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


  1. Notre Dame could have crapped the bed a week earlier. Terrible performance against SCSU. Miami looked back to form, should be a good game. As for WMU getting “screwed”… they did it to themselves getting swept at home in the CCHA quarters.

  2. I’m going to throw Witt into this discussion, he’s the only reason NEU is doing anything this year. I don’t know what happend to this kid over the summer, but he’s blocking 60 shots a game for a team that plays zero defense. Hellebyuck, Ouellette, and Gilles play in very defensive based systems, Witt is a kid on an island out there and he’s playing up to the task so far. Regardless, I’d love to see it go to one of these four netminders, they’re carrying their teams.

  3. This list looks like it was left over from last year without consideration of how well or not well they are playing this year and no consideration of players with a surprising start. The column is a huge disappointment.

  4. Since Brian did the opening round pick and gave me permission to use his picks in the ECAC Pick The Playoffs, I assume that you are OK in me using your picks this week. Quite the 2 headed monster in the contest :-) .

  5. Can the ECAC send four to the NCAAs? Because there are scenarios where I think they should. Yale, Cornell, Colgate and Qpac in semis, Yale-Colgate in final.

  6. If I could throw in my two cents, I agree with Nate. I’d have to put Colgate on serious upset alert, though- Spring break = light crowd, a lack of post-season experience, and the fact that Gate won both vs. SLU this season- it is so hard to go unbeaten against a team, or even to win 3 of 4.
    Also think Yale will be very dangerous- they’ve shocked Quinnipiac before, plus they don’t have to actually travel. . .

    • Lose 2 out of 3 at home to a team Colgate has not lost to all season in a must win situation? Under choke scenario only. Nope. Look for upsets elsewhere. Union is already in, plus they’re beatable in this tourney at any point except maybe vs. Dartmouth. Yale over Qpac. Maybe. Clarkson over Cornell. Maybe. Prediction: 1. Yale 2. Colgate 3. Cornell 4. Union. Yale, Colgate, and Union to the NCAA. Bob, wake me up and pay up if Qpac is added.

      • I do hope I’m wrong about gate, but my life as a Mets fan has conditioned me to expect the worst. I just get the feeling that an SLU team with nothing to lose could be a trap game, times two.

        • Bob. Union is in the NCAAs already. We’ve been talking about who else from the ECAC goes. Colgate and Qpac are the only ECAC teams that can skate with Union. If we’re talking NCAAs, BC is a lock. The rest of Hockey East is inferior to most of these ECAC teams. I don’t know the politics of at large selections. But if the tourney’s play out as conceivable, the ECAC should have at least 3 and possibly 4 in the NCAA.

          • I just think union is the heavy favorite for white law and as I say that I,m still waiting for union to score!!!

  7. This is the ECAC where you have to expect the unexpected, anticipate the unforeseen, and assume the impossible will always happen. Best just to throw darts, pick straws and pray to the hockey gods.

  8. with a BC loss last night and minn. losing tonite no way union should not be number one!!!! – go dutchmen – all the way!!!

      • that’s cuz the western teams are afraid to play union year after year – shouldn’t be punished for that – bc and minn have had their ups n downs the past couple weeks – union is nothing but consistent – union is number one!!!

  9. The most obvious reason the third place game should not have been eliminated is that it could, and has in the past, allow another ECAC Hockey team to make the NCAA Championships. Given that, what possible reason is there to eliminate it?

  10. For Colgate, the deciding seems to be beating/losing to Quinnipiac. If they win, they’re in. If not, they’re only thinking about classes after Friday.

    IF Colgate beats Quinnipiac, then…
    *Colgate would pass Vermont in the rankings EVEN with a loss in the finals.
    *Colgate would pass Minnesota State (as long as they don’t win the WCHA.
    *Colgate would make the tourney EVEN if North Dakota loses. Yes, a bid is stolen, but Colgate would still pass North Dakota in the rankings, keeping them safe.
    *Colgate (and Vermont and Cornell) would stay ahead of New Hampshire in RPI, just as long as New Hampshire DOESN’T win HEA tourney.
    *Colgate would stay ahead of Cornell, IF Cornell doesn’t beat them in the final.
    For Colgate to win once and still miss the tourney, it seems the worst of all scenarios has to happen:
    *Cornell to beat Union, then beat Colgate in the final
    *Minnesota St. to beat Bowling Green and likely then Ferris State to win the WCHA.
    *New Hampshire to beat UML, then win the HEA final, stealing a bid.

    And something quirky like Michigan losing to Penn St. again could happen. I’d rather be Colgate than Vermont or Cornell, but it’s never fun knowing you’ll have to beat Quinnipiac to make the tournament.

  11. If Cornell wins one game, then they, too, should make it, largely because then they would have beaten the #3 team in the country.

    For them to miss the tourney after beating Union, these things have to happen:

    *Minnesota State winning the WCHA
    *New Hampshire winning the HEA
    *Colgate beating Quinnipiac and Cornell to win the ECAC

    If Cornell and/or Colgate win their first round games, what happens in the NCHC doesn’t seem to matter.

  12. Now if Colgate loses to QU, they REALLY need Bowling Green to beat Minnesota St. And that’s with everything else breaking their way.

    If Cornell loses, they’re screwed.

    • Just spoke with Hagwell: Still too early to note or predict ticket sales, but Cornell and Union each requested more than the vague “standard block” of tickets, so the Dutchmen and Big Red should be quite well represented. Not sure about QU/Colgate’s level of fan interest so far… Hagwell anticipates actual numbers by Tues/Wed, so stay tuned.

  13. The only way Cornell will defeat Union is if they hire Feola to disallow a few more goals – like happened this past weekend. Union is going all the way in the NCAAs this year….too solid a team.

    • You know, I misread and thought that series was at South Bend. Which certainly makes a difference in how I would’ve picked it. But it’s been published now, so it’s unfair to change my picks.


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