Women’s D-I picks: Sept. 29

Well, here we start with another picks race. We have a new women’s columnist, Nicole Haase, as former columnist Arlan Marttila has moved on. Nicole and I will be picking each week’s games and having a little friendly competition to see who can pick the most games correctly.

This weeks sees some interesting games, including seven of the top 10 teams in the country.

Friday-Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct.1

Penn State at Clarkson
Candace: Shea Tiley in net and Cayley Mercer on the front line, plus home ice, equals a Clarkson sweep. Clarkson 4-0, 3-1
Nicole: I’d really like to see more of Clarkson before I commit to them as a top five team, but if nothing else, they have Shea Tiley. I think this is an easy weekend for them. Clarkson 4-1, 3-0

North Dakota at Mercyhurst
Candace: This is a tough series to call. Gone are the days when the Lakers had a slew of high-scoring potent forwards to carry them. Home ice might get them a win, especially since North Dakota has a new netminder, but I’ll pick North Dakota to sweep, since I have no idea who wins on what night. North Dakota 2-1, 2-1
Nicole: This will be a great matchup for the east vs. west debaters. North Dakota has a lot to prove, but I’ll call a split. North Dakota 2-1, Mercyhurst 1-0

RIT at Minnesota State
Candace: The Tigers are still rebuilding, and Minnesota State needs all the nonconference wins it can get, since conference wins might be few and far between. Minnesota State 2-1, 2-1
Nicole: I’m going to side with the Mavericks at home here and pick them to win both. Minnesota State 2-1 and 2-0.

St. Lawrence at Northeastern
Candace: The post-Kendall Coyne Huskies start their season with a tough one. St. Lawrence has not started well in recent years, but I see a split. Northeastern 3-1, St. Lawrence 2-1
Nicole: I’m going to pick the Saints to pull one out on Northeastern here as the Huskies find their bearings. Northeastern 2-0, St. Lawrence 2-1

Maine at Quinnipiac
Candace: The Black Bears don’t have enough to hurt the Bobcats. Quinnipiac 3-0, 3-1
Nicole: Quinnipiac should have no problem with the Black Bears. Bobcats win. Quinnipiac 4-1, 3-0

Ohio State at Rensselaer
Candace: Both teams lost some to graduation, and the Buckeyes have a new coach to boot. I see a split. Rensselaer 2-1, Ohio State 2-1
Nicole: It’s been a quick transition for the Buckeyes and they’ve got a lot to figure out, so I’m picking RPI at home in a low scoring affair. Rensselaer 1-0, 1-0

Merrimack at St. Cloud
Candace: The Warrior might get one, but I like the Huskies to sweep. St. Cloud 3-1, 2-1
Nicole: St. Cloud looked improved against Wisconsin last weekend and Taylor Crosby made a ton of saves. I’m going Huskies. St. Cloud 3-1, 2-0

Bemidji State at Syracuse
Candace: The Orange are one of the favorites in the CHA. I see a split here. Syracuse 3-2, Bemidji State 3-2
Nicole: It’s hard to say what Bemidji looks like after the graduation of nine players. I imagine a split is most likely here, especially with Syracuse at home. Syracuse 3-1, Bemidji State 2-1

Connecticut at Union
Candace: I don’t have a handle on the Dutchwomen yet, so I’ll pick the Huskies to sweep. Connecticut 2-1, 3-1
Nicole: The Huskies don’t give Union a chance to get the elusive win. Connecticut 3-0, 4-1

Boston College at Minnesota-Duluth
Candace: The Eagles have to replace two all-world scorers that they lost to graduation. The Bulldogs will make this tight, but I’m going on a hunch and picking BC to sweep. Boston College 3-2, 3-1
Nicole: UMD has had these dates circled for a long time and know they can make waves with a win or two. I think they take the first one at home and the Eagles edge them in the second game. Minnesota-Duluth 3-2, Boston College 2-1

Lindenwood at Minnesota
Candace: In the past, Nicole Hensley might have kept the Lions in it more. Not this year. Minnesota 4-0, 5-0
Nicole: Gophers win comfortably. Minnesota 5-1 and 4-0.

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 1-2

Robert Morris at Providence
Candace: The Colonials could go a long to way to establishing themselves with a sweep. I think they get it. Robert Morris 2-1, 3-1
Nicole: Robert Morris returns most of their roster. I say they sweep. Robert Morris 3-0, 3-1

New Hampshire at Colgate
Candace: New Hampshire is strong enough to possibly get a win, but I’ll pick the Raiders to sweep. Colgate 2-1, 3-1
Nicole: Colgate is looking to be a contender this season and they open up strong. Raiders sweep. Colgate 3-0, 4-1

Tuesday, Oct. 4

Vermont at Union
Candace: The Catamounts start strong. Vermont 3-1
Nicole: Catamounts return a ton of scoring and Union has a rookie goalie. Catamounts win. Vermont 4-0