Hockey East picks – Oct. 9-11

I’m hoping this week is the closest Jim gets to me in our picks competition this year. I did, after all, win it last year. Heh, heh, heh.

Yes, that sound you hear in the background is Queen performing, “We Are the Champions.”

Of course, Jim did make a furious comeback last year, forcing me into an admittedly defensive game plan the final week.  (One prominent college hockey administrator even referred to it as “cowardly.”)  So I’ll be intending to bring my A Game every week starting with this one.

Onward, then, to the picks.

Dave’s record-to-date: 0-0-0
Jim’s record-to-date: 0-0-0

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Oct. 9

Boston College at Army 
Dave’s pick:  The Eagles kick off the season with an easy one, at least on paper, even though no one plays harder than the Cadets.
BC5, Army 1
Jim’s pick: The atmosphere at West Point will be incredible but I don’t think it is enough to sway the outcome.
BC4, Army 2

Rensselaer at Massachusetts-Lowell
Dave’s pick: This is the first home opener in three years in which the River Hawks haven’t been hoisting a Hockey East championship banner.  Instead, they’ll take the first step toward trying to make sure there’s a distraction next year.
UML 4, RPI 2
Jim’s pick: Lowell returns a lot of offense from a year ago and that might be the difference maker early season when teams aren’t in mid-season form.
UML 5, RPI 3

Providence at Miami
Dave’s pick: At home, I’d pick the Friars to sweep this evenly matched weekend series. Instead, it’s on the road where Miami is a tough foe, so give me home ice as the deciding factor.
Miami 3, PC 2
Jim’s pick: I am with Dave on this one. Though I don’t think Providence is set for a national title hangover, I think they might be overmatched in week one.
Miami 4, PC 2

Michigan State vs Maine (IceBreaker)
Dave’s pick: This may be a home game in all but the box score, but the Spartans are a far superior team, rendering home ice as a secondary factor.
MSU 4, Maine 2
Jim’s pick: I keep agreeing with Dave, which is annoying. But I don’t think Maine has anywhere near the depth of Michigan State.
MSU 4, Maine 1

Connecticut at Alabama Huntsville 
Dave’s pick: UConn won’t be surprising any teams this year, but they should still take this series.
UConn 3, UAH 2
Jim’s pick: I’m not sure this game will be as close as Dave does.
UConn 5, UAH 1

Massachusetts at Colorado College 
Dave’s pick: Last year, Colorado College was arguably an even weaker last-place team than UMass, but I’m going with home ice.
CC 3, UMass 2
Jim’s pick: Finally, a chance to differ from Dave. UMass is thin but I don’t have great feelings about CC either.
UMass 3, CC 1

Saturday, Oct. 10

Colgate at Northeastern 
Dave’s pick: I’d feel more comfortable with this pick if Colgate were hosting. but I’m still going with the Raiders.
CU 4, NU 3 (OT)
Jim’s pick: Pundits seem to think Colgate is talented enough to be an ECAC power. But they feel the same about Northeastern too.
NU 4, CU 3

Boston University at Union
Dave’s pick: Union may rebound from an uncharacteristic off year, but I’m still going with the Terriers .
BU 4, Union 3
Jim’s pick: Another game where I think BU will win, but even more dominant than Dave believes.
BU 5, Union 2

American International at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: The Wildcats have struggled with poor starts the last two years. If they make it three straight despite opening against a team that went 4-25-7 last year, then sound all alarms. Three strikes and the Wildcats are out.
UNH 6, AIC 1
Jim’s pick: AIC can be a tough team but I think UNH will be ready and not have a let down right out of the gate.
UNH 4, AIC 2

Providence at Miami
Dave’s pick: These teams are so closely matched, I should pick a split, but I’m sticking with a sweep.
Miami 3, PC 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: And I’ll go with a split as Providence salvages a game on the road.
PC 4, Miami 2

Vermont at Minnesota 
Dave’s pick: The Catamounts are entering the lion’s den on this one. I expect them to return in tatters.
UM 5, UVM 2
Jim’s pick: Minnesota likes to start fast so it’s hard to pick against them. But Vermont will be a formidable opponent.
UM 3, UVM 2

North Dakota vs Maine (IceBreaker)
Dave’s pick: I expect the Black Bears will get manhandled for most of this weekend.
UND 5, UM 2
Jim’s pick: Not the weekend Maine wants as hosts of the Ice Breaker.
UND 6, UM 2

Connecticut at Alabama Huntsville
Dave’s pick: The Huskies return home from the long road trip with a nice sweep.
UConn 4, UAH 1
Jim’s pick: Interesting to see what players will perform well for UConn. Regardless, they earn two wins.
UConn 5, UAH 2

Massachusetts at Colorado College
Dave’s pick: Here’s another series that should be a split, but I’m sticking on home ice as the deciding factor between two weak teams.
CC 3, UMass 2
Jim’s pick: I actually believe that UMass can go on the road and earn a sweep.
UMass 3, CC 2

Monday, Oct. 11

Boston College at Rensselaer 
Dave’s pick: The Eagles take two wins on the weekend and stay atop the USCHO poll.
BC 4, RPI 2
Jim’s pick: This might be the most difficult game to pick this weekend as BC has a lot of travel and two games to play. But they also have enough talent to win both.
BC 4, RPI 3