Women’s Picks: September 30

Last season, I had a great time writing a weekly picks column, and I finished with an excellent record of 193-60-24 (.740) on the season. Let’s see if I can better that this year (a tough challenge). Also joining me in weekly prognostications will be new USCHO Women’s D-I columnist Arlan Marttila, who I want to welcome to the USCHO fold. So, let’s dive in and see how we can start our season off.

Friday-Saturday, September 30-October 1

Quinnipiac at Mercyhurst
Candace: Are the Bobcats ready to take the next step up the women’s ladder? This is a tough series to call. Quinnipiac is led by goal-scoring sensation Kelly Babstock and goaltender Victoria Vigilanti. Merychurst has been one of the powers in game, but graduated their terrorizing trio of Meghan Agosta, Vicki Bendus, and Jesse Scanzano, who led the team in scoring. I’m going to call a split. Mercyhurst 4-2, Quinnipiac 3-2
Arlan: The Lakers demonstrate that the cupboard is not bare, but the Bobcats can play as well. Mercyhurst 3-1, 2-2 tie

North Dakota at Boston University
Candace: The showcase series of the weekend, IMO. BU advanced to the title game last year before falling to Wisconsin, while the Sioux, led by twin sisters Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls, fell just short of the tournament while scoring big wins over rivals in the WCHA. I’m thinking split, something the Sioux did a lot of last season. Boston University 3-2, North Dakota 2-1
Arlan: The Terriers draw first blood, but increased depth pays dividends for North Dakota. Boston University 4-2, North Dakota 5-4

Providence at Bemidji State
Candace: Bemdiji was a somewhat dangerous squad last year, but it took them a while to get going, while Providence spent much of the season hovering in the top 10. I’m calling a Friars sweep. Providence 3-1, 2-1
Arlan: Sanford Center is a tough place to visit, but the Midwest-rich Friars salvage a split. Bemidji State 2-1, Providence 3-0

Friday, September 30

Syracuse vs. St. Cloud State
Candace: Woeful St. Cloud State got just one win last year. This year they figure to do better, but Syracuse, despite losing some big players, figures to be too strong at the start of the season. Syracuse 2-1
Arlan: Orange have more pop than SCSU. Syracuse 3-1

Union at Minnesota
Candace: The Gophers, led by Amanda Kessel and Sarah Erickson, could turn this into a blowout. Minnesota 5-0
Arlan: Gallagher keeps Dutchwomen close in her return to Gopher State. Minnesota 3-0

Saturday, October 1
Union vs. St. Cloud State
Candace: I’m thinking that the Huskies are going to top Union, which struggles in a much weaker conference. St. Cloud 3-1
Arlan: The Huskies’ first win comes much quicker this year. St. Cloud 2-1

Syracuse at Minnesota
Candace: Syracuse had some good wins last year, but a squad like the Gophers has too much firepower and too much defensive strength. Minnesota 4-1
Arlan: Deep Gophers prove to be a tough matchup in weekend’s second game. Minnesota 5-2