Picks: Oct. 9

I had a pretty good picks week last weekend, going 17-1-1 (.921). On the year, I am 22-1-4 (.888), pretty good odds for Vegas. Maybe I should hit the tables. Then I remember how I blew an early-season lead over Arlan last year, and get sobered on that thought.

Let’s see how I can do this weekend.

Friday, Oct. 9

Syracuse at Northeastern
This one is really hard to pick. If the Orange can shut down Kendall Coyne, they could win, but that’s easier said than done. Northeastern 3-2

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 9-10

Minnesota-Duluth at Bemidji State
The marquee matchup of the weekend I think, and the hardest to pick. Let’s go with a split. Bemidji State 2-1, Minnesota-Duluth 3-2

North Dakota at Minnesota State
I expect the Mavericks to be better this year, but not North Dakota better. North Dakota 4-2, 4-1

St. Cloud State at Minnesota
St. Cloud ruined Merrimack’s D-I debut last weekend, but the Gophers are in a different stratosphere. Minnesota 4-1, 4-1

Penn State at Boston University
The Nittany Lions looked good against the Gophers last week, and should challenge the Terriers, but fall short. Boston University 4-2, 3-2

Clarkson at Vermont
The Golden Knights should roll on through. Clarkson 4-1, 3-1

Quinnipiac at Maine
A long bus ride should equal tight games, but I have to favor the Bobcats. Quinnipiac 3-2, 2-1

Rensselaer at RIT
Two ties wouldn’t surprise me. Rensselaer looked good last weekend against North Dakota, and this is RIT’s first series. Rensselaer 3-2, RIT 2-1

Merrimack at Robert Morris
I was surprised by the Warriors last weekend, and Robert Morris looked dreadful. Let’s pick a split. Merrimack 2-1, Robert Morris 3-1

Saturday, Oct. 10

Syracuse at New Hampshire
The Orange get on the win sheet. Syracuse 3-1

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 10-11

Ohio State at Wisconsin
Jenny Potter has the Buckeyes looking good, but the Badgers present a different test. Wisconsin 3-1, 3-1

Sunday-Monday, Oct. 11-12

St. Lawrence at Boston College
A tie in St. Lawrence was the only blemish on BC’s first half last year. I image they’ll remember that. Boston College 4-1, 4-2


    • I am happy for Merrimack, glad to see them having a great year. They looked very fast and talented last night, am hoping UNH can salvage a split, but Lawler is a tough place to play. Tough luck on DaCosta, hopefully he won’t miss much time. I was there, it was a nasty knee on knee, I’m surprised they both didn’t get hurt.

  1. I disagree with your statement of “Merrimack currently wins PairWise comparisons with North Dakota and Denver.”

    I believe it assumes an inflated level of quality in the teams Merrrimack has faced.

    • Okay, I think I see what you are getting at. PWR = Gus beats john, who beat jim, who beat frank, who beat Sam, who beat howie, ergo Gus beats Howie.

      • No. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I know you want to believe in some sort of conspiracy, but this is all mathematics. Go to the Pairwise Rankings page linked above and click on Switch to Pairwise Rankings Comparison Grid. That grid page allows you to see the comparisons the NCAA uses for each pair of teams under consideration. Merrimack wins the comparison with those two teams by NCAA criteria.

        • Don’t waste your time. These UND guys are convinced the whole world is against them – and by now it probably is because they whine so much.

          • Agreed. All I’ve heard from the get go is whining and complaining from NoDak fans about how their team has been disrespected. They’ve been moaning about east coast bias for years, and no league is good enough to match the WCHA in their eyes (ignoring the fact that Hockey East has had the last three champs).

            In short, let them whine…their racist team nickname is finally getting axed, and apparently the only thing to do in the High Plains is whine about teams that are better than theirs.

        • Ed:
          No insult or conspiracy intended, just recapping how the PWR methodology works. If team A beats Team B, then B Beats C, and C beats D, in theory A beats D.

          Its logic flow thus follows that everything gets thrown into flux if at the last game A loses to D. Correct?

        • If the model I listed above is accurate, then it does not take a strong schedule into effect. In effect, a pair of wins against two seperate highly ranked teams could hyper inflate ones standing in a PWR ranking while the team maintains a normal schedule of pretty substandard games.

          Just curious, how does the current model used adjust to strength of schedule?

          • There is a thorough explanation here:


            Your description is incorrect.

            RPI is one component. It takes strength of schedule into account. Merrimack loses to Denver and NoDak in that category.

            Another is record against teams under consideration and the RPI is the gatekeeper for which teams are in that category. So strength of schedule is a major factor again. Merrimack beats both in record against teams under consideration.

            Another is record against common opponents. Merrimack again beats both — those two losses to Maine loom large there for the Sioux in this comparison. Even if Merrimack loses its remaining games to Maine, it still will have a better record against them than North Dakota.

            Last is record head-to-head. Neither DU or North Dakota has played Merrimack.

  2. Is this the Merrimack team that gave up six goals in a loss to Mass-Lowell? A Mass-Lowell team that had lost 13 in a row? How’s that strength of schedule again?

      • Or BC who lost to Vermont. People have the dumbest arguments sometimes. Throw out Merrimack’s great season because they had a bad game against Umass Lowell. And ignore the fact that they beat UML in their two other games with them.

        • They are having a great season, nobody can take that away from them. Now, maybe they can upgrade some facilities and they can keep getting some good talent.

  3. Merrimack has beaten the number one ranked team twice this season. This shouldn’t really surprise people. And the “no big road wins” argument just went out the door last night.

    • Folks, you can wait until Monday afternoon to see the updated Top 20, but I’ll give it to you now in advance as I have a built-in pairwise calculator:

      Division 1 Men’s Poll (February 14, 2011)

      1. BC
      2. North Dakota
      3. Yale
      4. Denver
      5. MN-Duluth
      6. Merrimack
      7. Union
      8. Notre Dame
      9. UNH
      10. Wisconsin
      11. RPI
      12. Michigan
      13. Miami
      14. BU
      15. Nebraska-Omaha
      16. Dartmouth
      17. W. Michigan
      18. Maine
      19. Colorado College
      20. Ferris State


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