Hockey East picks – Dec. 5-9

For the second straight week, Dave and I had just one game picked differently. And for the second straight week, I won that game. Thus, I have trimmed Dave’s lead to the slimmest of margins as we near the halfway point.

Jim last week: 10-7-0
Jim to-date: 76-38-9
Dave last week: 9-8-0
Dave to-date: 77-37-9

Friday, December 5

Boston University at Merrimack
Jim’s pick: There are a lot of tough games to pick this weekend and this game leads that list. Home ice favors the Warriors but BU has to be hungry having lost two of its last three. I think the Terriers can prevail even on enemy ice.
BU 4, MC 2
Dave’s pick:  How do you pick against a team that’s 7-1-0 at home? When it’s playing a team as talented as BU.
BU 4, MC 2

Notre Dame at Massachusetts
Jim’s pick: Neither team has played stellar of late though both have a recent game where they played well. I am going with Notre Dame strictly on the better on-paper matchup.
ND 3, UMass 2
Dave’s pick: I’ve been picking Notre Dame a lot more than I should have this year, but UMass is only 1-4-0 at home.
ND 4, UMass 2

Boston College at New Hampshire
Jim’s pick: I am going with what I think may be a minority pick here as I think that New Hampshire has the talent to win at home.
UNH 4, BC 3
Dave’s pick: This may be the game where Jim draws even with me, but I think the Wildcats have been struggling too much. BC has also played reasonably (.500) on the road.
BC 3, UNH 2 (OT)

Saturday, December 6

New Hampshire at Boston College
Jim’s pick: Back at Kelley Rink, I think BC should be able to win.
BC 4, UNH 2
Dave’s pick: The Eagles have five players on the preliminary US Junior roster, so they’d better pile up the wins, especially at home, while they can.
BC 4, UNH 2

Merrimack at Boston University
Jim’s pick: BU heads home to complete the sweep of the Warriors.
BU 5, MC 3
Dave’s pick: Agreed.  The Terriers sweep the previously 10-4-1 Warriors.
BU 5, MC 2

Northeastern at Providence
Jim’s pick: This sweep is over a four-day period, but Providence should be able to follow up its 5-1 road win on Wednesday.
PC 4, NU 1
Dave’s pick: A win here makes it a five-game winning streak. Is this the emergence of the Friars as we expected them to be in the preseason?
PC 3, NU 1

Notre Dame at Massachusetts
Jim’s pick: This feels like a split to me, but I’ll pick the sweep in hopes of getting at least one game correct.
ND 4, UMass 2
Dave’s pick: Sorry, UMass fans. I’m not as optimistic as Jim is. I think it’s going to be a tough year for the Minutemen.
ND 4, UMass 1

Maine at UMass Lowell
Jim’s pick: Maine is awful on the road. But the Black Bears also have been trouble for Lowell in recent seasons. I should maybe give the Black Bears the benefit and pick them, but I have to go with the trend: Road + Maine = Loss.
UML 4, Maine 3
Dave’s pick: I use a simpler math than Jim. League records. 6-0-2 > 2-5-0.
UML 4, Maine 1

Tuesday, December 9

Colgate at Providence
Jim’s pick: This is another difficult game to pick. I know Colgate will be a tough opponent but I think home ice is enough to carry the Friars.
PC 3, CU 2
Dave’s pick: This was my toughest pick of the week. Colgate had impressed but the Friars were on a roll. Like Jim, I think home ice makes the difference.
PC 3, CU 2 (OT)