Women’s D-I picks: Feb. 24

Well, I ended up winning the regular season picks race over Arlan by one game, thanks to Princeton beating RPI. It didn’t matter that I got the split dates wrong for Minnesota against North Dakota. Both Arlan and I went 15-3-2 (.761) in the final weekend of regular season action. On the regular season, I went 188-64-24 (.724), while Arlan went 187-65-24 (.721). I’d like to congratulate Arlan for keeping me on my toes all season!

Now we move on the postseason. Arlan is dropping out of a picks race for the postseason, but if anyone wants to challenge me in the coming weeks, let me know. In the meantime, let’s get to this week’s postseason games.

ECAC Playoffs (Friday-Saturday, Sunday if necessary)

Brown at Cornell
This is one of the few series I feel very confident in predicting. The Bears just don’t have the players to keep up with the Big Red Machine. Cornell 4-1, 5-1

Princeton at Harvard
This series depends on which version of each squad shows up. Princeton blanked the Crimson at home, then gave up a 10-spot to them on the road. I have to like home ice in this series, because Princeton has not done well on the road. Harvard 2-1, 2-1 (if it goes three, Harvard wins game three 3-1)

Quinnipiac at Clarkson
The Golden Knights have been playing very well in the second half, and beat Quinnipiac on the road in a close 3-2 game just two weeks ago. Clarkson is a schizoid squad: It is 11-1-4 at home, and 10-7-1 on the road. That bodes poorly for the Bobcats. Clarkson 3-1, 2-1 (if it goes three, Clarkson wins game three 4-1)

St. Lawrence at Dartmouth
This is the ECAC marquee series for the weekend, and I think you could flip a coin to decide who wins it. Here’s an interesting stat to consider: Dartmouth is 9-2-2 on the road, but only 8-6 at home. St. Lawrence is pretty balanced, winning 10 on the road and 10 at home. These two teams split their series, with each winning on the other’s home ice. I think it goes three, and the Saints come out on top. St. Lawrence 2-1, Dartmouth 2-0, St. Lawrence 3-2 (OT)

WCHA Playoffs (Friday-Saturday, Sunday if necessary)

Minnesota State at Wisconsin
The Mavericks haven’t been as awful as their record might suggest, as they did tie North Dakota and split with Mercyhurst, but in four games this season, Wisconsin outscored Minnesota State, 20-3. Wisconsin 4-0, 5-1

St. Cloud at Minnesota
It was nice to see St. Cloud escape the WCHA basement, and win more than one game this year in conference, but the Huskies’ season ends here. Minnesota outscored St. Cloud, 29-1, this year in four games. Minnesota 6-1, 6-0

Bemidji State at North Dakota
This is the series I wish I could attend in person. These two played last year in the first round as well, with North Dakota winning game three in OT. The Sioux are led by two of the more explosive offensive players in the game, Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls, while Bemidji relies on tight defense and the play of goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova. North Dakota won the season series, 3-1, including sweeping at home. I think this will go three though. North Dakota 4-2, Bemidji State 2-1, North Dakota 3-2

Ohio State at Minnesota-Duluth
An interesting series pitting two rather inconsistent teams against each other. They split the season series 2-2. The Buckeyes just showed how dangerous they are by beating Wisconsin in Madison last weekend, 4-2. I know this series will go three, but who wins game three is anybody’s guess. Minnesota-Duluth 3-2, Ohio State 2-1, Minnesota-Duluth 4-2

Hockey East Playoffs

Maine at Providence (Saturday)
In the three games these two played against each other, two went to overtime. The one that didn’t was when Providence exploded for seven goals in a 7-4 win. Providence tends to have a feast or famine offense, and Maine does pretty well on the road. I think this might end up being an upset, in overtime, naturally. Maine 3-2 (OT)

New Hampshire at Boston University
New Hampshire hasn’t won in the month of February, and has only won once since beating the Terriers in mid-January. That was a different Terriers team however. BU is riding a four-game win streak, and has won nine of its last 10 games since losing to New Hampshire. It’s almost as if one team’s fortunes rose while the other’s fell. BU didn’t exactly look like world beaters in its final weekend of action, but should have enough to win this. Boston University 3-1