Hockey East picks – Mar. 18-19

Dave went with strategy over intelligence last weekend and made a bad deficit a horrid one. Butt-kick central. This is like a six-goal victory.

On to the Garden.

Jim last week: 8-1-0
Jim to date: 189-65-36
Dave last week: 3-6-0
Dave to date: 174-80-36

Friday, March 18

Hockey East Semifinals (at TD Garden, Boston)

No. 4 UMass-Lowell vs. No. 2 Providence
Jim’s pick: I know this is the defending national champion, but I’m going with the upset by the team that has had more recent success in the Hockey East tournament. Only a mild upset, but an upset nonetheless.
UML 3, PC 2
Dave’s pick: There’s no longer any point to me making contrarian picks, so I’m going with my straight-up assessment. And that is that I like Lowell in this game. It was hard not be impressed with what the River Hawks did to BU last weekend. And although the Friars have been playing well without Jake Walman, he was a true difference-maker whose absence could well tip the scales.
UML 2, PC 1 (OT)

No. 6 Northeastern vs. No. 1 Boston College
Jim’s pick: It has been a wonderful run for Northeastern but I think it will come to an end here. Let’s hope the Huskies have done enough to get into the NCAA field.
BC 4, NU 2
Dave’s pick: I’m not so sure. Going into the tournament, I thought BC was the team to beat. However, Northeastern’s road sweep of Notre Dame while BC came within inches of being denied the Garden for a third straight year have me wondering. I’ll go for the major upset and the 18-1-2 team. (That does sound like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?) BC doesn’t have the championship game experience edge of years gone by.
NU 3, BC 2 (OT)

Saturday, March 19

Hockey East Championship Game
Jim’s pick: We’ll pick all the scenarios here, but I think BC is the champion. Don’t be surprised if this pick is totally incorrect, though.
BC 3, UML 2; BC 3, PC 2; UML 2, NU 1; PC 3, NU 1
Dave’s pick:
It’s a cliche to say that any of the four teams could win, but ya know, any of these four teams could win. Give me the River Hawks with their third title in four years.
UML 3, NU 2; UML 2 BC 1; NU 3 PC 2; BC 4, PC 3