Hockey East picks: December 29-January 5 (Holiday tournament edition)

It’s been a while since we’ve picked a game, but that doesn’t hide the horrid final weekend I had before the break.

Jim’s last week: 0-2-0
Dave’s last week: 2-0-0
Jim’s record-to-date: 55-40-9
Dave’s record-to-date: 58-37-9

Here are picks for this weekend’s non-league and tournament action and games through next Thursday:

Thursday, December 29

Clarkson vs. Maine (at Florida College Classic)
Jim’s pick: Wasn’t the best first half for Maine, but I’ll throw the Black Bears my vote of confidence to open the second half.
Maine 4, Clarkson 2
Dave’s pick: The Black Bears beat Clarkson, 4-3, a month ago. I’ll go for a holiday rerun.
Maine 4, Clarkson 3

Boston College vs. Michigan (at Great Lakes Invitational)
Jim’s pick: At the beginning of the season, we’d have thought of this as a marquis matchup. Then Michigan took a nose-dive. That makes me think this should be all BC.
BC 5, Michigan 2
Dave’s pick: I’m not sure if Michigan will stay down all season long, but I don’t see them getting up against the Eagles.
BC 4, Michigan 2

Massachusetts-Lowell vs. Rensselaer (at UConn Holiday Classic)
Jim’s pick: The River Hawks machine picks right back up to start the second half.
UML 4, RPI 1
Dave’s pick: Rensselaer appears to be headed where Lowell went last year (last place). The River Hawks are loving the change.
UML 4, RPI 2

Lake Superior at Vermont (Catamount Cup)
Jim’s pick: Things aren’t any prettier now that the second half begins for Vermont
Dave’s pick: The tough times continue for the Cats, even in their own tournament.

Friday, December 30

Brown at New Hampshire
Jim’s pick: So is a non-league game vs. an ECAC team what New Hampshire needs? Maybe, though I remember thinking the same thing when they faced Harvard. Still, I will give UNH the benefit of the doubt here.
UNH 3, Brown 2
Dave’s pick: The Wildcats have been terribly inconsistent, but I still see them making a second-half charge.
UNH 4, Brown 3

Northeastern vs. Princeton (at Mariucci Classic)
Jim’s pick: Here’s hoping that NU keeps going its mojo from before the break.
NU 4, Princeton 2
Dave’s pick: Seven in a row for college hockey’s hottest team.
NU 4, Princeton 1

Merrimack vs. St. Lawrence (at Ledyard Bank Tournament)
Jim’s pick: Third straight ECAC opponent for the Warriors. First win.
MC 4, SLU 2
Dave’s pick: The Warriors hit a pothole or two before the break, but they get back on track right here.
MC 5, SLU2

Maine vs. UMass/Cornell (at Florida College Classic)
Jim’s pick: One of the many situations where the opponent decides my outcome.
vs. Cornell: Cornell 5, Maine 3; vs. UMass: Maine 3, UMass 2
Dave’s pick: I was hoping to disagree with Jim here, but can’t. Cornell is having a terrific year so far; Umass, not.
vs. Cornell: Cornell 5, Maine 2; vs. UMass: Maine 4, UMass 2

Boston College vs. Michigan State/Michigan Tech (at Great Lakes Invitational)
Jim’s pick: I think both opponents will be difficult, but I see BC coming out of this tournament a winner.
vs. MSU: BC 3, MSU 2; vs. MTU: BC 4, MTU 2
Dave’s pick: I agree with Jim’s outcome, but think it’ll be easier for the Eagles than he thinks.
vs. MSU: BC 4, MSU 2; vs. MTU: BC 5, MTU 2

Massachusetts-Lowell vs. Connecticut/Army (at UConn Holiday Classic)
Jim’s pick: Despite an early-season loss to UConn, I think Lowell comes out on top regardless of opponent.
vs. UConn: Lowell 4, UConn 2; vs. Army: Lowell 6, Army 2
Dave’s pick: I was a lot slower to hop on the River Hawks’ bandwagon than Jim, but even a dope like me sees a win for them here.
vs. UConn: Lowell 5, UConn 2; vs. Army: Lowell 6, Army 1

Ferris State at Vermont (at Catamount Cup)
Jim’s pick: Two tough CCHA opponents for the Cats in this pre-determined pairings tournament spell two more losses.
FSU 5, UVM 3
Dave’s pick: Have to agree (again!) with Jim, although I fear an even more lopsided loss. Ferris State is 11-6-1; the Cats are, well, having a tough year.
FSU 6, UVM 2

Saturday, December 31

Boston University at Notre Dame
Jim’s pick: Hard to predict how BU will look without Trivino and Coyle, but I’m still picking them here.
BU 3, ND 2
Dave’s pick: Before the Terriers lost the two forwards, I’d have been all over them. But I think it’ll take a bit of time to fill in the gaps, especially against quality opponents like the Irish.
ND 3, BU 2

Northeastern vs. Niagara/Minnesota (at Mariucci Classic)
Jim’s pick: NU should handle Niagara no problem, but Goldy would prove a challenge.
vs. Niagara: NU 5, Niagara 2; vs. Minn.: Minn. 4, NU 3
Dave’s pick: Agreed, especially taking on the Gophers on their home ice.
vs. Niagara: NU 5, Niagara 2; vs. Minn.: Minn. 4, NU 2

Merrimack vs. Dartmouth/Holy Cross
Jim’s pick: Though Dartmouth might give Merrimack a game at home, I think this is Merrimack’s tournament to win.
vs. Dartmouth: MC 3, Dartmouth 2; vs. HC: MC 6, HC 2
Dave’s pick: The Warriors all the way. Not back to No. 1 in the country but at least No. 1 in this tourney.
vs. Dartmouth: MC 4, Dartmouth 2; vs. HC: MC 5, HC 2

Sunday, January 1

Brown at Providence (Mayor’s Cup)
Jim’s pick: Friars take this year’s annual battle of Providence.
PC 4, Brown 2
Dave’s pick: It’ll be a close one, but yes, the Friars prevail.
PC 3, Brown 2

Wednesday, January 4

Vermont at Maine
Jim’s pick: Black Bears get a much-needed home win.
Maine 5, UVM 2
Dave’s pick: Based on the season the Cats have been having, it’s tough to imagine them stealing one at Alfond.
Maine 5, UVM 3

Thursday, January 5

Massachusetts at Providence
Jim’s pick: Providence was a great first-half team at home and that weighs in part on my pick.
PC 3, UMass 2
Dave’s pick: A great point by Jim. PC was 7-2-1 at home; UMass was 0-7-1 on the road.
PC 4, UMass 1