Hockey East picks, Oct. 14-18

Dave got off to a one-game lead over Jim last weekend and came within an extra-attacker goal at 19:58 of doubling that lead at Northeastern on Friday.  Yes, folks, Jim’s win last year was a total fluke. This year will be back to the norm of Dave’s superiority.

Dave last week: 6-3-1
Jim last week: 5-4-1
Dave’s record-to-date: 6-3-1
Jim’s record-to-date: 5-4-1

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, October 14

Boston University at Providence 
Dave’s pick: The Terriers played an exhibition game two weeks ago and then shut out New Hampshire, 5-0, last weekend. By contrast, the Friars are jumping into the fray without so much as an exhibition game.  This pick is the no-brainer of all no-brainers.
BU 6 PC 1
Jim’s pick: Last week’s performance by BU certainly made me a believer.
BU 4, PC 2

New Hampshire at Northeastern 
Dave’s pick: New Hampshire might have lost to BU, 5-0, last weekend, but I’m not jumping off the bandwagon yet.  That game was a lot closer than the score indicated and I see UNH coach Dick Umile turning things around right away. Those boisterous Husky fans in the student section may have something to say about it, though.
UNH 4 NU 3
Jim’s pick: Can’t see the Wildcats starting their Hockey East schedule 0-2.
UNH 5, NU 3

Bentley at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: My analysis on this one begins and ends with the admission that I’m a Hockey East snob.
UMass 4 Bentley 1
Jim’s pick: Not as much a Hockey East homer as Dave, but I am a realist.
UMass 6, Bentley 2

Denver at Boston College
Dave’s pick: I’m going with BC all the way after its impressive performance in the Ice Breaker where the Eagles defeated Michigan State, 5-2, and North Dakota, 6-2.  (How ’bout them apples, Sioux fans?  Heh, heh, heh.  [Now that should get the comments section cooking.]  )  By contrast, Denver has only played two exhibition games, a tie with a Canadian team and a 3-0 win over the US U-18 squad.
BC 4 Denver 2
Jim’s pick: This is probably the game of the week for Hockey East teams. I think BC proved last weekend they’re the top team in the country right now, but Denver may have something to say about it. Right now I think home ice will be the difference.
BC 3, Denver 2

Massachusetts-Lowell at Minnesota State
Dave’s pick: The Mavericks scored a total of two goals in two games last weekend against Rensselaer, but that was good enough for a split (a 1-0 win and a 4-1 loss). I think modest scoring will again be good enough, this time against the River Hawks.
Minnesota-State 2 UML 1
Jim’s pick: Not sure what to expect from Lowell this season, but I’ll start off with confidence and say the River Hawks win coach Norm Bazin’s opener.
UML 3, Minnesota State 2

Maine at North Dakota
Dave’s pick: The Sioux struggled to defeat Air Force in the Ice Breaker opening round and then got smoked by BC, 6-2.  Put this series at a neutral site and I might go for a split, but not at the Ralph.
ND 3 Maine 2
Jim’s pick: Have a feeling that North Dakota will watch last year’s debacle at Maine as motivation. And it will work.
ND 5, Maine 3

Saturday, October 15

Boston College at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: This should be a great matchup and it’s on the Wildcats home ice, but I like BC this year a lot.
BC 4 UNH 3
Jim’s pick: UNH always a tough place to play for BC (and any other team) but I think I’ll keep picking BC until the give me a reason not to.
BC 3, UNH 2

Massachusetts at Providence
Dave’s pick: Welcome to Hockey East, Nate Leaman.  After a lopsided loss to BU, the Friars are going to make it an oh-fer weekend to start their new coach’s tenure. T.J. Syner will lead the Minutemen with a goal and two assists.
UMass 4 PC 2
Jim’s pick: I’m going to disagree with Dave here. I think Nate Leamen gets his first with at Providence this weekend and UMass is the more likely game.
PC 3, UMass 1

Army at Merrimack
Dave’s pick: See Bentley at UMass above. Cross-referenced under “Hockey East snob.”
MC 4 Army 2
Jim’s pick: Merrimack’s play last weekend at Maine makes me a believer once again.
MC 5, Army 1

Denver at Boston University
Dave’s pick: Denver seems like too good of a team to incur a Beantown sweep, but I think BC and BU are good enough to inflict it. Kieran Millan once again stars.
BU 3 Denver 2
Jim’s pick: I can’t see Denver getting swept. Not that I think BU is an automatic, but if the Pioneers lose on Friday, they’ll be hungry as heck on Saturday.
Denver 4, BU 3

Maine at North Dakota
Dave’s pick: The Black Bears almost pull out the split, but overtime on the road isn’t kind.
ND 4 Maine 3 (OT)
Jim’s pick: Agreed. Even though I think Maine is too good to get swept, on the road in Grand Forks is one place I see it happening.
ND 6, Maine 4

Massachusetts-Lowell at Minnesota State
Dave’s pick: The Mavericks finish off the sweep in another low-scoring contest.
Minnesota State 2 UML 1
Jim’s pick: This ends up a series split.
Minnesota State 3, UML 1

Tuesday, October 18

Connecticut at Massachusetts-Lowell
Dave’s pick: The River Hawks get off the schneid after a lost weekend in Mankato.
UML 4 UConn 2
Jim’s pick: AHA got one win last weekend in non-conference play. Don’t see that changing against Hockey East.
UML 6, UConn 2