Women’s D-I picks: March 6

Well, I correctly picked every series but one last week (RIT-RMU), but I didn’t do so well in picking all the games, so this weekend, I’m only picking the first one. Last week, I went  22-7 (.758), which is actually pretty respectable. Let’s see how I do this week.

Friday, March 6

RIT at Mercyhurst
The Lakers probably have been itching to get some revenge for last year’s loss to RIT in the CHA tournament, and I think they get it. Mercyhurst 4-2

Penn State vs. Syracuse
Neither team has been particularly good away from home, and I’ve seen some positives from both this season. Going with the Lions in a nail-biter. Penn State 3-2

Saturday, March 7

Cornell at Clarkson
The Big Red are playing for the NCAA tournament, but so is Clarkson, which sits on the bubble. Can Shea Tiley contain Cornell’s big forwards? Clarkson 3-2

Quinnipiac vs. Harvard
The Crimson won both games between the two teams this year, and I think they will again. It will also be a one-goal game. Harvard 3-2

Connecticut vs. Boston College
Can the Huskies keep BC under six goals? Boston College 5-1

Northeastern vs. Boston University
I’m tempted to pick the upset, but I think BU is just a bit of a better-rounded team. Boston University 3-2

Bemidji State vs. Minnesota
This will be a close battle, but the Gophers should advance. Minnesota 3-2

North Dakota vs. Wisconsin
Nobody has been hotter than North Dakota in the second half, so let’s go with them for the upset. North Dakota 3-2

91 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks, David (and Jim) for another Hockey East season in the books. NCAA time!

    I know that while I would have liked to see Jack Parker get one last shot, I find it poetic that his LAST win as Terrier’s head coach was against BC in the Garden, an epic comeback/beat down at that.

    For all you Lowell fans looking for signs, remember that BU in 2009 beat Lowell 1-0 at the Garden, then played in Manchester, including a tense affair with UNH to get to the Frozen Four. Best of luck to the River Hawks (and Wildcats, too).

    As a personal note, I have never had a problem with conference foes meeting at regional finals with a Frozen Four berth on the line. Better that then some random possibility of having 3-4 teams from one conference meet at the Frozen Four. If it ends up that way, that is fine, but no sense trying to shoehorn the 4th, 5th or 6th best team from a conference into all four brackets.

      • My first post aside, my sentiments (as JC) exactly. As I’ve stated recently… This is a HUGE opportunity for experienced tournament teams that have been knocking on the door—most specifically Notre Dame, Miami, and more recently, Mass-Lowell and Union—to be first time champs. Some of the big boys (Michigan, MichState, Minn-Duluth, Denver, BC, BU, even Wisconsin) that are down, will be back next year. Take advantage of it while they can.

    • How about splitting it up fairly, 1-16 and see who emerges? Would you rather have inferior teams in the frozen four? If the random possibility of 3-4 teams from one conference meet shouldn’t that be justice and earned? Why doctor it based on personal opinion?

      • I am not sure who is doctoring anything on personal opinion. If one league has all four team in the first band, I would oppose having one move to the second band arbitrarily. This is the same for four teams in the second, third or fourth bands.

        What happens in the bracketology is that the bands as a whole are arranged to maximize integrity and attendance. Moving the sixth and eighth seeds to increase attendance (and making it so fans do not have to travel across the country on four days notice) is no injustice or Grand Mal conspiracy. UNH/Lowell in the second round is not inherently unfair or biased. Or should the Riverhawks go to Grand Rapids so as not to face UNH until the Frozen Four.

        Maybe when the sport grows to where men’s basketball was thirty years ago we can talk about strict seeding 1-16. However, one should consider that even today in basketball, the 64 teams (after First Four in Dayton) are placed in pods to, wait for it, maximize attendance, with some teams flying across the country because they are a host school and cannot play within fifty miles of campus until the Final Four.

        • Joseph, you are always spot on and a true “college hockey” fan, not just a BU fan. I think you hit that perfectly. All of us (or not many of us ) may agree with it, but it happens. It needs to happen in hockey and still does happen, even in basketball.
          It will be so much different not seeing Jackie P. behind the bench anymore and he will be missed by ALL HE fans.

          • Thanks! I think the committee does a great job and the sport has grown since I started watching NCAA tournament games at Walter Brown Arena against North Dakota.

            I LOVE Walter Brown Arena, but seriously, I am glad we no longer play NCAA tournament games there.

            My DREAM scenario. BTHC champ at United Center, HE at TD, NCHC at XCEL, WCHA at Joe Louis, ECAC and AHA sharing Albany as a double bill. NCAA regionals TD, Prudential (NJ), Pittsburgh/Joe Louis, XCEL/Pepsi/Ralph.

          • Awwww come on Chris. I am not a huge Parker fan, but after seeing him behind the bench for so many years, he will be missed.

          • Great coach, no denying that, but his bullying tactics and the way the program seemed to get away from him a bit at the end leave some tarnish. Did seem a bit of a sympathetic character in interviews over the last week or so, but I think we can all agree it was time for a change. Good luck to him and his sailing (literally) into the sunset but I , for one, will not miss him. Hockey East refs will probably agree with me. (And I don’t love them, either).

          • Fair enough and I agree with you saying some of his tactics won’t be missed. I also agree that HE refs won’t miss him, but somehow they let him get away with so much, so that is their own fault, in my opinion. It was time for a change, no doubt.

  2. Thanks, David (and Jim) for another Hockey East season in the books. NCAA time!

    I know that while I would have liked to see Jack Parker get one last shot, I find it poetic that his LAST win as Terrier’s head coach was against BC in the Garden, an epic comeback/beat down at that.

    For all you Lowell fans looking for signs, remember that BU in 2009 beat Lowell 1-0 at the Garden, then played in Manchester, including a tense affair with UNH to get to the Frozen Four. Best of luck to the River Hawks (and Wildcats, too).

    As a personal note, I have never had a problem with conference foes meeting at regional finals with a Frozen Four berth on the line. Better that then some random possibility of having 3-4 teams from one conference meet at the Frozen Four. If it ends up that way, that is fine, but no sense trying to shoehorn the 4th, 5th or 6th best team from a conference into all four brackets.

      • My first post aside, my sentiments (as JC) exactly. As I’ve stated recently… This is a HUGE opportunity for experienced tournament teams that have been knocking on the door—most specifically Notre Dame, Miami, and more recently, Mass-Lowell and Union—to be first time champs. Some of the big boys (Michigan, MichState, Minn-Duluth, Denver, BC, BU, even Wisconsin) that are down, will be back next year. Take advantage of it while they can.

    • How about splitting it up fairly, 1-16 and see who emerges? Would you rather have inferior teams in the frozen four? If the random possibility of 3-4 teams from one conference meet shouldn’t that be justice and earned? Why doctor it based on personal opinion?

      • I am not sure who is doctoring anything on personal opinion. If one league has all four team in the first band, I would oppose having one move to the second band arbitrarily. This is the same for four teams in the second, third or fourth bands.

        What happens in the bracketology is that the bands as a whole are arranged to maximize integrity and attendance. Moving the sixth and eighth seeds to increase attendance (and making it so fans do not have to travel across the country on four days notice) is no injustice or Grand Mal conspiracy. UNH/Lowell in the second round is not inherently unfair or biased. Or should the Riverhawks go to Grand Rapids so as not to face UNH until the Frozen Four.

        Maybe when the sport grows to where men’s basketball was thirty years ago we can talk about strict seeding 1-16. However, one should consider that even today in basketball, the 64 teams (after First Four in Dayton) are placed in pods to, wait for it, maximize attendance, with some teams flying across the country because they are a host school and cannot play within fifty miles of campus until the Final Four.

        • Joseph, you are always spot on and a true “college hockey” fan, not just a BU fan. I think you hit that perfectly. All of us (or not many of us ) may agree with it, but it happens. It needs to happen in hockey and still does happen, even in basketball.
          It will be so much different not seeing Jackie P. behind the bench anymore and he will be missed by ALL HE fans.

          • Thanks! I think the committee does a great job and the sport has grown since I started watching NCAA tournament games at Walter Brown Arena against North Dakota.

            I LOVE Walter Brown Arena, but seriously, I am glad we no longer play NCAA tournament games there.

            My DREAM scenario. BTHC champ at United Center, HE at TD, NCHC at XCEL, WCHA at Joe Louis, ECAC and AHA sharing Albany as a double bill. NCAA regionals TD, Prudential (NJ), Pittsburgh/Joe Louis, XCEL/Pepsi/Ralph.

          • Awwww come on Chris. I am not a huge Parker fan, but after seeing him behind the bench for so many years, he will be missed.

          • Great coach, no denying that, but his bullying tactics and the way the program seemed to get away from him a bit at the end leave some tarnish. Did seem a bit of a sympathetic character in interviews over the last week or so, but I think we can all agree it was time for a change. Good luck to him and his sailing (literally) into the sunset but I , for one, will not miss him. Hockey East refs will probably agree with me. (And I don’t love them, either).

          • Fair enough and I agree with you saying some of his tactics won’t be missed. I also agree that HE refs won’t miss him, but somehow they let him get away with so much, so that is their own fault, in my opinion. It was time for a change, no doubt.

  3. “(So you’re really getting what you deserve even though the selection committee’s reason for not giving you Quinnipiac — surely the weakest overall number one seed in memory — was attendance, not justice.”
    Actually, they aren’t. What they deserve, as an 8th seed, is the winner of the 1st and 16th seeds. If we are ranking teams that is what they deserve.
    Why take jabs at teams and leagues? Leave that to the large amount of classless people like myself that post after columns. You definitely dropped to our level with this one.

    • Perhaps I shouldn’t have read all those comments in the Bracketology blog. They may have made me go a little nutty. If I hadn’t, I certainly wouldn’t have been up until 1:30 writing this wrapup. :)
      But I still think I’m right. (My wife is probably thinking, “if I had a dollar for every time that stubborn knucklehead used that phrase…”)

  4. “(So you’re really getting what you deserve even though the selection committee’s reason for not giving you Quinnipiac — surely the weakest overall number one seed in memory — was attendance, not justice.”
    Actually, they aren’t. What they deserve, as an 8th seed, is the winner of the 1st and 16th seeds. If we are ranking teams that is what they deserve.
    Why take jabs at teams and leagues? Leave that to the large amount of classless people like myself that post after columns. You definitely dropped to our level with this one.

    • Perhaps I shouldn’t have read all those comments in the Bracketology blog. They may have made me go a little nutty. If I hadn’t, I certainly wouldn’t have been up until 1:30 writing this wrapup. :)
      But I still think I’m right. (My wife is probably thinking, “if I had a dollar for every time that stubborn knucklehead used that phrase…”)

      • So that aside – What’s your opinion on New Hampshire vs. Denver and do you think Mass-Lowell will be the winner of that bracket? I haven’t followed either team. Thanks!

  5. Demise is a bit harsh, don’t you think? Granted, this is the weakest BC team in a while, but they still made the NCAA tournament. If this “bump in the road” continues another a year or two, then I’ll agree.

      • Fair enough… Just a little too sensitive about this WCHA holier- than-thou crap about the tourney placement I guess. This is the year BC can be beat, and the year Mass-Lowell really has a great opportunity to win… Much to JC’s disdain below, BC & BU are my teams since I was a kid.

      • If you had written it as “D”-mise, it would have been more effective. If they don’t get out of Providence, that’ll be why…..

  6. Demise is a bit harsh, don’t you think? Granted, this is the weakest BC team in a while, but they still made the NCAA tournament. If this “bump in the road” continues another a year or two, then I’ll agree.

    • I only intended demise in terms of the Hockey East tournament. They got eliminated. That’s all, although I am concerned with how they lost, as I noted.

      • Fair enough… Just a little too sensitive about this WCHA holier-than-thou crap about the tourney placement getting me worked up I guess. This is the year BC can be beat, and the year Mass-Lowell really has a great opportunity to win… Much to JC’s disdain below, BC & BU are my teams since I was a kid.

      • If you had written it as “D”-mise, it would have been more effective. If they don’t get out of Providence, that’ll be why…..

  7. I firmly believe that the Manchester Regional should, based on the quality of the teams there, trump the other three with respect to attendance. Two of Hockey East’s three entries are there, meaning all rides on those first games on Friday. I’m a bit nervous that Lowell will come out with a ‘Happy-to-Just-Be-Here’ effort, and that UNH will, well, ‘be UNH.’ And that could be that, as they say.

    • if Lowell had its “just happy to be here” trip to the NCAAs, it was last year. fresh off a double Hockey East championship and having been there before and done fairly well last time, I think they have serious ambitions of at least making the trip to Pittsburgh if not having some success there.

      UNH started the year crazy hot but has been mild at best since the beginning of December. Denver’s come around a little since their midseason lull but has also been a little up and down over the stretch. I think Denver’s probably a little stronger but I see that game pretty much as a toss-up.

      No doubt the building will be packed on Friday night. Lowell’s actually closer to Manchester by about 5 miles (and a much faster drive, all highway), but both Lowell and Durham are within 40.

      • And there are a ton of UNH alum in the Manchester area, it is NH’s biggest city after all. and UNH travels well around the area. I went to two games at Tsongas this year and UNH was very well represented, almost 50/50. But a number of us have cooled to the team in the second half. After the hot start was was almost certain to buy tickets for the Manchester, but after the very weak second half, I decided against it. I don’t want to pay all that money to watch UNH get their asses handed to them by Denver. But i of course hope they prove me wrong. Its on TV so I’ll still be watching.

        • The true fans will be there. They will follow the team with the hopes that for 4 games, they can return to the form of early season. Maybe wishful thinking, but fair weather fans are everywhere.
          Everybody I know that would go is still going.
          I suppose if you were listening or following online when UNH/Denver played the first time and they fell behind 3-0 you assumed they were going to get their asses handed to them that night too.
          Sorry about the post Bronx, but they are not in a much different boat than others (as I wrote in reply to you on Bracketology) and to not go because you think they will lose is a poor reason.

          • I’m definitely not a fair weather fan. It wrenches my guts every time they lose. I just can’t justify spending almost $150 (after ticketmaster fees) to watch them lay another egg. I live an hour from Durham and I made sure to go see them play a few times at home, plus on the road at Lowell, Manchester and BC, and I’ve been to Orono to see them play a couple times. But its no small amount of money, and i’m not blind to how the team is playing. I’m a Fan, not a Fanatic. Love your family, like your sports teams. Like I said, i’ll still be watching.

          • I agree it’s not cheap and if finances is the issue, I understand. I go to the FF every year and will be in Pittsburgh soon, so I know the costs. Have also been to Orono 3 times, Burlington 3 times, BC, BU and NU a number of times, saw both at Lowell and went to Merrimack this year and am a 25 year season ticket holder. There are just too many fans around here (I am just outside of Durham) that think UNH has no chance to even get by Denver, never mind win the Regional. Maybe if UNH fans were as passionate as other fans and always cheering our teams on instead of saying how bad they are, maybe they would get over the proverbial hump. We have a chance this weekend to show that even though we are disappointed with the way the second half went that we are fans. Fill the place with 10,000 UNH fans and make as much noise as possible. I know our neighbors to the north, the Black Bears would do that and we should be able to as well… but we won’t.
            I love my family above all and my wife (GF at the time) has been to every game with me. My daughter is 15 and started attending UNH games at 10 days old and goes to the FF’s as well, they love the sport and team as I do.

  8. I firmly believe that the Manchester Regional should, based on the quality of the teams there, trump the other three with respect to attendance. Two of Hockey East’s three entries are there, meaning all rides on those first games on Friday. I’m a bit nervous that Lowell will come out with a ‘Happy-to-Just-Be-Here’ effort, and that UNH will, well, ‘be UNH.’ And that could be that, as they say.

    • if Lowell had its “just happy to be here” trip to the NCAAs, it was last year. fresh off a double Hockey East championship and having been there before and done fairly well last time, I think they have serious ambitions of at least making the trip to Pittsburgh if not having some success there.

      UNH started the year crazy hot but has been mild at best since the beginning of December. Denver’s come around a little since their midseason lull but has also been a little up and down over the stretch. I think Denver’s probably a little stronger but I see that game pretty much as a toss-up.

      No doubt the building will be packed on Friday night. Lowell’s actually closer to Manchester by about 5 miles (and a much faster drive, all highway), but both Lowell and Durham are within 40.

      • And there are a ton of UNH alum in the Manchester area, it is NH’s biggest city after all. and UNH travels well around the area. I went to two games at Tsongas this year and UNH was very well represented, almost 50/50. But a number of us have cooled to the team in the second half. After the hot start was was almost certain to buy tickets for the Manchester, but after the very weak second half, I decided against it. I don’t want to pay all that money to watch UNH get their asses handed to them by Denver. But i of course hope they prove me wrong. Its on TV so I’ll still be watching.

        • The true fans will be there. They will follow the team with the hopes that for 4 games, they can return to the form of early season. Maybe wishful thinking, but fair weather fans are everywhere.
          Everybody I know that would go is still going.
          I suppose if you were listening or following online when UNH/Denver played the first time and they fell behind 3-0 you assumed they were going to get their asses handed to them that night too.
          Sorry about the post Bronx, but they are not in a much different boat than others (as I wrote in reply to you on Bracketology) and to not go because you think they will lose is a poor reason.

          • I’m definitely not a fair weather fan. It wrenches my guts every time they lose. I just can’t justify spending almost $150 (after ticketmaster fees) to watch them lay another egg. I live an hour from Durham and I made sure to go see them play a few times at home, plus on the road at Lowell, Manchester and BC, and I’ve been to Orono to see them play a couple times. But its no small amount of money, and i’m not blind to how the team is playing. I’m a Fan, not a Fanatic. Love your family, like your sports teams. Like I said, i’ll still be watching.

          • I agree it’s not cheap and if finances is the issue, I understand. I go to the FF every year and will be in Pittsburgh soon, so I know the costs. Have also been to Orono 3 times, Burlington 3 times, BC, BU and NU a number of times, saw both at Lowell and went to Merrimack this year and am a 25 year season ticket holder. There are just too many fans around here (I am just outside of Durham) that think UNH has no chance to even get by Denver, never mind win the Regional. Maybe if UNH fans were as passionate as other fans and always cheering our teams on instead of saying how bad they are, maybe they would get over the proverbial hump. We have a chance this weekend to show that even though we are disappointed with the way the second half went that we are fans. Fill the place with 10,000 UNH fans and make as much noise as possible. I know our neighbors to the north, the Black Bears would do that and we should be able to as well… but we won’t.
            I love my family above all and my wife (GF at the time) has been to every game with me. My daughter is 15 and started attending UNH games at 10 days old and goes to the FF’s as well, they love the sport and team as I do.

  9. BC and UNH got breaks and Lowell gets screwed. You would think that Lowell-Wisconsin would be at night and on ESPNU. Instead UNH gets a home game and the prime time slot. BC well they get the easiest region and the closest to BC. I guess Jerry york couldn’t fly so BC gets another break. Lowell probably has to beat Wisconsin and Denver or a UNH team in Manchester. Oh well. To be the best you have to beat the best.

    • Lowell did get the toughest bracket and BC the easiest, but I don’t see any grand conspiracy. It’s just the way it worked out. Heck, Jayson nailed it ahead of time all based on well-established principles. As for Lowell getting the early game, I’ll repeat what I said regarding the Hockey East semis. It’s difficult for fans, but better for the team to get the early game. An extra four hours recuperation time plus you get to scout your opponent after your game. If the opponent is an unfamiliar one, that can be important.

      • I think the conspiracy is that EVERY conference loathes the WCHA fans. Its schadenfreude and their salty tears only make everyone else stronger.

    • I’d like to see a Denver rematch, a nice do-over for that 5-1 loss at the beginning of the year before Hellebuyck got warmed up

  10. BC and UNH got breaks and Lowell gets screwed. You would think that Lowell-Wisconsin would be at night and on ESPNU. Instead UNH gets a home game and the prime time slot. BC well they get the easiest region and the closest to BC. I guess Jerry york couldn’t fly so BC gets another break. Lowell probably has to beat Wisconsin and Denver or a UNH team in Manchester. Oh well. To be the best you have to beat the best.

    • Lowell did get the toughest bracket and BC the easiest, but I don’t see any grand conspiracy. It’s just the way it worked out. Heck, Jayson nailed it ahead of time all based on well-established principles. As for Lowell getting the early game, I’ll repeat what I said regarding the Hockey East semis. It’s difficult for fans, but better for the team to get the early game. An extra four hours recuperation time plus you get to scout your opponent after your game. If the opponent is an unfamiliar one, that can be important.

      • I think the conspiracy is that EVERY conference loathes the WCHA fans. Its schadenfreude and their salty tears only make everyone else stronger.

    • I’d like to see a Denver rematch, a nice do-over for that 5-1 loss at the beginning of the year before Hellebuyck got warmed up

  11. Dave, thank you for doing a great job again this year. I enjoy reading your column and weekly picks. On a side note – why can’t the Northeastern Huskies seem break out of their annual funk and at least make the HE playoffs? They beat both BU and BC this year, played to a scoreless tie against UNH but come in dead last in the conference. What is the problem there? I have been in their barn and it is an awesome place to call home. In your opinion, what’s the problem on Huntington Avenue?

    • Hockeyman41, I replied to your post a couple days ago but don’t see it now.
      Thanks for the kind words. As for the Huskies, this is two straight down years but the year before that they were .500 and five years ago came within a point of winning the league.
      Based on all the attrition, I expect a lot of new faces next year so the key will be the recruiting.
      Keep in mind that two years ago, Providence missed the playoffs for the third straight year. This year, they were playing the final game of the regular season for first place. Things can change fast.

  12. wow, i expect taunting and woofing from fans of HE and WCHA, but you are the only writer of a conference blog, that went beyond promoting his/her conference and into critical comments of other conferences, i’m not being sensitive, just honest…Please also keep “woofing,” taunting, and otherwise unsportsmanlike behavior to a minimum.

    • Sorry, but I’m expected to give my opinions. I’m not sure whether you’re referring to my comments about Quinnipiac or North Dakota and the WCHA, but I don’t believe I was woofing or taunting in any of these cases.
      I don’t consider it unsportsmanlike to say that Quinnipiac is a weak overall number one. I’m expressing my opinion without using taunting or woofing phrases. And to be honest, it’s hardly a minority opinion.
      It isn’t unsportsmanlike to respond to the kvetching of North Dakota and WCHA fans with reasoned arguments as to why their complaints aren’t warranted.

  13. wow, i expect taunting and woofing from fans of HE and WCHA, but you are the only writer of a conference blog, that went beyond promoting his/her conference and into critical comments of other conferences, i’m not being sensitive, just honest…Please also keep “woofing,” taunting, and otherwise unsportsmanlike behavior to a minimum.

    • Sorry, but I’m expected to give my opinions. I’m not sure whether you’re referring to my comments about Quinnipiac or North Dakota and the WCHA, but I don’t believe I was woofing or taunting in any of these cases.
      I don’t consider it unsportsmanlike to say that Quinnipiac is a weak overall number one. I’m expressing my opinion without using taunting or woofing phrases. And to be honest, it’s hardly a minority opinion.
      It isn’t unsportsmanlike to respond to the kvetching of North Dakota and WCHA fans with reasoned arguments as to why their complaints aren’t warranted.

  14. Hockeyman41, I replied to your post a couple days ago but don’t see it now.
    Thanks for the kind words. As for the Huskies, this is two straight down years but the year before that they were .500 and five years ago came within a point of winning the league.
    Based on all the attrition, I expect a lot of new faces next year so the key will be the recruiting.
    Keep in mind that two years ago, Providence missed the playoffs for the third straight year. This year, they were playing the final game of the regular season for first place. Things can change fast.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here