Women’s D-I picks: Feb. 28

Congrats to Arlan for beating me in our regular season picks contest and winning a six pack of microbrew from me. Last weekend, both Arlan and I went 17-7-2 (.692). I finished the regular season 272-91-42 (.723), while Arlan finished the regular season 280-83-42 (.743).

Arlan usually doesn’t pick the playoffs, so I’ll bid him adieu with a pledge to take the picks crown back from him next season. In the meantime, here is my outlook on the first round playoff matchups.

Friday, Feb. 28

New Hampshire at Boston College
The Wildcats own one win against the Eagles this season, but have looked underwhelming over the last few months, while BC has been on a roll. I think Katie King Crowley will prevent any letdown. Boston College 4-2

Connecticut at Northeastern
The battle of the Huskies. Connecticut played better in spurts this year, but Northeastern has been on a tear, and swept two games two weeks ago against UConn without giving up a goal. Northeastern 4-1

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 28-March 1

Penn State at RIT
RIT impressed last weekend by sweeping Syracuse in a home-and-home, and Penn State is still building its program. RIT 4-2, 4-1

Lindenwood at Syracuse
This is an interesting series, because Lions goalie Nicole Hensley is capable of stealing a game for the visitors, and Lindenwood did beat Syracuse once back in December in Syracuse, but when they faced off again back a couple of weeks ago, Syracuse swept, so I’ll go with the Orange in two. Syracuse 2-1, 3-1

Dartmouth at Clarkson
The Big Green are having a down year, and while they usually play better against the top teams, it won’t be enough. Clarkson 3-2, 4-1

Princeton at Cornell
A rematch of a game from last weekend won by the Tigers. Cornell has been reeling of late and has goaltending issues, and Princeton played the Big Red tough in two contests in the regular season, but I just don’t see Princeton taking two games in Ithaca. Cornell 3-2, Princeton 4-3, Cornell 5-3

Yale at Harvard
This one could be a major upset. Yale had great success against the Crimson this year, almost winning both games before Harvard rallied to tie on Saturday. The Bulldogs were one of the few teams that demonstrated scoring ability against Crimson netminder Emerance Maschmeyer. Yale will also have Phoebe Staenz back from the Olympics. I’ll go with the upset in three. Harvard 2-1, Yale 2-1, 3-2

St. Lawrence at Quinnipiac
Another case of a lower seed that won the season series against the higher seed. There’s also the rematch factor, as St. Lawrence beat Quinnipiac in three games last year in the ECAC tournament. I think Quinnipiac reverses that result, but it will take three games. Quinnipiac 2-1, St. Lawrence 3-2, Quinnipiac 3-2

St. Cloud State at Minnesota
If I could only bet on one series all weekend, I’d take the Gophers in a sweep. Minnesota 4-2, 4-1

Minnesota State at Wisconsin
These two faced off last weekend in Madison, and the Badgers swept. They will again. Wisconsin 2-1, 4-2

Bemidji State at North Dakota
North Dakota finally has its full roster again, and is hoping that can lift them out of their four-game losing streak. I’ll go with a UND sweep, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Bemidji takes this to three. North Dakota 3-2, 4-2

Ohio State at Minnesota-Duluth
This is the series I would be least likely to bet on, because I think you could flip a coin 100 times and have better odds of predicting it correctly. The Buckeyes played very well in the second half and had two ties against the Bulldogs in Duluth back in January. Overtime in all three of these games would not surprise me. OSU swept this series on the road last year. Ohio State 2-1, Minnesota-Duluth 3-2, Ohio State 3-1

Saturday, March 1

Providence at Boston University
The Friars never really got untracked, and the Terriers seem to have fixed whatever was ailing them in January. Boston University 4-2

Maine at Vermont
Possibly an upset special, as the Black Bears played the Catamounts tough a couple of weeks ago in Burlington, losing 2-1, but I’ll go with home ice. Vermont 2-1