Hockey East picks – Jan. 29-Feb. 2

Darn it, UConn. A tie against Boston College and a loss to Sacred Heart was the only thing that kept me from perfection last week. Still at 11-1-1, I picked up a game on Dave, which is a better-than-average consolation prize.

Jim last week: 11-1-1
Jim to date: 131-50-31
Dave last week: 10-2-1
Dave to date: 127-54-31

Friday, January 29

Merrimack at Boston University
Jim’s pick: Merrimack’s struggles recently give me no confidence to pick and upset on the road.
BU 4, MC 2
Dave’s pick: With only one win (over Canisius) since Nov. 13, Merrimack is making itself a very tough pick. And on the road against the Terriers, who are 9-2-2 at Agganis? Not a chance.
BU 5, MC 1

Boston College at Notre Dame
Jim’s pick: I don’t know if there is a hotter team in the country than Notre Dame. So even against Boston College, the fact that Notre Dame is at home influences this pick.
ND 3, BC 2
Dave’s pick: I was really, really hoping Jim would take the Eagles since the Irish blew me away with their domination of UNH last Friday. But as usual, he failed to cooperate. I suppose I should go against Jim’s pick either way to make up some ground, but Notre Dame just looks too good right now.
ND 3, BC 2 (OT)

New Hampshire at Providence
Jim’s pick: This is one of just two two-game league series this weekend and this one is the easier for me to pick.
PC 5, UNH 2
Dave’s pick: The disappointing season for the Wildcats continues.
PC 5, UNH 3

Maine at Massachusetts
Jim’s pick: Neither team is playing well but Maine also has been an awful team away from home this season. So, at least on night one, I’m picking the Minutemen.
UMass 3, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: I don’t like to kick teams when they’re down, but it’s tough to like either club. Maine is 0-8-1 on the road and UMass has only a single win (over Army) since Nov 7 and not even a tie since Nov. 21. At Alfond, I’d pick a Maine sweep. At the Mullins Center, I’ll go with the Black Bears in game one.
Maine 3, UMass 2

Arizona State at UMass-Lowell
Jim’s pick: The River Hawks won’t pick up any league points this weekend but should be able to grab a couple of wins.
UML 5, ASU 2
Dave’s pick: It’s great to see new D-I programs like Arizona State, but it’ll be take-your-lumps time against the River Hawks.
UML 7, ASU 1

Saturday, January 30

New Hampshire at Providence
Jim’s pick: It will be a tighter game than Friday, but expect Providence to sweep at home.
PC 3, UNH 2
Dave’s pick: Uh-oh, looks like an eighth straight loss for the Wildcats.
PC 5, UNH 2

Maine at Massachusetts
Jim’s pick: I really want to pick a UMass sweep because they are at home, but the reality is UMass hasn’t swept a league series since the first week of November.
Maine 4, UMass 3
Dave’s pick: I don’t like either team’s chances, so I’m picking the split the opposite way Jim is doing, so I could either pick up two games on him or fall over the precipice. And the way this season has gone, I know which of those two possibilities is more likely.
UMass 4, Maine 2

Arizona State at UMass-Lowell
Jim’s pick: It might be a bit closer, but I expect Lowell to win these two games.
UML 3, ASU 1
Dave’s pick: Not to be unkind, but if Lowell only beats a new D-I team like ASU by two goals — a team that is 2-16-0 on the road — then the River Hawks are in trouble.
UML 8, ASU 1

Sunday, January 31

Arizona State at Merrimack
Jim’s pick: Merrimack has struggled of late. But they also are now playing a first-year Division I school that is finishing a three-in-three.
MC 5, ASU 2
Dave’s pick: The Warriors could really use a win right now, and they’ll get it.
MC 6, ASU 2

Monday, February 1

64th Beanpot Tournament (Boston)

Boston College vs. Harvard
Jim’s pick: This may be the Hockey East homer in me, but I have to go with the Eagles in this one. It’s been a long time since Harvard has won a first-round game, which factors in.
BC 3, HU 2
Dave’s pick: Harvard has played in exactly two, count ’em, two Beanpot title games in the last 21 years (1998 and 2008). And lost both. So until 2018, it feel like a bet-the-ranch pick to go against the Crimson. (If you think I’m being overly harsh, keep in mind this is Hahvahd  we’re talking about.
BC 4, HU 2

Northeastern vs. Boston University
Jim’s pick: It would be a wonderful rogue pick to go with Northeastern, though its play of late would justify it. That said, I’m not rogue like Sarah Palin. I’m going for the conventional.
BU 4, NU 3
Dave’s pick: And I’m supposed to be like Sarah Palin?  Sorry, I don’t want Tina Fey imitating me on Saturday Night Live. But boy oh boy, the Huskies sure have a chance. A chance for a title dance. Don’t look at me askance. It’s a wickid good chance.
(This pick is based on BU scoring an extra attacker goal in the final 30 seconds and winning in double overtime.)
BU 4, NU 3 (2OT)

Tuesday, February 2

Brown at Connecticut
Jim’s pick: I have seen both teams play and really think that they are similar. While home ice should influence my pick, UConn’s midweek loss this past week is on my mind.
Brown 5, UConn 4
Dave’s pick: UConn’s loss last week dropped me another game behind Jim, but I’m going to believe that the Huskies make that up this week. I just think they’re the better team with the latest evidence being their tie with BC.
UConn 4, Brown 3