Hockey East picks – Oct. 23-29

After a brutal opening week, I picked up two games last Friday, but then gave one back the next night. Like some of the teams in this league, I’ve dug myself a hole.

Dave last week: 11-7-1
Jim last week: 10-8-1
Dave’s record-to-date: 15-15-4
Jim’s record-to-date: 17-13-4

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Oct. 23

Massachusetts-Lowell at Merrimack 
Dave’s pick: In this clash of undefeated squads, I see the River Hawks prevailing in a close one despite Merrimack’s strength at home.
UML 3, MC 2
Jim’s pick: Merrimack typically plays Lowell well at home. And add the fact that Merrimack is scoring more this season, I feel like I should be picking the Warriors. But my gut is telling me differently and I am going with my gut.
UML 3, MC 2

New Hampshire at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: These two teams’ records would argue for a UMass win, especially at home, but I still think UNH is more talented than it has shown so far.
UNH 4, UMass 3
Jim’s pick: I think Dave my be underestimating UMass at this point. This club has a lot of talent and, at home, I think can get the job done.
UMass 3, UNH 2

Minnesota Duluth at Notre Dame
Dave’s pick: Home ice isn’t enough to tilt the scale in Notre Dame’s direction against fifth-ranked Duluth.
UMD 3, ND 2
Jim’s pick: The Bulldogs are simply playing too good of hockey right now. Does that mean Notre Dame can’t pull the upset? Hardly. But I have to pick this one for Duluth
UMD 4, ND 2

Ohio State at Providence
Dave’s pick: Ohio State is 0-for-4 on the season while the Friars are undefeated. It may be a trap game at home, but I don’t think this one will be close.
PC 4, OSU 1
Jim’s pick: The Friars will continue to roll at home and hand the Big Ten another loss.
PC 4, OSU 2

North Dakota at Vermont 
Dave’s pick: I bought into Vermont’s road upset of Minnesota carrying over into its home series last weekend but was wrong on both nights. It’s hard to believe the Catamounts will revert to being giant-slayers.
UND 4, UVM 2
Jim’s pick: Dave and I are differing a lot this week. I don’t mind buying into Vermont against a North Dakota team that is solid but still has turned two road wins into ties in recent weeks. I’m going with the Catamounts on night one.
UVM 4, UND 3

Northeastern at Minnesota 
Dave’s pick: Upsets can happen. Witness Vermont at Minnesota two weeks ago. But I can’t see a Northeastern team fresh off of getting swept by Bentley knocking off the Gophers on their home ice.
UM 3, NU 2
Jim’s pick: I think Northeastern should be hungry in this one, but so should winless Minnesota at home.
UM 3, NU 1

Boston College at Colorado College
Dave’s pick: The Tigers have yet to win a game — they’re 0-4 — but played Lowell tough in two one-goal losses last weekend. Still, I can’t see those “moral victories” translating into the real kind against BC.
BC 3, CC 2
Jim’s pick: CC could steal one of these games as they have the goaltending talent to do so. But I’m not picking it.
BC 4, CC 1

Saturday, Oct. 24

Connecticut at Boston University 
Dave’s pick: BU is a huge step up from UConn’s previous opponents, Alabama-Huntsville and Arizona State. The Terriers win this one comfortably.
BU 4, UConn 2
Jim’s pick: This should be an interesting battle of some of the top rookie talent in the league.
BU 3, UConn 2

Merrimack at Massachusetts-Lowell
Dave’s pick: Goaltender Collin Delia may keep this one close, but Merrimack drops to .500 while the RiverHawks roll to 5-0-0.
UML 4, MC 2
Jim’s pick: Home ice will be kind for the River Hawks.
UML 3, MC 1

Minnesota Duluth at Notre Dame
Dave’s pick: I’m going with a road sweep by fifth-ranked Duluth, although I don’t feel all that comfortable about it. A split is probably the more likely outcome.
UMD 3, ND 2
Jim’s pick: I’m with Dave. Not feeling great about this pick because this series could be closer than we think.
UMD 4, ND 3

Ohio State at Providence
Dave’s pick: The Friars stay undefeated. The Buckeyes remain winless.
PC 5, OSU 2
Jim’s pick: Okay, maybe Dave and I are agreeing more than I thought.
PC 4, OSU 2

North Dakota at Vermont 
Dave’s pick: North Dakota moves to 4-0-2 with this road sweep, while the Catamounts take their fourth straight loss.
UND 3, UVM 2
Jim’s pick: Picking Vermont made sense to me on night one, but can’t see NoDak dropping both.
UND 4, UVM 2

New Hampshire at Union 
Dave’s pick: Call me stubborn — that charge has been levied at me only about a bazillion times — but I still believe in UNH, even over a team entering the weekend undefeated and playing this game at home. The safe pick is to go with Union and I may be gift-wrapping this one for Jim, but I’ll take the Wildcats.
UNH 3, Union 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: If it’s gift wrapped, I better take it.
Union 4, UNH 2

Northeastern at Minnesota
Dave’s pick: If I had any confidence at all in Northeastern, I’d pick a split. After all Minnesota is 0-3 and has been outscored on the season 9-1.  (Yet, because they’re the Gophers, they’re still nationally ranked. Can anyone recall any other team with those numbers squeaking into the Top 20?) But I can’t get over the Huskies getting swept last weekend, so I’m picking a repeat of that unenviable result.
UM 2, NU 1
Jim’s pick: Dave sums up my thoughts on this series perfectly. Gophers roll.
UM 4, NU 1

Boston College at Colorado College
Dave’s pick: The Eagles complete a much easier sweep than was projected when this series was scheduled (I would think) several years ago.
BC 4, CC 1
Jim’s pick: I want to pick an upset here but Hockey East will improve its mark to 6-0-0 against CC.
BC 3, CC 2

Tuesday, Oct. 27

Boston University at Connecticut
Dave’s pick: The Terriers complete their sweep of this early home-and-home series to move atop the Hockey East standings .
BU 3, UConn 2
Jim’s pick: Another upset that I could pick, but won’t. Man, this is a tough week to pick games.
BU 2, UConn 1

Thursday, Oct. 29

Vermont at Northeastern 
Dave’s pick: I’d really like to see the results of this weekend’s games before picking this Thursday night contest, but since we can’t wait, I’ll go with the Huskies at home.
NU 3, UVM 2
Jim’s pick: Vermont has had some decent luck at Northeastern in recent years.
UVM 3, NU 1