Hockey East Picks – Feb. 22 – 26

Last week, I was struck by the Curse of Nicole.

Let me explain. Nicole, my daughter, was offended that I picked Boston College to defeat Northeastern in the Beanpot championship game. (She and her husband Greg are Northeastern graduates.) When she found out that Jim had picked the Huskies, she told me that he was now her favorite and because of my treachery she hoped I got every pick wrong for the rest of the year.

Last week, I went 3-4-3 and dropped two games to Jim.

Coincidence? I think not.

Dave last week: 3-4-3
Jim last week: 5-2-3
Dave’s record-to-date: 93-62-20
Jim’s record-to-date: 89-66-20

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Feb. 22

Maine at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: I agonized over this pick, but I’m going with the Black Bears. They’re playing the better of the two teams.
Maine 2, UMass 1
Jim’s pick: This is the toughest series to pick this weekend. I feel firmly this will be a split but, as usual, I’ll likely call the split on the wrong nights.
UMass 3, Maine 2

Northeastern at Providence
Dave’s pick: At the risk of incurring even more of Nicole’s wrath, I’m going with the Friars.  Although if I really wanted to solidify my comparison in this week’s column between PC and Tigran Petrosian, I’d pick a scoreless tie.
PC 4, NU 2 
Jim’s pick: I can incur Nicole’s wrath too, because on paper this has become a pretty lopsided affair.
PC 4, NU 1

New Hampshire at Vermont
Dave’s pick: Vermont’s three-week gauntlet through the Hockey East Iron begins here and not on a happy note. 
UNH 4, UVM 2 
Jim’s pick: Agreed. Loved the way Vermont played last weekend but I think a desperate UNH team wins… at least on Friday.
UNH 3, UVM 2

Massachusetts-Lowell at Boston University
Dave’s pick: If I were opting for the Four Corners Offense in my picks race with Jim, I’d take a split in this series with the home team taking each game. But I’m going with the River Hawks over the Jekyll-and-Hyde Terriers.
UML 3, BU 2 (OT) 
Jim’s pick: I agree with Dave that I should be bullish on Lowell, but at home you have to figure that BU finds a way to win.
BU 4, UML 3

Saturday, Feb. 23

New Hampshire at Vermont
Dave’s pick: The Wildcats take over first place, temporarily at least, with a sweep. 
UNH 3, UVM 2 
Jim’s pick: Not so fast. I think this Vermont team will take some points down the stretch beginning with UNH. I’m opting for the split in Burlington. 
UVM 3, UNH 2

Boston University at Massachusetts-Lowell

Dave’s pick: The River Hawks sweep, although it probably still won’t be enough to put them in home ice position.
UML 3, BU 2
Jim’s pick: Lowell has only had one bad weekend in the second half of the season. This won’t be a second one.
UML 4, BU 2

Maine at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: By picking a Maine sweep on the road, I’m opening the door for Jim to catch up.  Will he race through it, or will it slam in his face?
Maine 3, UMass 2
Jim’s pick: Maine will pick up a road split in a tough place (historically for the Black Bears) to play.
Maine 4, UMass 1

Providence at Northeastern
Dave’s pick: They played with such heart in the Beanpot, but the Huskies still will see a playoff berth slipping through their fingers.
PC 3, NU 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: What Dave said.
PC 4, NU 2

Sunday, Feb. 24

Boston College at Merrimack
Dave’s pick: This rematch of last week’s game that catapulted Merrimack into first place will go the other way this time.
BC 3, Merrimack 2
Jim’s pick: I tend to agree though worry that games at Lawler have become incredibly difficult for me to pick.
BC 3, Merrimack 1 

Tuesday, Feb. 26

Merrimack at Boston University
Dave’s pick: Could the Terriers actually go oh-for-3 on the extended weekend?  After taking three points last weekend in Orono?  It’s hard to imagine, but I like their opponents better.
MC 3, BU 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: Especially if Merrimack loses on Sunday, I feel they will come out guns a blazing on Tuesday.
MC 4, BU 1

Massachusetts-Lowell at Boston College
Dave’s pick: I really like the way the River Hawks are playing, but I think they’ll fall just short of picking up six points on the week.
BC 3, UML 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: If this game was in Lowell, I might pick differently. But I have to agree with Dave.
BC 4, UML 2