Hockey East picks – Dec. 28-30

Thanks to Union’s overtime win against Vermont, I went perfect and gained a game on Dave in the slow week before Christmas. A five-game lead feels like a luxury entering the second half but one bad week and that lead could be gone.

Jim last week: 3-0-0
Jim to-date: 93-33-22
Dave last week: 2-1-0
Dave to-date: 88-38-22

Monday, December 28

Florida College Classic (at Estero, Fla.)

Ohio State vs. Boston College
Jim’s pick: A victory to begin the second half pulls BC coach Jerry York within two-game of 1,000 wins.
BC 4, OSU 1
Dave’s pick: I never feel as comfortable with clear-cut favorites in their first game out of the break, but even if the Eagles are rusty, they should dispatch the 3-11-0 Buckeyes.
BC 5, OSU 2

Providence vs. Cornell
Jim’s pick: Providence got to the break without a loss and there is no reason to believe that will change immediately, even against a very good Cornell team.
PC 3, CU 2
Dave’s pick: I feel really itchy about this pick since Cornell is 8-1-2, but I, too, am sticking with the Friars.
PC 3, CU 2 (OT)

Three Rivers Classic (at Pittsburgh)

UMass-Lowell vs. Clarkson
Jim’s pick: The way Lowell finished the first half getting swept by UConn certainly gives concern for the River Hawks facing a good Clarkson team. But it also should add motivation.
UML 3, CU 2
Dave’s pick: I’m not going to be as kind to Clarkson, which is 0-5-2 in ECAC play and only has a winning overall record due to a mostly soft nonconference schedule. So unless I’ve jumped ship entirely with the River Hawks, I see them winning handily.
UML 4, CU 1

Tuesday, December 29

Merrimack at Army West Point
Jim’s pick: The Warriors have done well against AHC competition. No reason to expect different.
MC 4, Army 2
Dave’s pick: The Warriors bring their nonconference record to 6-1-0.
MC 4, Army 1

New Hampshire vs. Maine (non-conference, at Portland, Maine)
Jim’s pick: Maine was playing well at the break, but so was UNH. This is a coin toss.
UNH 3, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: I kept believing in UNH before the break; I’m not going to stop now.
UNH 4, Maine 3

Catamount Cup (at Burlington, Vt.)

Lake Superior at Vermont
Jim’s pick: The tournament hosts pick up a win in the opening game of this pre-determined field event.
Dave’s pick: Neither team impressed in the first half, so I’m going with a Homer Hendrickson pick.

Florida College Classic (at Estero, Fla.)
Jim’s pick: If Providence gets past Cornell, I pick them to win the tournament. That said, we will pick all outcomes for Hockey East teams.
PC 3, BC 2; PC 4, OSU 1; BC 3, Cornell 2
Dave’s pick: I’d naturally be leaning toward Providence as well, but BC is awfully close behind and I need to pick up ground on Jim. Give me the Eagles.
BC 3, PC 2; PC 4, OSU 2; BC 3, Cornell 2

Three Rivers Classic (at Pittsburgh)
Jim’s pick: I think this should be Lowell’s tournament to win, but I also thought they’d sweep UConn.
UML 3, PSU 2; UML 4, RMU 2
Dave’s pick: I’d be tempted to go with Penn State and its 11-2-3 record, but that mark is a soft one, less impressive than Lowell’s 10-3-4.
UML 3, PSU 1; UML 4, RMU 1

Wednesday, December 30

Maine at New Hampshire (non-conference)
Jim’s pick: UNH picks up a much-needed non-conference sweep to begin the second half.
UNH 4, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: I was hoping Jim would go with a split because I’m going with the Wildcats.
UNH 3, Maine 1

Catamount Cup (Burlington, Vt.)

Colgate at Vermont
Jim’s pick: With the pairings pre-determined in this tournament, you never know if winning on the opening night gives you a chance to play for the championship on the second night. Either way, I don’t see UVM winning this year’s event.
CU 4, UVM 2
Dave’s pick: A 5-11-1 team against one that’s 5-12-2. Homer Hendrickson goes Hockey East.
UVM 3, CU 2