Hockey East Picks – March 8-9

For a while there, my plummeting position in the picks race was starting to resemble the September,  2011 Red Sox.  I became so despondent, I had to console myself with a bucket of fried chicken.

Fortunately, the proper order to the universe has been restored, which means my lead widened by another two games last weekend.   The opera may not be over, but the lady of considerable girth is going tra-la-la.

Dave last week: 6-2-2
Jim last week: 4-4-2
Dave’s record-to-date: 106-67-23
Jim’s record-to-date: 98-75-23

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, March 8

Providence at Massachusetts-Lowell
Dave’s pick: The River Hawks close to within one game of their first league title, but the Friars make it difficult.
UML 3, PC 2
Jim’s pick: Man, losing to Dave is such an embarassment, but I won’t pick against the River Hawks now hoping to pick up games.
UML 4, PC 2

Boston College at Vermont
Dave’s pick: The Eagles stay within striking distance of another regular season championship in case Lowell and New Hampshire falter, but Vermont clinches a playoff berth because Massachusetts falls to Merrimack.
BC 3, UVM 1 
Jim’s pick: I am extremely concerned by BC’s injuries. I don’t know the lineup that will take the ice this weekend, but still will barely pick BC.
BC 3, UVM 2

Maine at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: This rivalry gets even more heated with the Black Bears desperate for points to make the playoffs while a UNH sweep could give them another regular season crown. Maine has been playing awfully well of late while the Wildcats have misfired a bit, but I’m still sticking with the Cats. 
UNH 4, Maine 3 
Jim’s pick: I think Maine can actually win this one.
Maine 3, UNH 2

Boston University at Northeastern
Dave’s pick: Even though BU has become near impossible to predict and has already lost twice this year to the Huskies, I’m still going with the Terriers.  Northeastern has simply lost the war of attrition.
BU 4, NU 2 
Jim’s pick: C’mon, Pops. NU has beaten BU twice this year. Ahhh, forget it. I can’t even make a case for an NU win.
BU 5, NU 2

Massachusetts at Merrimack
Dave’s pick: The Warriors have gone into a tailspin, but they’ll keep their home ice dreams alive with a convincing win over a Minuteman team desperate for points.   
MC 4, UMass 1 
Jim’s pick: This game is A LOT tighter than Dave makes it. I will bet on UMass here. They need points. They’ll get them.
UMass 3, MC 2

Saturday, March 9

Maine at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: Maine backs into the playoffs thanks to Merrimack’s sweep of UMass, while New Hampshire puts the gun to Lowell’s head.
UNH 3, Maine 2 
Jim’s pick: Maine cannot sweep but will still get to the playoffs. That said, I’m betting on Lowell winning the title.
UNH 5, Maine 2

Merrimack at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: It wouldn’t be a shocker to see Providence get swept by Lowell and BU manage only a split with Northeastern, allowing the Warriors to ride this sweep into home ice. For UMass, it’s the end of the season.  
MC 3, UMass 2 
Jim’s pick: Merrimack will win its final game, even if on the road.
MC 4, UMass 2

Northeastern at Boston University
Dave’s pick: The Huskies sadly stow their hockey bags and take out their drivers, irons, and putters. 
BU 4, NU 1 
Jim’s pick: Tee time for Mr. Husky.  
BU 5, NU 3

Boston College at Vermont
Dave’s pick: I wouldn’t be surprised if Vermont picks off a point or even two this weekend, but my money is on the Eagles to sweep the same team they could face next week in the quarterfinals.
BC 3 UVM 2
Jim’s pick: BC closes its season with a win, no doubt.
BC 4, UVM 3

Massachusetts-Lowell at Providence
Dave’s pick: Needing only a tie to gain a share of of the regular season title, River Hawk Nation goes into cardiac arrest when a Friar clangs the post in overtime. But play counters back up the other end and Scott Wilson sends those same fans into delirium with the game- and title-winner.
UML 3, PC 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: I see overtime, I see a loss, I see a blowaway win in the River Hawks future. All those are possibilities because this league is simply ar too unpredictable. But I think we see history as the River Hawks win their first league title.
UML 3, PC 2