Hockey East picks – Nov. 27-29

Last week, Jim and I disagreed on only two picks. One of those games ended in a tie. In the other, he correctly picked the order of the Boston University – Michigan split, getting them both right.

Could it be that Jimmy is smarter than I am?

As Vizzini said in The Princess Bride, “Inconceivable!”

Dave last week: 8-3-3
Jim last week: 9-2-3
Dave’s record-to-date: 62-29-17
Jim’s record-to-date: 67-24-17

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Nov. 27

Friendship Four
Massachusetts-Lowell vs Northeastern 
Dave’s pick:  You’d have to put a gun to my head to force me to pick Northeastern in this one. Yes, the Huskies are much better than their 1-10-2 record, but the River Hawks are every bit as good as their 9-1-3 mark. Playing in Ireland doesn’t change that.
UML 3, NU 1
Jim’s pick: Northeastern is due for a victory but they are also down too many key players to pick here.
UML 4, NU 2

Princeton at Maine
Dave’s pick: Can the Black Bears make it three wins in a row? Yes, I think they can.
Maine 2, PU 1
Jim’s pick: Maybe it was good ol’ home cooking that Maine needed.
Maine 4, PU 2

Quinnipiac at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: Perhaps the Minutemen can pull off a fourth straight tie, but I doubt it, not even at home. Undefeated Quinnipiac is too good.
QU 4, UMass 2
Jim’s pick: Agreed. I would like to have faith in UMass and, you never know in a game like this. But I have to pick with the odds.
QU 3, UMass 1

Shillelagh Tournament
Harvard at Notre Dame
Dave’s pick: I think the Irish are better than their 5-3-4 record,  so I’m going with an upset over the eight-ranked Crimson.
UND 3, HU 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: This is the toughest pick of the weekend. If Notre Dame plays three solid periods, I think they can win. But that game-long consistency has been an issue at times.
HU 4, UND 3

Saturday, Nov. 28

RIT at Boston College 
Dave’s pick: This RIT club shares only the slightest resemblance to the edition that shared Ford Field with the Eagles at the Frozen Four six years ago.  No contest.
BC 4, RIT 1
Jim’s pick: This is the classic teacher/student battle as Jerry York’s former player at Bowling Green, Wayne Wilson, will be on the opposite bench. But even that can’t help RIT.
BC 5, RIT 1

Friendship Four 
Brown/Colgate vs Northeastern/Lowell 
Dave’s pick: We’ll pick all the possibilities here. I’m going with both Hockey East teams regardless of the match-up.
UML 3, Colgate 2; UML 3, Brown 1; NU 3, Colgate 2; NU 2, Brown 1
Jim’s pick: Same here. Hockey East will earn the non-conference wins on day two in Belfast.
UML 3, Colgate 1; UML 4, Brown 1; NU 2, Colgate 1; NU 4, Brown 2

Union at Merrimack
Dave’s pick: Union has fallen on hard times of late and won’t be toppling Merrimack in its barn. Say hello to the 7-1-4  Warriors.
MC 3, Union 1
Jim’s pick: The upstart team in Hockey East keeps rolling.
MC 4, Union 2

Princeton at Maine
Dave’s pick: Logic says this series should be a split, but I’m giving Maine a four-game winning streak.
Maine 3, PU 2
Jim’s pick: I can’t disagree with Dave’s logic. Maine gets itself back to relevant.
Maine 3, PU 1

Yale at Providence
Dave’s pick: Yale looks to once again be fielding a strong team, but I’m not picking against the Friars until they give me a reason to. They remain undefeated and atop the national rankings.
PC 4, YU 3
Jim’s pick: This might be the best game of the weekend. And I love the way Providence is playing so they get my pick at home.
PC 3, YU 2

Massachusetts at Quinnipiac 
Dave’s pick: Quinnipiac keeps pace with Providence as the only two undefeated teams in the country.
QU 4, UMass 2
Jim’s pick: I know UMass is good enough to take a win or a tie from this weekend. But I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to pick that.
QU 3, UMass 2

Bentley at New Hampshire 
Dave’s pick: The Wildcats get a much-needed win after a rough 0-4-2 stretch.
UNH 4, Bentley 1
Jim’s pick: This is the game that New Hampshire needed after recent struggles. But they have to be careful of a Bentley team that already swept Northeastern.
UNH 3, Bentley 2

Shillelagh Tournament
Western Michigan/Rensselaer at Notre Dame
Dave’s pick: RPI will be the tougher match-up, but Notre Dame will prevail either way.
UND 3, RPI 2; UND 3, WMU 1
Jim’s pick: Notre Dame set itself up with the toughest matchup in the opening round. Day two should produce a victory
UND 2, RPI 1; UND 4, WMU 2

Red Hot Hockey
Cornell vs Boston University
Dave’s pick: I may have been a bit too optimistic about the Terriers so far, but I’m taking one more stab at it and going with them over 6-1-1 Cornell.
BU 3, CU 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: This is a dangerous one as I am picking BU over Cornell. I just think, for some reason, this team loves this specific game at MSG.
BU 3, CU 2

Sunday, Nov. 29

Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff
Vermont vs Penn State
Dave’s pick: Penn State is nowhere near as good as its 7-2-3 record, but it’s tough to go with the Catamounts after they got swept last weekend by Maine.
PSU 3, UVM 2
Jim’s pick: I actually think Vermont will get its head back on straight, even against a Penn State team that has a good record.
UVM 3, PSU 2


  1. No one has a crystal ball so the system requires years like this to reorder the perception of conference strength, strategies and rewards for season consistency vs peak. Cheering for all 4 left standing

  2. Short list of Frozen Four sites that would be awesome on short notice:
    TD Garden – Boston
    First Niagara Center (corrected from HBSC Arena) – Buffalo
    Joe Louis Arena – Detroit
    Bradley Center – Milwaukee
    XCEL Energy – Minneapolis-St.Paul
    Pepsi Center – Denver

    Apologies in advance for missing any obvious ones.

  3. Dream Frozen Four locations

    Centre Bell, Montreal, PQ, hosted by UVM/Clarkson/St Lawrence.
    United Center, Chicago hosted by Notre Dame
    Madison Square Garden NY hosted by Columbia (if Navy can host in DC, then Columbia can host in NY)
    Air Canada Center, Toronto ON (hosted by RIT)

    Personally, I think that the Frozen Four should happen in Montreal or Toronto once per decade, just to get more visibility in Canada.

    • That would be cool. If for some reason UNH made a Frozen Four in Montreal or Toronto, i would be very likely to go. I love Montreal and i have been wanting to go to Toronto.

    • A Frozen Four in Canada would be a big risk, but I’d like to see it happen to see if they could embrace the US college game if only for the championship.

  4. at 5,000 minimum for a regional site, Portland, ME could definitely host a regional, unless it doesn’t meet the hotel room requirement. But it should, its a destination place. I would LOVE a regional in Portland, and you know Black Bear Fans would be nuts for that if Maine made the tournament. Plus, its a short train ride from both Boston and Durham, with its own airport serviced primarily from NYC, so its easy to get to

    • Right on. Don’t forget the civic center is undergoing its $30M+ renovation as well. This would be a great showcase event. Oh and if ManchVegas has the hotel capacity, so does Portland.

  5. I would say the best place that I’m not sure it’s ever been.. Would be the Big Apple at MSG..

    Huntsville hosted it in Tampa.. So somebody out east could host it at MSG..

    For all of you who thinks it’s a good idea to play is Canada.. Not so much.. The Canadians think US college hockey a joke.. As far as I’m concerned let them continue to think that.. They don’t deserve it.. Plenty of places it the US that would be better..

    Just my opinion…

    • Not hosting it in Canada for Canadians to watch it, even though some NCAA recruits from Canada might watch. The purpose of hosting it in Canada’s premier arenas so that US College Hockey fans have a great destination city to watch in a building with great hockey sight lines. It would be the equivalent of College World Series at an MLB ballpark or how the BCS games are held at the best football stadiums. Montreal and Toronto are exceptional cities to visit and the arenas are quite simply the best in the world. They also have a small amount of hockey history.

      The Frozen Four is destination travel for many US College Hockey fans. They show up not matter what four teams are going to be there. Montreal and Toronto are a lot closer to college hockey fans than Anaheim or Tampa.

  6. The Pru Center in Newark , MSG in NYC or the new Barclay’s Ctr in Brooklyn , Princeton , Cornell or even ECAC could combine to host at all 3 places

    • Columbia could host as part of ECAC, the way Navy hosted Washington DC. But all of your building choices fit the bill. Might be a tad pricey, however.

  7. If I had my way the Frozen Four would be held in St. Paul every year. The regionals can rotate but St. Paul is the Mecca in the State of Hockey. It would sell out every year regardless of who is playing. It would be similar to college baseball using Omaha every year. The marketing opportunities would be endless for the NCAA to build the tradition. Unfortunately, it probably makes too much sense for the NCAA to even consider it.

    • I think Denver, Detroit and Boston are in the mix of having just as much Frozen Four history as Minnesota, since Colorado, Michigan and Massachusetts hosted multiple NCAA title games, long before they were called the Frozen Four.

      I am glad you will not have your way. As a Hockey East fan, I respect the history of ALL long-term hockey hotbeds, not just the one I grew up with on my television and during my college years. It is far better that we spread the Frozen Four around and not limit it to one geographical part of the country, let alone a single building in a single state.

      We already have a tradition of well-attended Frozen Fours. So long as the NCAA stays away from having the Frozen Four at a football stadium, dome or no, we are good with NHL rinks in the US.

      I think you do a great disservice to the hockey traditions of New England, Michigan and Colorado. Just saying something makes sense does not make it so, no matter how much you might wish it to be.

  8. I would love Tampa again. If your team loses on that Thursday night, there is still Clearwater Beach, Busch Gardens or even a 75 minute drive to Orlando to keep you there for the whole weekend. Pittsburgh is a nice city, but in early April what else was there to do??

  9. Why would you not move the matchup of Minnesota Duluth vs. Canisius out east so you could move Western Michigan and Penn State to Cincy to up attendance at both events?

    • Why would you not move UMD-Canisius east and WMU-PSU west? First, you don’t simply move the overall #2 out of their region at the expense of a #4 seed. If you did this, you would justify moving any teams in all bands for the ridiculous “attendance” excuse. Second, this would not benefit either region, using your “attendance” reasoning. How would Canisius add any fans to Manchester or Providence? They draw 1,086 fans per game, 60% capacity of their own rink. Guess you figure all 1,086 will each bring 4 friends or relatives to the Regional. Second, WMU, having an excellent season, does not draw well, only 2,668 at home. UMD and PSU will draw very close to the same amount, check their attendance. Also, when teams are moved strictly for attendance, it never works out. Arenas still are 1/3 full, at best, for the Regional Finals. These are the reasons even the NC$$ will not do what you suggest.

  10. Why should #2 UMD potentially face #5 Minnesota in region finals when committee could just as easily flip #5 Minnesota with #7 Union thereby having finals matching #4 vs #5 and #2 vs #7 if everything plays out true to the pairwise rankings?

  11. He’s so isn’t one of the unwritten rules to avoid outing the overall number 1 seed ina bracket with a host school, thus protecting them? Why would the committee put Denver in Fargo? Why not flip flop Denver and Duluth?

    • Another criteria is to protect that seed by putting them in the closest regional. Fargo would be 4 hours drive closer than cincinatti.

      • It’s a flight for Denver no matter where they go.if the committee wants to send a team that’s”commuting distance” send Duluth which is only 4 hrs away from Fargo and 10+ from Cincinnati

        • The point is for fans. If duluth was the top seed they’d do that for them, but since they’re not , they can’t have 3 nchc teams in Fargo .

          • So put Duluth in Fargo and Denver in Cincy. Duluth fans can go see their team play and Denver gets “protected”

          • You’re forgetting that the NC$$ also has its “a flight is a flight” policy. Right now it’s 50/50 between Denver and UMD for Fargo or Cinci, and it will be other factors that come into play. If Bowling Green wins the WCHA and is the 16, I’d bet Denver ends up in Cinci. On the flip side, if Air Force wins AH (thus a top 15 pwr) and Ohio State makes it as a 4 seed, I’d bet Duluth gets sent to Cinci but gets matched-up with OSU.

  12. Since Lowell easily has the best attendance in the East and Manchester is 35 minutes away, they should be put in that regional. All the regionals will have attendance issues except Fargo so keeping Lowell in Manchester is a no brainer. It is sad seeing half full arenas during the Regionals.

    • Using that logic, they should just put all 4 regionals out west – only fair since there are 8 B1G or NCHC schools with better attendance than the school with “easily the best attendance in the east.”

      • More BS from the west. A history lesson for you. Every 2 or 3 years Minneapolis hosts a regional and they get 9000 – 11000 in an arena that holds 18000. Since the numbers are always inflated, how can that be possible? No regional will be full except Fargo. Not when they are in MN,MI, NH, IL or even Boston. I am sick and tired of hearing how great the west is when the ‘hockey’ state of Minnesota doesn’t sell out. Too much $$ for fans to travel to their league tourneys, the NCAA regionals and then fly to the Frozen Four.

        • Talk about BS. If you are going to claim that 8th ranked Lowell should get special treatment and not have to travel just because they are the only eastern school that can draw 5,000 fans during the regular season, then the 8 schools who all draw better than Lowell, who just happen to be from the west, should certainly get the same treatment – especially the ones who nearly double Lowell’s attendance. The only way to do that would be to move all 4 regionals out west. Yes, that is a silly thought, just like it’s silly to claim Lowell should be protected because they draw a few more fans than the other poorly drawing eastern schools.

          • Poorly drawing? Are you high? UML draws over 92% of capacity (6,003 seats) every single game.
            How is that, in anybody’s definition, poor attendance? His contention is that if the NCAA is truly concerned about $$ as much as we think, it is more logical to locate them in Manchester than elsewhere.

          • You need to either get less defensive about the lack of attendance in the east or improve your reading skills. I said, Lowell draws a few more fans than the other poorly drawing eastern schools. The fact is, as you’ve shown, Lowell is the only eastern school that can even crack the top 10, and that’s pretty clear evidence that eastern schools as a whole draw poorly compared to western schools. If you’re going to argue that Lowell’s 9th place attendance is a reason they should get special treatment as an 8 seed, then North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin should get home games every time they make the tournament – since they practically double the attendance of Lowell or any other eastern school.

          • Well, first off, not my argument. 2nd, My contention as is Bob Neal’s is, if as has been mentioned here many times, the NCAA is truly money hungry, they’d get more bang for their buck by putting Lowell in Manchester rather than some other 2 seed. No conspiracy, no preferential treatment, just NCAA cash.

          • Top 10 in attendance, total attendance
            D-1 Hockey:

            1North Dakota
            4Colorado College
            5Penn State

          • Top 10 in % of Capacity:

            1. Penn State
            2. Quinnipiac
            3. North Dakota
            4. Michigan
            5. Mercyhurst
            6. Minnesota
            7. Union
            8. Massachusetts-Lowell
            9. Cornell
            10. Merrimack

          • Vinnie my man, % capacity is, in reality, not even a factor. Give every school in NCHC and B1G an arena with the capacity of Quinnipiac, and they would have well over 100% (or max allowed by Fire Dept.) as Quinnipiac has. It sort of is like total attendance meaning something.

          • It is when you are refuting a ‘poor drawing’ comment. I do agree about small arenas, though. I wish I could have filtered on 5k+ arenas only though.

        • Note that both sites for Regionals in Denver and Colorado College, and Frozen Four in Denver were all sold out, and the fans actually filled the arena. If the “western” league tourneys were in commuting distance, as most teams are in HEA to Boston, they would have much better attendance. If teams from WCHA, B1G, and NCHC had the same proximity that eastern teams do, they would make the crowds at TD Gardens pale in comparison. You certainly appear to be a pretty savvy guy so you don’t need a geography lesson. I have gone to every Regional that DU has been fortunate to qualify, for the past nine years but have never gone to Minneapolis for the Frozen Faceoff, saving my money for the expensive travel to the regionals. When you know are going to qualify via PWR, the tourney is anti-climactic and also televised nationally. I also manage to travel to the FF when DU makes it.

        • .
          hey, our game against BGSU is sold out…

          follow the WCHA lead… on campus sites!

          maybe not out east – you don’t even have to take your skates off to go from one barn to the other!

          GO TECH GOLD!

  13. Attendance is mentioned frequently like it has been most weeks. I’d be interested to see the attendance with 12 teams seeds 5-8 hosting best of 3 (1-4 get a bye) have 2 regionals in Boston and St. Paul and the frozen four alternates like it always does. 100 percent bracket integrity, fans know where the regionals are every year so they can book in advance home sites will more than likely sell out… having ESPN travel to all of the unique home arenas will help spread the game a lot better than neutral regionals with poor attendance

  14. hey i finally got my bracket right this time – now i just need to starve my kids for a week so i can come up with the funds to go see a game

  15. If Penn State and/or Ohio State loses later today, they’ll likely drop out. Even one win might not be enough to keep them on the right side of the bubble because the teams they play are extremely low in the pairwise.

    • Your correct for Penn State. It’s something like a 75% of being in if they beat Michigan. If BC loses their first game and Penn wins they are pretty much a lock.

  16. I think Minnesota is actually eliminated from the Big Ten tournament at the time of this publication. I don’t think the changes very much except it puts the status of either Ohio State or Penn State at risk if they don’t win the championship (did not dig deep, just looking at auto vs at-large).

  17. What always screws this up is the “Attendance Move” which history shows us never really improves attendance. If you really are serious about attendance and wanted to improve attendance, move Lowell to Manchester.


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