Hockey East picks – Feb. 19-20

Good grief, I only got one game wrong last week but made up no ground on Jim.

Dave last week: 10-1-2
Jim last week: 10-1-2
Dave’s record-to-date: 154-60-35
Jim’s record-to-date: 158-56-35

Friday and Saturday, February 19-20

Because every team except Massachusetts and Massachusetts-Lowell is playing a two-game series against the same opponent, we will list picks for each series together, the first pick being Friday’s game and the second being Saturday. Unless otherwise specified, both games are at the same site.

Merrimack at Maine
Dave’s picks: Wins have been few and far between for both teams, so I’m going with home ice.
UM 2, MC 1; UM 3, MC 2
Jim’s picks: This is a tough one. I can’t imagine a sweep, and know being contrary to Dave makes me vulnerable. But I think Merrimack takes the opener.
MC 3, UM 1; UM 3, MC 2

Notre Dame at Providence
Dave’s pick: This is the marquee match-up of the weekend and seems likely to end in a split. These teams are just too closely matched. But I’m going to gamble on the Irish and hope Jim doesn’t play monkey-see, monkey-do.
ND 3, PC 2 (OT); ND 2, PC 1 (OT)
Jim’s picks: Here I actually match Dave. I think a sweep seems unlikely but at home, I really do believe in Notre Dame (hoping the recent home loss to Boston College was an aberration.
ND 4, PC 2; ND 3, PC 2

Boston College at Vermont
Dave’s pick: Vermont is coming off a three-point weekend at UNH and BC had to settle for the same against Merrimack, but I can’t see the Eagles falling short of a sweep.
BC 4, UVM 2; BC 3, UVM 2
Jim’s picks: Agreed. BC has to win to keep pace with Notre Dame. When Jerry York teams understand the value of the weekend, they usually succeed.
BC 5, UVM 2; BC 4; UVM 2

Northeastern vs. Connecticut (Fri. at UConn; Sat. at NU)
Dave’s pick: The percentages would argue for both teams holding serve at home, but the percentages wouldn’t be factoring in how well Northeastern has been playing. Northeastern sweeps in the Battle of the Huskies.
NU 3, UC 2; NU 3, UC 1
Jim’s picks: I agree with Dave but also argue UConn has the talent to win at home.
UC 3, NU 1; NU 4, UC 2

Boston University vs. New Hampshire (Fri. at UNH; Sat. at BU)
Dave’s pick: Both teams really need these games for playoff positioning, BU to get a first-round bye and UNH to get first-round home ice. The Terriers, however, are playing by far the better hockey, so I’m bypassing any thought of a home-ice split.
BU 3, UNH 2; BU 4, UNH 2
Jim’s picks: Agreed. Though UNH beat Lowell recently, I don’t see them taking anything from the Terriers.
BU 4, UNH 2; BU 3, UNH 1

Massachusetts at Massachusetts-Lowell (single, nonconference game, Fri.)
Dave’s pick: Yes, it’s a rivalry, and yes, Lowell has hit a couple potholes lately, but UMass has been playing so poorly for so long that I can’t see so much as a close game.
UML 5, UMass 1
Jim’s pick: I think it will be closer than Dave, but also believe this one should go to the River Hawks.
UML 4, UMass 2