick: Maine win spells doom for the Minutemen.
Maine 3, UMass 2

Boston College at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: The Wildcats come back home for a win and their fourth regular season title in the last five years.  Pleasant UNH fans rejoice; cranky ones complain that it wasn’t in the playoffs.
UNH 4 BC 3 (OT)
Jim’s pick: This year, it’s BC’s turn to claim the top spot and their first Hockey East title in five years.
BC 4, UNH 3

Northeastern at Boston University
Dave’s pick: The safe pick here is to go with BU winning at home, but I can’t go with the safe picks now.  Besides, the Terriers’ mindset bothers me. 
NU 2 BU 1
Jim’s pick: I’m fine with the safe pick.
BU 3, NU 2

Massachusetts-Lowell at Vermont
Dave’s pick: The River Hawks push this one to overtime to extend their season just a few minutes longer but all for naught. 
UVM 2 UML 1 (OT)
Jim’s pick: Vermont finishes off the sweep and earns the seventh seed in the playoffs.
UVM 4, UML 2