Hockey East picks – Jan. 16-21

Jim and I disagreed on only two picks last weekend and going into the third period, it looked like I’d widen my lead by two. As visions of a six-game lead danced in my head, one of those wins became a tie and the other a loss.  A pox on the Black Bears and Dartmouth!

I should have been a weenie and just duplicated every one of Jim’s picks. Next time…

Dave last week: 7-5-3
Jim last week: 8-4-3
Dave’s record-to-date: 112-51-16
Jim’s record-to-date: 109-54-16

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Jan. 16

Boston College at Boston University 
Dave’s pick: NESN sure picked a great game to telecast. Two highly ranked archrivals. Although BC’s undefeated streak is at seven (and BU’s at five), I think this comes down to more than home ice advantage. The BU power play decides this one.
BU 3, BC 2
Jim’s pick: This is a difficult game to pick because a part of me thinks that BC is playing the better hockey right now, but I don’t have a large enough sample size from BU to judge. That said, I need to gain some ground on Dave and there aren’t enough marginal games like this one to differ.
BC 4, BU 2

Massachusetts-Lowell at Maine
Dave’s pick: For a few years, Maine was Lowell’s kryptonite, but not anymore. Maine’s struggles continue; Lowell’s success does, too.
UML 4, UM 1
Jim’s pick: Lowell has struggled in Orono, but coming off a loss at UConn, I have to think Lowell will be very prepared for this test..
UML 3, UM 1

New Hampshire at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: I think the Wildcats are a lot better than their record. Their only loss in the last five games was to 12th-ranked Nebraska-Omaha. I see them making a significant move up the standings.
UNH 4, UMass 2
Jim’s pick: UNH is playing its best hockey of the season. UMass had a good comeback last Friday but I still think that UNH will be a goal better.
UNH 4, UMass 3

Northeastern at Vermont
Dave’s pick: Northeastern has impressed of late, but Vermont has gotten it done all year. With the Catamounts 7-1 at home, this looks like a tough weekend for the Huskies.
UVM 4, NU 2
Jim’s pick: If this was at NU, I’m picking the Huskies given the direction of both teams. But at Vermont, that Cats have played very well.
UVM 3, NU 2

Connecticut at Notre Dame 
Dave’s pick: I’m this close to picking a Huskies sweep of this long-distance home-and-home series. Especially with Notre Dame a game under .500 at home. But I have to think that with three straight losses the Irish play with an extra sense of desperation.
ND 2, UConn 1 (OT)
Jim’s pick: I agree with Dave. Notre Dame better be more desperate at home.
NU 3, UConn 1

Quinnipiac at Merrimack 
Dave’s pick: Quinnipiac may be 15-6-1, but Merrimack just recently toppled Minnesota on its own ice and tied BU. Plus, the Warriors are 7-1-1 at home. Go Warriors!
MC 3, QU 2
Jim’s pick: Home ice dictates this decision. Merrimack is just nasty at Lawler.
MC 4, QU 2

Saturday, Jan. 17

Massachusetts at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: UNH makes it 5-1-1 over its last seven.
UNH 4, UMass 1
Jim’s pick: There are so many tough decisions this weekend yet somehow Dave and I are mostly in agreement.
UNH 3, UMass 1

Merrimack at Quinnipiac
Dave’s pick: I’d love to pick the Warriors to sweep, but I think this ends as a home-team-holds-serve split.
QU 3, MC 2
Jim’s pick: I never love splits, but this series certainly feels like one.
QU 4, MC 2

Northeastern at Vermont
Dave’s pick: Perhaps the Huskies can salvage a split, but I don’t think so. Vermont goes to 9-1 in its own barn.
UVM 3, NU 1
Jim’s pick: This is one tough stretch for NU. A win in one of the games against BC would give me hope, but I really think Vermont is better.
UVM 3, NU 2

Sunday, Jan. 18

Notre Dame at Connecticut 
Dave’s pick: It’s a shame that this matchup is at Bridgeport instead of the Civic Center, but either way the Huskies come out on top.
UConn 2, ND 1
Jim’s pick: I agree with Dave and for that reason, I’m actually picking the sweep that gets the Irish back on track (and keeps them very much in the Hockey East hunt with plenty of games in hand).
ND 3, UConn 2

Massachusetts-Lowell at Boston University
Dave’s pick: This one comes down to nothing more than the home ice edge.
BU 3, UML 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: I should honestly pick this one as a tie because I think both teams are evenly matched. But that would be just stupid. So as Dave says, home ice wins.
BU 3, UML 2

Boston College at Maine
Dave’s pick: The Black Bears are 10th in team offense and 11th in team defense. Even the Alfond crowd won’t make this one a W.
BC 4, Maine 1
Jim’s pick: I think BC is turning on the jets at the right time.
BC 4, Maine 2

Wednesday, Jan. 21

Merrimack at Boston College
Dave’s pick: This could be closer than many expect, but I still see the Eagles emerging with the win.
BC 3, MC 2
Jim’s pick: At home, this one should be BC’s.
BC 4, MC 2