Hockey East picks: Oct. 7-9

After handily beating Dave last year in our weekly picks contest, I know he’ll be looking for revenge. With this weekend’s non-conference action, I think there are a lot of difficult games to pick. So fingers crossed for a good start!

Friday, October 7

Air Force vs. Boston College (at Icebreaker Tournament, Denver, Colo.)
Jim’s pick: Even though this is very much a new-look BC team, I still think they can get by Air Force
BC 4, Air Force 1
Dave’s pick: The Eagles will be better in the second half than the first, but they’ll be plenty good in the first.
BC 4, Air Force 2

Vermont at Clarkson
Jim’s pick: Vermont is going to be better than a lot of people think. But I think with this being a home-and-home, the best way to pick a split is to go with the home team.
CU 3, UVM 2
Dave’s pick: At a neutral site I might lean toward a Clarkson sweep, but given the home-and-home I’ve got to agree with Jim.
CU 2, UVM 1

Rensselaer at Maine
Jim’s pick: I’m not convinced the Maine offense will have much more success than last season, and thus I’m going with a strong RPI club.
RPI 4, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: It looks like a long rebuilding year for the Black Bears.
RPI 4, Maine 1

Miami at Providence
Jim’s pick: Providence has a significant number of question marks entering this season. And a difficult slate to start could create rough sailing early.
Miami 3, PC 1
Dave’s pick: Despite the holes left behind by all those graduated seniors, Providence still seems like the stronger team, especially at home.
PC 3, Miami 2

Northeastern at Quinnipiac
Jim’s pick: The defending Hockey East champs should be excellent, but I see a difficult start on the road against one of the nation’s top teams and last year’s NCAA runner up.
QU 4, NU 3
Dave’s pick: I don’t see the Huskies getting off to another brutal start this year, but it could easily a bad opening weekend.
QU 3, NU 2

Alabama-Huntsville at Connecticut
Jim’s pick: I believe UConn can sweep this series but they better be ready for the UAH team that last week swept Ferris State.
UConn 2, UAH 1
Dave’s pick: UAH went 7-21-6 last year so that sweep stunned me, but I’ll need a few more wins before I believe.
UConn 3, UAH 1

Colorado College at Massachusetts
Jim’s pick: This could be a good test to see if Greg Carvel’s systems can help strengthen this Minuteman team.
UMass 5, CC 4
Dave’s pick: This is more an endorsement of home ice than of the Minutemen.
UMass 4, CC 3

Minnesota-Duluth at UMass-Lowell
Jim’s pick: An good early test for the River Hawks. With a strong UMD offense in town, we’ll see how strong the UML goaltending can be.
UML 4, UMD 2
Dave’s pick: A tough test indeed, but I think Lowell coach Norm Bazin will have the River Hawks ready.
UML 3, UMD 2

Saturday, October 8

Boston College vs. Denver/Ohio State (at Icebreaker Tournament, Denver, Colo.
Jim’s pick: This is one of the championship games where the opponent could change the outcome. BC will beat the Buckeyes, but Denver is too strong.
BC 4, OSU 2; DU 3, BC 2
Dave’s pick: I think it’ll be a one-goal game no matter the identity of the opponent, but I agree with Jim on the winners.
BC 3, OSU 2; DU 3, BC 2

Boston University at Colgate
Jim’s pick: This powerhouse of a Terriers team will keep Colgate winless in its new arena.
BU 5, CU 2
Dave’s pick: The Terriers take no prisoners.
BU 5, CU 1

Rensselaer at Maine
Jim’s pick: I hope Maine proves me wrong, but I have to go with my head and pick a sweep for RPI.
RPI 3, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: I don’t think it’ll be that close.
RPI 4, Maine 1

Arizona State at Notre Dame
Jim’s pick: Notre Dame has the tools to be a national power. Sorry Arizona State.
ND 5, ASU 1
Dave’s pick: I’m sure Arizona has improved since last year’s 5-22-2 campaign, but I can’t imagine they’ve improved enough to even give the Irish a tough game.
ND 6, ASU 0

Miami at Providence
Jim’s pick: Similar to Maine, I hope I am wrong, but I worry this could be a tough start for the Friars.
Miami 3, PC 2
Dave’s pick: I’m going in the other direction. Give me a Friars sweep.
PC 3, Miami 2

Northeastern at Quinnipiac
Jim’s pick: Am I really picking another Hockey East team to get swept? And the defending champs? Yep, that’s how tough a matchup Quinnipiac is.
QU 3, NU 2
Dave’s pick: Fear not, Huskies fans. Things get better right away next week.
QU 4, NU 2

Alabama-Huntsville at Connecticut
Jim’s pick: This is a tough sweep to pick, but I think UConn is ready to prove it is a strong team.
UConn 4, UAH 2
Dave’s pick: Agreed. UConn gets off to a great start.
UConn 3, UAH 1

Colorado College at Massachusetts
Jim’s pick: Colorado College heads home with a weekend split.
CC 4, UMass 2
Dave’s pick: A split makes the most sense on paper, but I’ll take UMass and home ice with the sweep.
UMass 3. CC 2

Minnesota-Duluth at UMass-Lowell
Jim’s pick: This series was a split last year in Duluth, so I’m picking the same again this season.
UMD 2, UML 1
Dave’s pick: The River Hawks will never overtime, but they’ll pull off a sweep.
UML 4, UMD 3 (OT)

Bentley at New Hampshire
Jim’s pick: While this may be a rough season for the Wildcats, I see them getting past Bentley in the opener.
UNH 4, Bentley 2
Dave’s pick: Agreed. The Wildcats at least get off on the right foot.
UNH 4, Bentley 1

Clarkson at Vermont
Jim’s pick: The friendly confines of Gutterson helps the Cats earn a split.
UVM 4, CU 2
Dave’s pick: I have to agree, although it’ll only be by a goal.
UVM 3, CU 2

Sunday, October 9

Sacred Heart at Merrimack
Jim’s pick: This one will hardly be as easy as some who pay no attention to Atlantic Hockey may think, but Merrimack should prevail on home ice.
MC 4, SHU 3
Dave’s pick: I’ll also go with Merrimack, though in a lower scoring and more convincing win.
MC 3, SHU 1