Hockey East picks – Mar. 20-21

One weekend left and Dave holds a slim one-game lead over me in the picks. I was able to pick up two games last weekend correctly picking UMass Lowell in games one and three and New Hampshire in game one.

Now let’s hope Dave doesn’t run the four-corner offense and pick exactly the same as me.

Jim last week: 7-4-0
Dave last week: 5-6-0
Jim to date: 164-88-25
Dave to date: 165-87-25

Hockey East Tournament (TD Garden, Boston)

Friday, March 20 – Semifinals

Vermont vs. UMass Lowell, 5pm (NESN, NBCSN)
Jim’s pick: These two teams were pretty evenly matched three weeks ago. But Lowell did take three of four points that weekend. Thus, I’m sticking with the River Hawks.
UML 3, UVM 1
Dave’s pick: I liked what I saw in Lowell’s three games against Notre Dame last weekend. Additionally, the River Hawks have a huge experience advantage when it comes to playing at the TD Garden. Vermont hasn’t gotten to the Garden since 2010 and hasn’t won a game there since 2008. Lowell has, of course, won the Hockey East tournament the last two years.
UML 3, UVM 1

New Hampshire vs. Boston University, 8pm (NESN, NBCSN)
Jim’s pick: I’m really going out on a limb here but I think this UNH team is playing good enough hockey right now to pull off the major upset.
UNH 3, BU 2
Dave’s pick: I don’t think Jim’s pick is crazy at all. The Wildcats are playing terrific hockey right now. That said, if I were picking before Jim, I’d go with the Terriers. Their offense and power play are tough matchups for any team. They remain the clear favorite.
However, I’m picking after Jim, this is our final week of picks, and I have a one-game lead. The only way I can lose our competition is to pick differently than Jim.
So do I pull a Pete Carroll and pick BU here? Or with the win within my grasp, am I more like Bill Belichick — and I’m not referring to both of us having no fashion sensibility at all – and take the win?
UNH 2, BU 1 (OT)

Saturday, March 21 – Championship game

Jim’s pick: Going to pick all scenarios, which interesting doesn’t mean I think BU can’t win this championship if they get to the finals.
UML 4, UNH 2; BU 4, UML 3; BU 4, UVM 2; UVM 3, UNH 2 (OT)
Dave’s pick: The only matchup I’d be choosing differently if I were picking first (or if I were tied) is the potential UVM – UNH final. I’d pick UNH by a 3-1 score in that one.
And I must admit being tempted to list it that way here, since both teams are underdogs to advance to the final game, and I’d really like UNH in that contest. What could it hurt? What are the odds?
But then my inner Belichick reacts the same way the coach responded to the early season question from the media about Tom Brady’s status.
Cue up Queen and “We Are the Champions.”
UML 4, UNH 3 (OT); BU 4, UML 2; BU 4, UVM 1; UVM 1, UNH 0 (OT)


  1. This will be an NCHC @ Big 10 weekend with Miami @ OSU and WMU @ U of M.
    It will be interesting to see which current CCHA rivals will continue to schedule each other when they are in different conferences.

    • I really hope WMU manages to keep Ferris on the schedule, Lawson was packed this weekend, it would be a shame to lose because we move to different conferences.

  2. Like you, I am highly prejudiced toward one team (RPI), I have followed them for the past 50 years. I also remember, Brian, when a substitute goaltender for the Engineers shut out BU, but that is truly ancient history.


  3. So Dave, on the last day of the season and the batting titled secured you don’t bat, you sit? Unless you have a huge wager we don’t know about have to say this is a real Come on Man moment!

  4. Can someone please explain why UML always gets relegated to the 5:00 game? It seems like every year during this run that Lowell has to play the early game, regardless of the opponent. Is there a method to that madness?

    • JC98

      As Joe Ngo says, this is purely driven by NESN/NBCSN. If BU and BC were in different semi-final games, I am sure BC would be the 8 p.m. game, as much as I think our end of Comm Ave is more important.

      And if Notre Dame was in a semi-final, is there even the slightest question who NBCSN would demand play in the late game? BU and BC could be playing each other in the other semi-final (which is the premier match-up in our league) and NBCSN would want Notre Dame against anyone else. Because they know the real fan will show up, but to get the casual fan not familiar with hockey, they can say the magic words IRISH and think ratings go up.

      • Actually, when the teams get to the Garden, the top remaining seed gets their choice of which game they want. Obviously BU picked the 8:00 game, as do most coaches because it starts more in line with regular season games. Though it works both ways, if the first game goes to OT, you’re not really sure when it will start.

          • Good to know. I had actually been told at some point that it had to do with travel time to boston, but that never really made sense to me. Regardless Lowell should be well represented at the game tonight, even though it’s spring break I hear the student body is turning out

          • Hopefully all teams have a great turnout, it’s always more fun that way. I only know because I have attended many post-game UNH gatherings and Coach Umile was asked on a couple of occasions. Best of luck!

  5. jc98 – it’s about TV. NESN wants BU in the late game, which will have better TV ratings. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for UML, they’re not as big a draw as BU.

  6. I have my BU gear on today! I am hoping for a nice BU win.

    I would be happiest if BU wins the next four games at the Garden this year, but if that is not in the cards, I would not mind any of the other three teams becoming a new, first-time champion. Good luck everyone.

      • The four remaining teams in the Hockey East Championship. If any of them wins their next four games at TD Garden this season, they will be NCAA champions, since the Frozen Four is in the same building. (Of course, they have to win two regional games, as well). Of the four remaining HE teams, only BU has a D-I Hockey title. UNH has been in the final game twice, Lowell has won three titles at the D-III level and Vermont as been to at least two Frozen Fours. Lowell has been to the Frozen Four at the D-I level once, while UNH has been seven times, if I remember correctly. Those would be the other three teams playing in TD Garden tonight.

  7. Wait a minute. Dave, why do you get to look at Jimmy’s picks before making your own? I have a problem with the integrity of the process.
    Your picks should be driven by who you think will win and why, NOT based on winning the head-to-head matchups with Jim.

  8. You have to give a ton of credit to Norm Bazin,he just gets everything out of what he has as a team each and every year he’s been @ UML…he knows he has to Coach the players he has…no excuses he gets them to play.

  9. I agree that there should be 2 regionals with 8 teams in each regional. They should stop trying to worry about “fan bases” attending the events. Having a large regional would bring in more general “hockey fans”. That’s who will fill the stands. These people will fly across the country to see hockey.
    Also think it is junk that UofM is considered a host. If they don’t make the tourney, I guarantee they wont have the presence of a “host”.
    Lastly, I assume the NCAA is licking their chops for AZ State to host a regional…


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here