Hockey East picks: Jan. 9-13

Though I thought I had a decent week, I continued to lose ground to Dave. Something needs to turn around fast (though with Dave picking second again, expect him to utilize the four-corners defense again!)

Jim last week: 9-4-2
Jim to date: 101-50-13
Dave last week: 11-2-2
Dave to date: 105-46-13

Friday, January 9

Boston College at Northeastern
Jim’s pick: I love the way Northeastern is playing right now, particularly at home. But BC has all of its World Junior players back and I think that is the difference maker.
BC 4, NU 3
Dave’s pick: Both teams are 4-0-1 in their last five games, but like Jim, I think BC’s the better club at full strength.
BC 3 NU 2

Maine at Massachusetts (non-conference)
Jim’s pick: Tough pick here. Pick a Maine team that is awful on the road or a UMass team that is struggling. When in doubt, go with home ice.
UMass 3, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: UMass is 1-6-0 at home; Maine is 1-6-0 on the road. I’d pick a 0-0 tie except that these are the two worst defensive teams in the league. I feel like I’m giving Jimmy a free game here, but I’m going with the Black Bears on pure instinct alone.
Maine 4, UMass 3

Dartmouth at New Hampshire
Jim’s pick: If this game were played at Dartmouth or at a neutral site, I’m going with the Green. But I think UNH can get up for this important rivalry game.
UNH 3, Dartmouth 2
Dave’s pick: I’m sure UNH will get up, but I’m not sure that’ll be enough. Is this a lost season for the Wildcats?
Dartmouth 4, UNH 3

Boston University at Wisconsin
Jim’s pick: Yes, Wisconsin has been terrible. Yes, Wisconsin upset Michigan Tech last week. And yes, the Badgers are playing at home. But NO WAY am I picking Wisconsin.
BU 4, Wisco 1
Dave’s pick: Wisconsin is 2-11-1. Can that be? My how the mighty have fallen.
BU 5, Wisco 1

Notre Dame at Western Michigan
Jim’s pick: I want to have confidence in Notre Dame, but it is slowly falling apart.
WMU 4, ND 2
Dave’s pick: I was going to give the Irish one last vote of confidence until I saw that Western Michigan, for all its lackluster record, has defeated four nationally ranked teams. I’ve got to go with the Broncos, at least at home.
WMU 3, ND 2

Providence at Brown
Jim’s pick: The Friars are on a roll and should be hungry for the two-game Mayor’s Cup series vs. Brown.
PC 5, Brown 1
Dave’s pick: The Friars are who we thought they were.
PC 4, Brown 1

Connecticut at Army

Jim’s pick: An old Atlantic Hockey rivalry should go to UConn.
UConn 4, Army 2
Dave’s pick: The Huskies are only 2-5-2 on the road, but I still think they’ll have enough to defeat the Black Knights.
UConn 3, Army 1

Saturday, January 10

Northeastern at Boston College
Jim’s pick: I really believe NU can salvage points from this series. But that is in my heart. My head says a BC sweep.
BC 4, NU 2
Dave’s pick: I see BC getting stronger all the way down the stretch.
BC 4, NU 2

UMass Lowell at Connecticut
Jim’s pick: These two teams met two weekends ago in the finals of the tournament in Bridgeport and it was a great game. Expect nothing less. But also expect the same result.
UML 3, UConn 1
Dave’s pick: The Huskies have knocked off top teams before, but I’m picking the River Hawks to remain undefeated within the league.
UML 4, UConn 1

Western Michigan at Notre Dame
Jim’s pick: I think on home ice, Notre Dame can get this job done.
ND 3, WMU 2
Dave’s pick: I’ve gone from expecting an Irish sweep to a Broncos sweep to… well… since Peyton Manning is struggling, I’ll go with a home-and-home split.
ND 3, WMU 2 (OT)

Maine at Massachusetts (non-conference)
Jim’s pick: I know everything I said about home ice, Maine’s road record, yada yada yada.
Maine 4, UMass 3
Dave’s pick: It’s utterly insane for me to pick a Maine sweep on the road, but when is the last time someone called me sane?
Maine 5, UMass 4 (OT)

Boston University at Wisconsin
Jim’s pick: Two more wins keeps the Terriers in excellent shape.
BU 4, Wisco 3
Dave’s pick: I don’t think it’ll be close. BU goes to 8-1-1 on the road.
BU 4, Wisco 1

Brown at Providence
Jim’s pick: Providence finishes the sweep to take the Mayor’s Cup.
PC 4, Brown 2
Dave’s pick: Agreed. Seven in a row for the Friars.
PC 3, Brown 1

Sunday, January 11

Vermont at Dartmouth
Jim’s pick: Vermont seems to have lost something off its fastball since break. But I still have confidence the Cats can win on the road.
UVM 3, DC 2
Dave’s pick: The Catamounts will need that fastball back when they tackle the Hockey East iron over the second half, but they’ve got enough to beat Dartmouth, even on the road.
UVM 2, DC 1

Tuesday, January 13

Providence at New Hampshire
Jim’s pick: Assuming the ice holds up, expect Providence to extend its winning streak.
PC 3, UNH 1
Dave’s pick: The Friars extend their winning streak to eight games leading into a huge home-and-home  with Lowell.
PC 4, UNH 2

99 COMMENTS

  1. NMU won at UNO. Atlantic Hockey is the equivalent of Division IAA or FBS in college football. Give me a break U of M. You gotta show more by playing RIT and Bentley.

  2. why doesnt the stats register notre dames game on friday ?? Tynan scored to put him at 4 points and Summerhays has had a huge night in net to boost his stats up much higher

  3. I’m entering you both in the ECAC Pick The Playoffs Contest. You better be picking next week and the following week. :)

    • Penn State did beat Lowell at Lowell this year. I know Lowell came out flat, but in my opinion, leaving Lowell with a win is very hard to do.

      • Is that your standard response to any criticism of PSU? I think I read the same thing last week. Unfortunately, beating UML once isn’t going to get them into the tournament any more than their falling pairwise is. The only reason they are currently listed here is that due to scheduling, they lead the Little 10 with 3 conf wins. That won’t be the case in March.

        • Yes, it is my standard response at this point. I have a ton of respect for Lowell this year. You can’t beat them by luck or accident, especially at Lowell. PSU beat them at Lowell. Only Harvard (currently #1 in the pairwise) and Michigan have been able to do it this year.

          • It’s a moot point. Like VV said, not any one win gets you in the tourney. Might really mean something IF there was a regional at Lowell, but there isn’t. Bold prediction here: PSU doesn’t make the tourney unless they clinch the auto-bid. That is the most realistic shot they’ve got.

          • Exactly, and in the realm of ‘snowball’s chance in …” PSU’s conference wins have amounted to one squeaker over Michigan, and two wins over meek Wisconsin. They aren’t winning the Little 10, let’s get realistic. The conference is Minnesota’s to lose. Take a look at PSU’s remaining schedule. By my estimate, they’ll need to win 80% or better and do so while including wins vs MN and VT (the only remaining ranked teams on the schedule) to even begin to think about moving their pairwise into the top 16. As much as it is a feel good story about a third year varsity program who has had a bit of success, it is more about teams taking them lightly than it is about long term success. I hope they prove me wrong (as a native Pennsylvanian), I just don’t think it’s happening this year.

          • Just a few things in reply regarding PSU’s NCAA chances:
            First to clarify: One PSU win over Lowell at Lowell does not mean they will or should make the NCAA tourney. I think it does show that on any given night, PSU can play with anyone and come out with a win, even on the road at Lowell.

            The Penn State / Vermont game is a “neutral site” game in Philadelphia. This may help PSU come out with a win against a ranked opponent. This will be a great test to see where PSU is against another tough Hockey East team.

            Minnesota is an excellent team but they are not the powerhouse team of years ago. They just lost their own tourney. They also got outplayed and lost to a sub .500 Northeastern team in Boston last month. (I realize Northeastern is extremely skilled, very inconsistent, and their current record is not indicative of their potential).

          • 2 things:

            1. Minnesota got beat with 2 critical pieces at the world Juniors and one critical piece hurt. I wouldn’t count on that trend (losing) continuing.

            2. NU is better (probably much better) than their record suggests. Getting Witt back was huge.

          • The ‘moderate’ piece has had more impact than Fasching or Collins, even if the stats don’t agree. Very talented player.

            Bracketology 10 weeks out amounts to mental masturbation. Very hard to argue that ND, BU, Harvard, UMD and UML don’t make the tourney.

          • Agree, and agree.

            I’m not saying that that Bristedt isn’t talented, just that Fasching is a beast.

          • There was another critical piece missing, maybe the most critical, that is coming back this weekend, Brady Skjei.

  4. If Harvard wins Lake Placid, the ECAC could end up with just one team in the NCAA’s. Looks like we are tracking back to the EASY-AC

    • I would say that is a bit premature considering ECAC has won two straight National Championships. I bet in the end 2-3 ECAC teams get in. 16-18 right nowin PWR are ECAC and I am not yet ready to count out my defending national champion Dutchmen (although they need to get going in a hurry!!)

  5. For the love of God could we please switch to regional sites hosted by the top seeds? I know there could be scheduling issues and attendance issues if the top seed goes out in the first game, but most of these neutral sites games are just embarrassing – especially when you consider it’s the postseason

    • Did you watch the Ice Breaker tourney in South Bend early this year? Holy crap talk about embarrassing attendance. And now they’re having a regional there? I know it was planned in advance but the NC$$ is going to take a huge hit in the you know what. Maybe that’s good for them!

      • And especially in an environment where they’re trying to keep players from jumping to the CHL…hard to convince people this is really the “big time” when part of the national tournament is played in front of 1,000 people in Cincinnati

      • Yeah considering it took about 2 minutes to sell out, I think you are right – not an issue in Fargo. The issue is the rink is just way too small for an event like this. Would be great to see MN get put in that bracket and for UND/MN to play, that would be fun in a barn that size. That place would literally rock.

  6. I’m confused when the top 16 in the pairwise are listed they show #14 Denver, #15 Merrimack, and #16 Quinnipiac, but in Step One suddenly Quinnipiac has jumped to #14 with Denver and Merrimack dropping out to make room for Penn State and Robert Morris. Shouldn’t Denver still be #14 with Merrimack and Quinnipiac dropping out since those three teams were not tied? And even if they were tied Denver has the highest RPI of the three so it would still be #14, right?

    • Because Conference Champions get automatic bids. That said, somebody has to suffer. In this scenario, it’s Denver and Merrimack.

    • Each conference has an autobid and that goes to the conference champion. This analysis assumes that the current team in first place in those conferences would win those autobids. Since both PSU and RMU are ranked lower than Denver and Merrimack, they effectively are bumped out of the tournament since they’re in the bottom two spots.

  7. These bracketologies are useless because everything will change in the next 3 months. That being said, North Dakota would absolutely love their bracket!

      • Have to agree the rankings/polls mean nothing at this time of the year, but the Bracket sites are going to be the same. When is the NCAA going to realize these sites don’t work, they need to get back on campus for the first round. How can the NCAA sell the finally 16 tournament when you have crowds of maybe 1000 people in large rinks. It really makes the National tournament look like a joke

      • The key difference between the Pairwise and the polls is that the Pairwise matters for something and the polls don’t matter at all.

        • The Pairwise was not being compared to the polls, the bracketology was. Yes the Pairwise matters, but not so much now as it will in March. I could care less who is where in the Pairwise right now.

  8. Hard to believe you both picked against Northeastern’s power play, especially at Matthews Arena. Also, a Maine sweep on the road is overdue. You are not insane Dave.

  9. Attendance at South Bend will always be iffy, unless Notre Dame somehow makes the tournament. That still doesn’t guarantee good attendance.

  10. Want to boost attendance at South Bend? Have Michgan play Bowling Green there! And even Miami if you can swing it. All three schools are a pretty easy drive from Notre Dame, and I think you’d have good attendance there.

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