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)