Hockey East picks – Jan. 22-26

Jim and I had pretty good weeks, but both games we differed on ended as ties so I made up no ground. So that’s a good week for him and a bad one for me.

Dave last week: 8-2-3
Jim last week: 8-2-3
Dave’s record-to-date: 117-52-30
Jim’s record-to-date: 120-49-30

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Jan. 22

Massachusetts-Lowell at Providence 
Dave’s pick:  The marquee matchup of the weekend goes to the Friars on their home ice, but they need overtime to do it.
PC 3, UML 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: This is a tough game and series to call, so I as well will let home ice dominate my picks this weekend.
PC3, UML 2

Boston College at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: With only a single win for UMass since Nov. 7 — and that one over Army West Point — it’s hard to see anything but a lopsided win for the Eagles, home ice or no.
BC 5, UMass 1
Jim’s pick: I feel like UMass might be motivated against Boston College, a team they often play tough. But I also believe they are missing too many pieces to win.
BC 4, UMass 2

Notre Dame at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: This series is likely a split since it’s at the Whitt. (There’s your poetry for today.) In fact, it wouldn’t be a stunner to see the Wildcats do even better than that. But with four straight losses, it’s tough to pick them over a Notre Dame squad on a 10-game undefeated streak.
ND 4, UNH 3 (OT)
Jim’s pick: This will be a tight game but I like Notre Dame right now. A lot.
ND 3, UNH 2

Northeastern at Merrimack
Dave’s pick: The Warriors got off to a great start, but have only won one game (against Canisius) since Nov. 13. This is a classic example of two teams going in different directions.
NU 4, MC 2
Jim’s pick: This is as much about the way Northeastern is playing as much as how much the Warriors are struggling.
NU 4, MC 1

Boston University at Maine 
Dave’s pick: That was a pretty impressive tie for the Black Bears against top-ranked Quinnipiac, but it’ll take more than that and home ice for me to pick them over BU.
BU 4, Maine 2
Jim’s pick: I am with Dave here. The fact Maine couldn’t hold onto a two-goal, third period lead at home is disappointing.
BU 3, Maine 1

Vermont at Connecticut 
Dave’s pick: On neutral ice I might lean ever so slightly toward Vermont, but I’m going with home ice on this one. And yes, I know UConn’s road record has been better than its one at home, but that, I think, is a statistical fluke.
UConn 1, UVM 0 (OT)
Jim’s pick: I don’t know how much of a fluke that UConn’s home record is. The building simply hasn’t been as dominating this season. And I feel like Vermont is ready for a road win.
UVM 2, UConn 1

Saturday, Jan. 23

Notre Dame at New Hampshire 
Dave’s pick: I’m going with an Irish sweep knowing full well that could be a double dip.
ND 4, UNH 3
Jim’s pick: I’m not as confident that Notre Dame could lose twice to New Hampshire. At least not the way the Wildcats are playing.
ND 3, UNH 1

Connecticut at Boston College
Dave’s pick: UConn has fashioned some pretty big upsets in the last couple years, but I don’t see it happening here. UConn coach Mike Cavanaugh experiences an unpleasant return to Conte Forum.
BC 4, UConn 1
Jim’s pick: I think the Cavanaugh/York matchup will be closer than Dave does, but I also see BC winning.
BC 3, UConn 2

Merrimack at Northeastern
Dave’s pick: As noted above, this is an easy pick, especially at Matthews Arena, between two teams going in different directions.
NU 4, MC 1
Jim’s pick: If Northeastern does, in fact, carry out a weekend sweep, you need to begin taking this team seriously as one of the scariest clubs to face down the stretch.
NU 3, MC 1

Vermont at Massachusetts
Dave’s pick: Despite home ice for the Minutemen, I can’t pick them in this one. The Catamounts look like the clearly stronger team.
UVM 2, UMass 1
Jim’s pick: Twice in the same weekend an assistant faces the former head coach he works under. And twice the mentor prevails.
UVM 4, UMass 2

Providence at Massachusetts-Lowell 
Dave’s pick: I’m going with a split, favoring the home teams each night, in this battle of Hockey East titans.
UML 3, PC 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: Though Providence has been slightly dominant of UMass-Lowell in the last few years (2-4-0 in last six), I still think the River Hawks earn the split.
UML 4, PC 2

Maine at Boston University 
Dave’s pick: In this long-distance (for Hockey East, at least) home-and-home series, I see only scarlet and white. The Black Bears become even more ensconced in the cellar.
BU 5, Maine 2
Jim’s pick: Rack up another one for the Terriers, making the top 5 in Hockey East tight as can be.
BU 3, Maine 2

Tuesday,  Jan. 26

Sacred Heart at Connecticut
Dave’s pick: Two out of three ain’t bad (as Meatloaf once sang) for the Huskies on their extended weekend.
UConn 4, SH 2
Jim’s pick: This could be the dangerous letdown game for UConn if it has any success. But I’ve already predicted a not-so-great weekend for UConn, so I believe it will be motivated for this in-state battle.
UConn 5, SH 2