Hockey East picks – Jan. 1-7

The post-holiday action continues with more nonconference play.

Jim last week: 5-5-0
Jim to-date: 98-38-22
Dave last week: 5-5-0
Dave to-date: 93-43-22

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Jan. 1

Mariucci Classic
Connecticut at Minnesota 
Dave’s pick:  UConn finished strong in the first half, but I’m going with the Gophers on their home ice.
UM 3, UConn 2
Jim’s pick: If UConn wins this, they will by matching size against size. But I think Minnesota has more skill.
UM 4, UConn 2

Notre Dame at Denver
Dave’s pick: The percentage play may be to go with home ice on this one, but I’ll go with the Irish over .500 Denver.
UND 3, DU 2
Jim’s pick: I am going to agree here. Might not be the best pick but I like the way Notre Dame was playing heading to the break.
UND 3, DU 2

Saturday, Jan. 2

Ledyard Classic
Merrimack vs Union
Dave’s pick: A little over a month ago, the Dutchmen invaded Merrimack and came away with a 4-0 win. I’m going with another win, albeit a closer one, on neutral ice.
UC 3, MC 1
Jim’s pick: Merrimack just doesn’t seem to be playing its best hockey right now.
UC 4, MC 2

Mariucci Classic Third Place/Championship Game
Ferris State/Harvard vs Connecticut
Dave’s pick: I don’t see the Huskies taking this tournament, but will pick all possibilities.
HU 4, UConn 1; FSU 3, UConn 2
Jim’s pick: I think UConn could beat Ferris St., but likely not Harvard.
HU 4, UConn 2; UConn 3, FSU 2

Quinnipiac at Northeastern 
Dave’s pick: Quinnipiac did pick up its first loss of the year before the break to BU, but it still ranks as one of the nation’s top teams.
QU 4, NU 2
Jim’s pick: Northeastern often rises when facing a tough opponent, but not enough to beat Quinnipiac.
QU 4, NU 1

Massachusetts at Army West Point 
Dave’s pick: The Minutemen haven’t won since Nov. 7, but that streak ends here.
UMass 3, Army 1
Jim’s pick: I am tempted to pick Army after how Atlantic Hockey fared this past week. But I just can’t.
UMass 5, Army 3

New Hampshire at Vermont
Dave’s pick: I’m sticking with the Wildcats in this matchup of teams who had disappointing first halves.
UNH 4, UVM 2
Jim’s pick: I wouldn’t call UNH’s first half disappointing, which makes me believe it can beat UVM.
UNH 4, UVM 2

Notre Dame at Denver
Dave’s pick: This really should be a pick to split, but I’m going to gamble on an Irish sweep.
UND 3, DU 2
Jim’s pick: If Notre Dame had Bjork, I’d be okay picking a sweep. But I’ll take the risk and go with Denver here.
DU 2, UND 1

Sunday, Jan. 3

Mayor’s Cup
Providence at Brown
Dave’s pick: The Friars own the city and a whole lot more.
PC 4, BU 1
Jim’s pick: Providence finishes off the sweep of this two-game cross-city challenge.
PC 5, BU 2

Ledyard Classic
Merrimack at Dartmouth 
Dave’s pick: Dartmouth entered this tournament 3-7-1, so there’d be plenty of justification in picking the Warriors, but I’m going with home ice.
DU 3, MC 2
Jim’s pick: I think Merrimack will beat the host. And I don’t think that’s an upset.
MC 3, DU 1

Tuesday, Jan. 5

Yale at Massachusetts 
Dave’s pick: The Bulldogs are .500 at home and .500 on the road. Much as I’d like to think home ice will bail out the Minutemen, I don’t see it.
YU 4, UMass 2
Jim’s pick: Simply put: Yale is better.
YU 5, UMass 2

Connecticut at Arizona State
Dave’s pick: Arizona State has compiled a 5-12-0 record as a D-I Indy, including a sweep at Lake Superior State, but I can’t see it beating UConn, even in its own barn.
UConn 4, ASU 1
Jim’s pick: This is a lot of hockey for UConn in a short window but I think they can handle it.
UConn 5, ASU 1

Thursday, Jan. 7

Boston University at Harvard
Dave’s pick: I suspect the Terriers will be happy to get their focus back onto the ice, but the Crimson have been the far more consistent team, losing only to Quinnipiac.
HU 3, BU 2
Jim’s pick: I will go with Harvard simply because of the home ice.
HU 4, BU 2