Hockey East Picks: March 2-3

Just a few weeks left and I have leveraged a perfectly-picked split between UMass and UNH to take a two-game lead in the standings. I’m guessing Dave is about to pull the goalie in desperation, so I hope the lead is five by next weekend.

Jim last week: 7-2-1
Dave last week: 5-4-1
Jim’s record-to-date: 109-69-17
Dave’s record-to-date: 107-71-17

Friday, March 2

Vermont at Boston College
Jim’s pick: As impressive as Vermont was in almost taking down BU last weekend, I can’t pick them against this red-hot BC team. If I get one of these wrong, I know I won’t lost ground to Dave.
BC 4, UVM 1
Dave’s pick: No disrespect to the Catamounts, but I’m not desperate enough to pick against the number one team in the country. That would be pulling the goalie in the first period.
BC 5, UVM 2

Northeastern at Boston University
Jim’s pick: I have a weird feeling NU will take one of these games this weekend, but not ready to put my money where my mouth is.
BU 3, NU 2
Dave’s pick: I share Jim’s feeling that the Huskies could get a split (or at least grab one point) on the weekend, but it won’t be at Agganis with BU still holding hopes of a regular season title.
BU 4, NU 2

Massachusetts-Lowell at Providence
Jim’s pick: This will be the toughest game to pick all weekend. Would likely go with PC at home after Lowell’s showing last weekend, but knowing Tim Schaller is out of the lineup for the Friars, this feels like Lowell’s weekend.
UML 4, PC 2
Dave’s pick: Agreed. The River Hawks stumbled last weekend, but they’ve shown a lot of bounce-back resiliency all year long.
UML 3, PC 2

Merrimack at Massachusetts
Jim’s pick: The Minutemen have been great at home all year, but Merrimack looked to have found its stride a weekend ago.
MC 5, UMass 2
Dave’s pick: I’m going with the Warriors as well, although I think it’ll be a much tighter game. The Minutemen are fighting for their playoff lives while the Warriors are fighting for home ice and also are on the NCAA tournament bubble.
MC 4, UMass 2

Saturday, March 3

Vermont at Boston College
Jim’s pick: A difficult season for the Catamounts finally comes to an end.
BC 5, UVM 2
Dave’s pick: Dandy Don Meredith would have been singing “Party’s Over” for Vermont a long time ago. As for the Eagles, don’t expect a letdown. Even if they’ve locked up the Hockey East title, Jerry York has shown he always has an eye on the national picture, so this team isn’t about to fritter away a number one NCAA seed. 
BC 5, UVM 1

Massachusetts at Merrimack
Jim’s pick: A loss could mean the end of UMass’ season, thus this team may be playing at a different level. Still, not going against Merrimack at home.
MC 4, UMass 2
Dave’s pick: The Warriors haven’t been as dominant at home this year as in past ones, but I still like them holding off a life-or-death UMass team to take home ice.
MC 4, UMass 3

New Hampshire at Maine
Jim’s pick: This is the only game of the weekend for these two rivals and it could mean plenty for each team. Narrow edge goes to the home ice club here.
Maine 4, UNH 3
Dave’s pick: Here’s where I should pull the goalie, but I won’t. Maine desperately needs this game to have a shot at home ice and with the game at Alfond that would feel like pulling the goalie with the puck in my own zone.
Maine 5, UNH 3

Boston University at Northeastern
Jim’s pick: This game could mean everything for NU, but like I said earlier, not picking against BU right now.
BU 3, NU 2
Dave’s pick: Time to pull the goalie. The Huskies at home fighting for their playoff lives will be the more tenacious of the two teams and they’ll pull out the win.
NU 3, BU 2

Providence at Massachusetts-Lowell
Jim’s pick: Lowell sweeps to solidify everything from home ice to its position in the PairWise.
UML 5, PC 2
Dave’s pick: Much as I’d like to pick against Jim, I’ve got to agree.  The storybook season continues for the River Hawks.
UML 4, PC 2