Paula's picks, part 2: Oct. 28, 2011

I knew it! That 2-0 Thursday night record was so sweet — and perfection so brief.
How did I do last night? Not as bad as I thought I would: 1-1-1. Seriously, I thought it would be 0-3 the moment I posted the picks.
Last Week: 4-5-2
Last night: 1-1-1
Season to date: 29-19-6 (.593)
Painful — and it isn’t even November yet.
The remainder of this week
For the Thursday-Friday series picks, check out yesterday’s blog. Here are my picks for the three Friday-Saturday series. All games are 7:05 p.m. EDT.
ND at BGSU
When Notre Dame opened the Compton Family Ice Arena (and when can I start calling that “The Compton”?) with a 5-2 win over Rensselaer last Friday night, sophomore Anders Lee recorded a hat trick, netting the first-ever goal in the new barn at 9:21 in the first, scoring at 1:09 in the second and adding an empty-net marker at 18:40, bringing his season goal total to eight in five games — one-third of his total from his 44-game freshman season. Neither he nor classmate T.J. Tynan appears to be destined for sophomore slumps, as they’re tied for second in the nation among scorers for points per game; Lee leads the country in goals per game, Tynan in assists per game. The Irish have 11 skaters who have netted at least one goal, and ND is tied for seventh in the nation in goals per game (4.20). Defensively, though … well, the Irish are a bit down on the list (28th), allowing three goals per game.
Bowling Green split with Lake Superior State on the road last weekend, winning 1-0 Friday before losing 4-1 Saturday, the Falcons’ first loss of the season. That Friday shutout, though, was Andrew Hammond’s second in as many games, as he stopped Alabama-Huntsville 3-0 the Saturday before. Hammond (1.48 GAA, .937 SV%), a junior, is posting career-season numbers and has played every game for BGSU. With his help, the Falcons have the fourth-best defense in the nation, allowing 1.67 goals per game. This is a team that finished tied for 36th in the nation in that category in 2010-11. Offensively, though … well, let’s just say that BG’s offense hasn’t yet made the same strides. Freshman Ryan Carpenter leads the Falcons in goals with three; BGSU is averaging 2.17 goals per game and is No. 41 in that category.
Picks: Last season, the Irish were 3-1-0 against BG, the only Falcons’ win coming in Bowling Green Nov. 5, 2010. ND is 19-2-3 in the last 24 meetings between these teams. BGSU 3-2, ND 4-2
NMU at WMU
At home last weekend, Northern Michigan earned four points from Michigan with Friday’s 5-3 win and Saturday’s 3-3 tie. Five different Wildcats scored in the win, including seniors Justin Florek and Tyler Gron, who between them account for nine of NMU’s 21 goals so far this season. The Wildcats’ offense is currently tied with four other teams for 14th-best in the nation (3.50 goals per game). Defensively, the Wildcats are tied with four other teams for 17th in the nation (2.50), in large part because of the solid goaltending provided by senior Reid Ellingson (2.27, .918) and sophomore Jared Coreau (2.62, .904), who have split time in net. Ellingson had the win last Friday.
Western Michigan comes into the last weekend in October tied for the 12th-best offense in the country (3.67) and third-best defense (1.50). Last weekend, the Broncos remained undefeated when they captured five points from Alaska in Fairbanks with a win, tie and shootout point. Junior Nick Pisellini (1.68, .931) earned the win; freshman Frank Slubowski (0.96, .955) had the tie. The Broncos have 13 skaters who have scored at least one goal through six games this season, and they’re outscoring opponents 22-9 overall so far. Sophomores Chase Balisy and Shane Berschbach lead WMU in scoring and have seven goals between them.
Picks: In 2010-11, the Broncos were 2-1-1 against the Wildcats, outscoring NMU 11-4 in a two-game home sweep Jan. 28-29. Neither current WMU goaltender has defeated NMU, Slubowski because he’s new and Pisellini because he’s only played them twice and lost and tied in that series (Dec. 3-4, 2010). Just a note that intrigued me. WMU 3-2, 4-2
RMU at MSU
The only nonconference series of the weekend brings Atlantic Hockey’s Robert Morris to East Lansing. The Colonials are 2-3-0 overall this season, having split at home with Quinnipiac last weekend. Junior Eric Levine (2.50, .928) made 35 saves in the 5-4 Friday win and senior Brooks Ostergard (2.74, .915) stopped 38 in Saturday’s 4-1 loss; six different Colonials scored the six goals on the weekend.
The Spartans split a Thursday-Friday home series last week with Ohio State. Senior Drew Palmisano (3.02, .902) earned his first win of the season with a 3-0 shutout in Thursday’s contest. Junior Kevin Walrod had both goals in Friday’s 5-2 loss, and he’s one of six Spartans with two goals this season. MSU is trying to reinvent itself as an up-tempo, high-offense team and that is certainly evident on the ice — as are the growing pains that accompany that effort, like an overall team defense that is still working on that transition.
Picks: These teams have never met before. The CCHA homer in me wants to pick an MSU sweep. MSU 4-3, RMU 3-1
Follow on Twitter (@paulacweston), or email ([email protected]), or comment below — but don’t be ghoulish simply because it’s the weekend before Halloween.

68 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve got to disagree on WMU sweeping NMU.  It could happen, but the chances are about 1 to 10.  WMU hasn’t proven much yet with a sweep of winless UAH and a set
    of nuetral results with Alaska and Union (way over-rated).  NMU on the other hand
    has faced Wisconsin (way under-rated) and Michigan as well as an always tough
    SCSU and has come out 4-1-1.  Use whatever logic you wish (i.e. goals for and against etc.).  Anything could happen in college hockey, I know.  But I’ll tell you this;
    your apparent underestimation of NMU isn’t going to happen. Not in the short run or the long run.

    • Frankly, it could be a sweep the other way.  It’s so early in the season — to early to tell, really.  I was going to pick another split, but at the last second went with the WMU sweep.  

      Look at it this way:  If I’m wrong, I’ve given dozens of NMU fans something else to delight in.

        • You know, I hadn’t thought about keeping track of my picks for individual teams throughout a season before — so you just gave me a great idea.  Thanks!

          If you look at my abysmal overall record for this short season, though, you’ll see that I’m an equal opportunity offender.

          • actually..she’s doing a better job with LSSU and Miami than everyone else…and seems alone in her belief in the strength of Ferris where she’s done particularly well, but when one compares her records for the two teams at issue — Western and Northern, as she puts it, she’s an equal opportunity offender

          • Or, perhaps, I was doing something else and not online when you posted them.    I certainly haven’t had the time today to go through them, so I appreciate that you did.  Now, when I have the time to actually think about them, I will.  Thank you.

        • Make that now 3-5.  Great call on that sweep.  Even got the scores right, just on the wrong days.  Should shut those haters up for a bit

    • You think Union’s over-rated? Really? Based on what I am reading, anyone that NMU plays is under-rated while their opponents’  schedule is over-rated. Great logic there- and bias I may add. 

    • Western looked fantastic tonight holding NMU to only 12 shots.  The Wildcats first goal came after catching Vigier out of the box and their second came on a tap in off of a strange hop.  I definitely expect Northern to bounce back tomorrow, but having watched every Bronco game this year (the internet is a wonderful thing) I can confidently say that Western is going to be a tough team all season long.  They definitely have some skilled players, but they’re extremely gritty and they just simply outwork their opponents.  

  2. I’ve got to disagree on WMU sweeping NMU.  It could happen, but the chances are about 1 to 10.  WMU hasn’t proven much yet with a sweep of winless UAH and a set
    of nuetral results with Alaska and Union (way over-rated).  NMU on the other hand
    has faced Wisconsin (way under-rated) and Michigan as well as an always tough
    SCSU and has come out 4-1-1.  Use whatever logic you wish (i.e. goals for and against etc.).  Anything could happen in college hockey, I know.  But I’ll tell you this;
    your apparent underestimation of NMU isn’t going to happen. Not in the short run or the long run.

    • Frankly, it could be a sweep the other way.  It’s so early in the season — to early to tell, really.  I was going to pick another split, but at the last second went with the WMU sweep.  
      Look at it this way:  If I’m wrong, I’ve given dozens of NMU fans something else to delight in.

        • You know, I hadn’t thought about keeping track of my picks for individual teams throughout a season before — so you just gave me a great idea.  Thanks!
          If you look at my abysmal overall record for this short season, though, you’ll see that I’m an equal opportunity offender.

          • actually..she’s doing a better job with LSSU and Miami than everyone else…and seems alone in her belief in the strength of Ferris where she’s done particularly well, but when one compares her records for the two teams at issue — Western and Northern, as she puts it, she’s an equal opportunity offender

          • Or, perhaps, I was doing something else and not online when you posted them.    I certainly haven’t had the time today to go through them, so I appreciate that you did.  Now, when I have the time to actually think about them, I will.  Thank you.

        • Make that now 3-5.  Great call on that sweep.  Even got the scores right, just on the wrong days.  Should shut those haters up for a bit

    • You think Union’s over-rated? Really? Based on what I am reading, anyone that NMU plays is under-rated while their opponents’  schedule is over-rated. Great logic there- and bias I may add. 

    • Western looked fantastic tonight holding NMU to only 12 shots.  The Wildcats first goal came after catching Vigier out of the box and their second came on a tap in off of a strange hop.  I definitely expect Northern to bounce back tomorrow, but having watched every Bronco game this year (the internet is a wonderful thing) I can confidently say that Western is going to be a tough team all season long.  They definitely have some skilled players, but they’re extremely gritty and they just simply outwork their opponents.  

  3. Will you be at one or both WMU/U. of Michigan games Paula?

    Are you planning on coming to Kalamazoo for any games this year?

  4. Will you be at one or both WMU/U. of Michigan games Paula?
    Are you planning on coming to Kalamazoo for any games this year?

  5. “Brown is one of those ECAC teams that no one expected much from…”
    And I simply don’t understand why. You’re a fool if you think this team won’t be improved from last year’s.

  6. “Brown is one of those ECAC teams that no one expected much from…”
    And I simply don’t understand why. You’re a fool if you think this team won’t be improved from last year’s.

  7. Let’s not forget that the Cornell offense is 6th in the country too, so we should see some fireworks on the offensive end. Of course Andy might have something to say about BU’s contributions to the final score. Here’s hoping that Andy comes back to Lynah next weekend challenging Scrivens’ Cornell record for consecutive minutes of scoreless hockey.

  8. “The Bulldogs feature one of the country’s hottest goalies in Jeff
    Malcolm, who has three shutouts and a .932 save percentage thus far.” – really? Are we just ignoring the 5 goals on 15 shots against Sacred Heart he posted in his last game?

  9. The Brown Yale game is huge for both teams, so I’m surprised not more was said about the matchup. The Elis seem to be weaker than past seasons and Brown has shown its ability to beat Yale in the past. This year should be even more interesting, considering the Bears have shown some promise early on by beating Union and Cornell. If anything, I think the score would be more like 4-3 or 4-2 going either way. 

  10. BU was very lucky. A phantom interference to give them a 5 on 3, Cornell hits a post and then a cross-bar plus TWO disallowed Cornell goals.  Christmas came early for the Terriers.

  11. @Carlos- EVERYBODY in MSG saw that goal on replay, except, apparently, the officials!!
    @guest- READ the article again, there’s 2+ paragraphs devoted to the Union/Michigan game under the heading of “Clash of Titans”. Although I hesitate to call Union a titan just yet!

  12. Great article and great responses so far. I think people need to understand that ESPN could care less about hockey, NHL or College. Its Football and Basketball and that’s about it. Their coverage of hockey, when they do cover it, is poor at best. 
    Everyone seems to think ESPN is the end all for sports. I highly disagree. Their coverage of the bread and butter sports has gone downhill and its really hard to watch any sporting event on that network anymore.
    I would rather see someone that actually cares about hockey show it rather than ESPN, like NBCSN or even NHLNetwork. They already cover the NHL and NHLN covers the world junior tournament, so why not college hockey. I think they would do a great job.

  13. ESPN has no interest in the Frozen Four if a Boston area team isn’t in it. Beanpot got more Sports Center coverage than the national championship

  14. I think ESPNU does a good job, and I find myself watching it fairly often, but it certainly is disappointing they have moved the Frozen down a tier. 

  15. ESPN is the network of Football & Basketball but I blame the NCAA for this one.  Why not leverage the Men’s basketball tournament to FORCE ESPN to carry the other championships on the flagship?  When ESPN bought coverage for the World Cup, SportsCenter changed from anti-soccer to pro-soccer.  Sure, not a ton of highlights but soccer does make the top 10 fairly consistently.  Still loses out to the NBA equivalent to the empty netter but there are no more stupid comments from the anchors about how soccer sucks.  If ESPN gets behind hockey, it will change everything about the sports success.

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