Women’s picks: October 14

In his column this week, Arlan Marttila discussed the importance of getting off to a quick start. I and Arlan had a great first week in our picks, but a miserable second week, each going 4-5-2 (.454). Since we had identical records in the first week as well (though we’ve picked differently in a few series each week), we are 12-6-3 (.642) on the year.

Speaking of the importance of an early start, undefeated No. 1 Wisconsin and undefeated No. 3 Minnesota square off in a barnburner of an early-season series. Also on tap this week are Boston College against New Hampshire for a pair, as well as some other interesting match-ups.

Friday-Saturday, October 14-15

Boston College vs. New Hampshire
Candace: New Hampshire hosts Friday, BC on Saturday. The Eagles got crushed by No. 6 Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday last week, but rebounded to win in the last seconds of the game on Sunday. I think that will carry over against a Wildcats team that showed vulnerability in losing to Syracuse. Boston College 4-2, 3-2
Arlan: It used to be that each team was better suited to their home ice, but not as of late. Boston College 3-1, New Hampshire 2-1

Syracuse vs. Clarkson
Candace: The Orange host Clarkson on Friday and then visit them on Saturday. I honestly didn’t think Syracuse would beat New Hampshire on the road last week. Clarkson is looking to rebound from a disappointing year last season. I’m calling split. Syracuse 3-1, Clarkson 3-2
Arlan: I can’t find a coin to flip, so I’ll go with the power of home ice. Syracuse 1-0, Clarkson 3-2

Bemidji State at Maine
Candace: Bemidji didn’t do well in Columbus last weekend on the road. Maine is coming off two stirring come-from-behind wins against Quinnipiac. I think the Black Bears will sweep. Maine 3-2, 2-1
Arlan: Bemidji isn’t a good road team, but I think they’ll get one game. Maine 2-0, Bemidji State 3-2

Friday, October 14, Sunday, October 16

Minnesota at Wisconsin
Candace: The marquee series of the weekend. The Gophers lost a tough game to the Badgers in the WCHA championship last spring, and the hangover from that loss may have affected them in their upset loss to Boston College in the NCAA tournament. Both teams are undefeated, but while Minnesota hasn’t really been challenged, Wisconsin looked very strong in sweeping an excellent North Dakota team last week. I think the Badgers sweep here as well in two close games. Wisconsin 3-2, 4-3
Arlan: The Gophers should still get a tie even if Schoullis is out, but there’s no percentage in picking ties in this contest. Wisconsin 4-1, 3-2

Saturday-Sunday, October 15-16

Mercyhurst at Providence
Candace: Both teams are off to, by their standards, slow starts. Mercyhurst split with Minnesota State last weekend, while Providence lost to Clarkson and tied St. Lawrence. I think the Lakers could sweep a struggling Providence team, but I’m calling split. Mercyhurst 4-2, Providence 3-2
Arlan: The Lakers are inconsistent, and except for last year, the Friars’ seasons start slow. It would be tough to make a living betting on women’s hockey. Mercyhurst 4-1, 3-2

Saturday, October 15

Quinnipiac at Northeastern
Candace: Quinnipiac was expected to challenge Cornell for the ECAC title, but the team has looked mediocre in its first few contests. Northeastern beat Syracuse last weekend. I’m calling home team win. Northeastern 3-2
Arlan: The Bobcats are better than their record, but that takes another hit this week. Northeastern 4-2

35 COMMENTS

  1. Just got back from the WIS-MIN game. Though MIN was clearly quicker tonight, WIS was more physical and just plain out worked the Gophers. With 3 sophmores finding the back of the net for the Badgers and freshman goalie Rumpel turning away 24 shots, WIS was too much for Kent Patterson and the Gophers, which managed a late power play goal with just over one minute remaining.
    Despite the Badgers poor looking record, three of their five losses came in overtime on the road, also throwing in a tie away from home. They swept then #4 North Dakota, which probably doesn’t say too much now, and the handled the #1 Minnesota Gophers like they belong in the top ten. MIN shouldn’t hang their heads for losing to an unranked WIS team on the road in one of the biggest college hockey rivalries we know. 
    The Badgers need to keep up their intensity the next few weeks with series against, 
    Colorado College and Minnesota Duluth coming up. If they can sweep and split the big dogs while taking “easy” wins against the likes of Mercyhurst, RIT, Bemidji State, etc. They can set themselves up nicely for the playoffs.

  2. I had the opportunity to tune in to three other conference tourneys this weekend besides watching at least the majority of all 5 B1G games. At Boston, St. Paul, and Minneapolis there were fans in camera range. At the XCel Energy center, the upper levels were closed off and everyone in attendance was seated in the lower bowl. The B1G tourney had vast expanses of empty seats that reminded me of small town high school hockey where the few in attendance are related to one of the players. If the B1G cares a whit about hockey (another debate for another time) they won’t allow another Debacle in Detroit in 2017.

    • I agree that the attendance in Detroit was downright awful. The sadder thing is that it wasn’t that much worse than what we saw at the X last spring. The one difference which speaks volumes, in my opinion, is that last year, there was at least decent attendance at the Gopher game. This year, even with Michigan playing Michigan State in “primetime” it was still a ghost town. I’m not sure there’s a good solution though.

      • Not just Detroit. As I said elsewhere, the BU/Lowell game was sparsely attended. But also the Mariucci was pretty bare for the Penn St series.

    • I noticed that, too. I watched the Thursday games–in the afternoon session, I could hear player communication (on the ice) over the “crowd” noise.

  3. I believe that the B10 will have a very difficult time getting more then two teams in the tournament every year. Without a lot of participation, teams are just going to be beating up on each other, bringing down their rankings. It won’t be unusual for a team to have 5-6 conference losses at the least.
    I like the idea of the bottom four teams playing a best of three, and then going to the semi-finals. That has merit.
    From what I saw on the TV, attendance was horrific. When it goes back to Detroit in 2017, it will be in the new Red Wings arena (I believe). That ‘MAY’ help. But quite frankly, the last 10 or so years, College Hockey enthusiasm in Michigan has declined a considerable amount. From what it was 20-30 years ago, is now just a small fraction of what it was. No idea why, except that like most of Michigan, people have moved away for job’s or into retirement. Also, if you factor in the cost of going to the B10, NCAA regional and then maybe the F. Four, your talking about a major investment. One I can no longer afford.
    Let me add one other item about Michigan State besides a lack of offense; they could use a Coach as well.

    • Decatur, I’d disagree about the beating up on each other argument. We saw this year that NCHC teams beating up on each other didn’t hurt their tournament prospects one bit. I think the issue is playing better in non-conference games to raise RPI. That’s what really cost most B1G schools this year. St. Cloud had 17 losses this year (17!) and got in based on the overall strength of the NCHC and the schedule they played.

  4. Curious —- does anyone know if the Gophers would have gotten an at large bid if they had lost the final to Michigan.

      • Thanks — of the cuff, I thought yes as well, but I never ran the scenarios the through pairwise calculator they had on line.

    • Yes they would have gotten in. Mass-Lowell, Colgate, Miami and I believe Mich Tech all had to win at the same time for the gohpers to be out. As soon Colgate or Lowell lost (don’t remember which game was finished first) the gophers were a lock… Minny probably would have been a 4 or a low 3 seed for sure if they lost to Mich.

  5. For as much crap as I love to give the cupcake 6 league, (they were downright horrible this year) I doubt there will be many years that they only get 1 team in the national tourney. Every conference has swings. That being said……GO BULLDOGS!

    • So are you a Nodak fan, a bulldog fan, or a fan of whoever the gophers are playing???? I think both the later and Nodak…. I’m the same with Nodak, so i can’t really complain… can’t wait to see who wins it this year!!! it should be some good hockey!!!

      • An enemy of your enemy is your friend. Will be a lot of good games this weekend. I should take half the day off on Friday…..

      • The cupcake 6 has 0 titles. They were not a conference until last year. The NCHC has 0 titles. They were not a conference until last year.

      • And your comment has nothing to do with how pathetic the big joke conference was this year. But thanks for responding.

  6. I know the B1G schools used to play teams in Alaska, but having ASU join up seems insane. I have a hard time getting past that point since UAF/UAA showed it’s possible, but the NCHC/WCHA seems like a likelier home

  7. What Johns Hopkins, Maryland, and Rutgers had was the academics. All B1G universities are members of the American Association of Universities (Nebraska-Lincoln was at the time the offer was extended and was kicked out in part because the med school is not part of UNL, and agricultural research grants are not competitive enough). Arizona State is not in the AAU, but the University of Arizona is.

  8. With only 6 teams in the conference, there is no question that the Big Ten’s automatic bid should go to the regular season champion and not the tournament champion. Just the idea that a team like Michigan, who was dead to rights in the PairWise, could win two games in their hometown and suddenly get into the NCAA tournament is pretty insulting. And if Michigan had beaten Minnesota in the tournament final and then had Minnesota failed to get an at large bid? That would have been a complete and utter farce. I realize that in most years, the Big Ten won’t be as lackluster as it was this season. Wisconsin, for one, is never this bad and even the likes of Ohio State figure to improve in the near future. But until the conference has at least a couple more teams, I FIRMLY believe that the auto bid should go to the regular season champion.

  9. Some of these comments/articles make it sound like a lot of people weren’t aware of the existence of auto-bids until this season. Did you guys not know that it’s been like this for a long time now? It didn’t start this season with the B1G, there has been the opportunity for the last few at large bids to get screwed by auto-bids for years, whether it was the ECAC, AHA, CCHA, HE, or even the WCHA! If Michigan had beaten MN, it wouldn’t have been the first (or worst, by a long shot) time this has ever occurred.

    • You’re totally right, but I believe that unless or until the Big Ten has 8 or 10 teams, the automatic bid should go to the team that wins the regular season title…which is an infinitely more impressive (and more difficult) thing to accomplish than winning a couple games over a weekend tournament. I have no problem with auto bids for really tough conferences like the WCHA, NCHC, or Hockey East. Those tournaments are two weeks long. But in the case of the Big Ten where a team that’s dead in the water can get into the NCAA tournament by simply winning two games? That’s ridiculous.

  10. Hard to assess the Huskie goaltending when they’re faced with unhindered point-blank shots. Their defensemen need to play their position.

  11. Attended both of Western’s home and home with bowling green. Could not have played sloppier to start the away game but more than made up for it in the start at lawson. Wish you would mention the 3 on 3 exhibition ot win!

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