Hockey East championship picks – March 22-23

If Jim weren’t such a great friend, I’d gloat just a little over how thoroughly I trounced him in the picks race this year.  But since Jim is such a great friend… I’m going to gloat a lot!

Hey, that’s what buddies do. I might even get a sign to put over my bed in our room at the Frozen Four that says, “Home of the Hockey East Picks Champion!”  It could be a very long Frozen Four for Jimmy.

Heh, heh, heh.

Dave last week: 8-1-0
Jim last week: 8-1-0
Dave’s record-to-date: 119-71-25
Jim’s record-to-date: 111-79-25

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, March 22
Hockey East Semifinals

No. 1 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. No. 4 Providence

Dave’s pick: This could be a terrific battle that goes into overtime.  Connor Hellebuyck vs. Jon Gillies.  Unattached Hockey East partisans will be rooting for Providence so the league can get more than three teams into the NCAA tournament, but my gut instinct is that the Friars are one year away.
UML 2, PC 1
Jim’s pick: I have a concern that the Providence defense and Jon Gillies will simply shut down Lowell. But I’m still going to pick the favorite.
UML 3, PC 2

No. 2 Boston College vs. No. 3 Boston University
Dave’s pick: Will this game mark the end of BU’s season and Jack Parker’s coaching career?  It wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see the Terriers pull this one out, but I’m going with the Eagles in double overtime.
BC 4, BU 3 (2 OT) 
Jim’s pick: I’m similar to Dave in that I can imagine BU using its “Ray Lewis factor” to win, but I still think BC is the better team.
BC 4, BU 2

Saturday, March 23
Hockey East Championship

Dave’s pick: I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if any one of the four teams takes the title.  The match-ups are that close. But I’m going with the River Hawks who have been too exceptional for too long.  A record of 20-3-1 down the stretch doesn’t lie (and gets even better if you factor in that Connor Hellebuyck was sidelined for two of the losses.) If it isn’t the River Hawks, then I’m going with the Eagles out of pure March-April reflex. But the margins are really paper-thin this year.
UML 3, BC 2 or UML 3, BU 2 or if Lowell lost in the semis,
BC3, PC 1 or BU 3, PC 2

Jim’s pick: Again, I agree with Dave. While this is a wide open championship tournament, Lowell record down the stretch is simply too incredible to pick against. While I go with Lowell to win it all, here are all of the scenarios. 
UML 3, BC 2 or UML 4, BU 2 or if Lowell lost in the semis,
BC 4, PC 2 or BU 3, PC 2