Hockey East picks: Oct. 14-19

It’s hard to believe Jim opened the season by going .500 and… taking the lead!

Dave last week: 7-9-3
Jim last week: 8-8-3
Dave’s record-to-date: 7-9-3
Jim’s record-to-date: 8-8-3

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Oct. 14

Merrimack at Clarkson 
Dave’s pick:  When you open the season with a 2-1 home loss to Sacred Heart despite getting a 14-5 advantage in power plays, it’s hard to predict a road win at Clarkson.
CU 3, MC 1
Jim’s pick: I agree. I like this Clarkson team a lot and, even though I know Merrimack will be hungry, it’s difficult to pick them just yet.
CU 3, MC 2

New Hampshire at St. Lawrence
Dave’s pick: If I had questions about Merrimack following its loss to Sacred Heart, those doubts are quadrupled for UNH in light of its 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Bentley.
SLU 4, UNH 2
Jim’s pick: I had legitimate concerns about the UNH offense coming into this season. After the Wildcats scored just once against Bentley and gave up five goals, I have even more concerns.
SLU 5, UNH 2

Northeastern at Bentley
Dave’s pick: Bentley did impress with its win at UNH, but I’m thinking Northeastern coach Jim Madigan reminds his Huskies that Bentley swept them early last year. I don’t see a repeat.
NU 4, Bentley 2
Jim’s pick: Even though Northeastern only took a tie out of Quinnipiac last weekend, I heard a lot of good things about their Friday night performance and have plenty of reason to believe this team will be ready for Bentley this year.
NU 6, Bentley 3

Connecticut at Colgate
Dave’s pick: This will be a tougher test for UConn than last week’s opponent, Alabama Huntsville, which the Huskies swept and collectively outscored, 10-0. I should probably go with Colgate as the home team even though it got spanked by BU, but I like UConn’s chances here.
UConn 3, CU 2
Jim’s pick: I like a lot about this UConn team and, even though Colgate is at home in its new barn, things haven’t exactly gone as usual for ‘Gate.
UConn 4, CU 1

Quinnipiac at Maine 
Dave’s pick: Maine was the most pleasant surprise last weekend with its sweep of RPI, but I’ll be stunned if the Black Bears reprise that feat against Quinnipiac.
QU 4, UM 2
Jim’s pick: Five straight where Dave and I agree. After how bad we both were last week, I feel like I should intentionally disagree with Dave here. But my mind just can’t.
QU 5, UM 3

Notre Dame at Minnesota Duluth 
Dave’s pick: These two teams are so evenly matched, I’ve got to go with home ice as the deciding factor.
UMD 3, UND 2
Jim’s pick: Okay, here is a chance to disagree. I liked a lot about Duluth’s heart against Lowell last weekend, but the Bulldogs never led and Notre Dame’s offense seems ready to fire.
UND 4, UMD 3

Boston College at Wisconsin
Dave’s pick: BC may be very young this year, but Wisconsin (8-19-8 last season) should be easy pickings even in its own barn.
BC 4, UW 1
Jim’s pick: Both teams bounced back on Friday night last weekend, but BC did it against a tougher opponent.
BC 3, UW 2

Boston University at Denver
Dave’s pick: Even at home, I see Denver dropping to 0-3. BU is just too good.
BU 4, DU 3
Jim’s pick: I’m not sure I see this game this close. Denver is a good team but didn’t impress last weekend and BU has impressed through exhibition and it’s first game.
BU 5, DU 2

Massachusetts-Lowell at Colorado College
Dave’s pick: The Tigers have fallen on tough times (6-29-1 last year), so this should be a cakewalk.
UML 4, CC 1
Jim’s pick: I don’t see either game as a cakewalk because CC did put up seven goals on UMass after being shutout. But Lowell should prevail.
UML 3, CC 2

Saturday, Oct. 15

New Hampshire at Clarkson 
Dave’s pick: I was taken aback by UNH’s 5-1 loss to Bentley, so I expect Clarkson to decisively defend its home ice.
CU 3, UNH 2
Jim’s pick: I don’t think UNH will be a bad team from beginning to end. No Dick Umile coached team ever is. But I need to see proof before I begin picking them.
CC 3, UNH 1

Quinnipiac at Maine
Dave’s pick: Maine comes back to Earth this weekend, but there’s no shame in getting swept by a mega-power like Quinnipiac.
QU 4, Maine 1
Jim’s pick: Listen, given Maine’s ability to score last weekend, I’m not shocked if they pull off an upset in one of these two games. I’m just not picking said upset.
QU 4, Maine 3

Bentley at Northeastern
Dave’s pick: The Huskies pay back their sweep at the hands of Bentley last season.
NU 4, Bentley 2
Jim’s pick: Home ice for Northeastern; let’s hope for the energy to be there against Bentley.
NU 4, Bentley 3

Merrimack at St. Lawrence
Dave’s pick: The Larries are the better team and at home to boot.
SLU 4, MC 2
Jim’s pick: There is just a gut feeling for me that Merrimack wins one of these games on the road, so I’ll go with this one. Count on a defensive struggle, though.
MC 2, SLU 1

Providence at Holy Cross 
Dave’s pick: Providence takes on one of Atlantic Hockey’s top teams, but I still believe in Hockey East’s superior overall strength.
PC 3, HC 2
Jim’s pick: Providence has to control the Holy Cross offense that exploded last weekend on Niagara, but I think this Friars team has the ability to do so, even on the road.
PC 4, HC 3

Connecticut at RIT 
Dave’s pick: If UConn were playing at home, I’d pick the Huskies to win. But with RIT the hosts, it’ll be tough sledding.
RIT 4, UConn 3
Jim’s pick: I know this is always a big game for RIT, playing at Bleu Cross Arena in front of 10,000-plus orange-clad fans. But I think UConn will hold its composure and improve to 4-0-0.
UConn 3, RIT 1

Notre Dame at Minnesota Duluth
Dave’s pick: As noted above, I’m just going with home ice in this even matchup.
UMD 4, UND 3 (OT)
Jim’s pick: After picking the first five games on list list the same as Dave, we have a lot more differences as we go along.
UND 4, UMD 2

Boston University at Denver
Dave’s pick: Can BU stay undefeated and leave Denver winless?  Yes.
BU 4, DU 2
Jim’s pick: Agree with this one. Tough 0-4-0 start for Denver, but BU makes it highly likely.
BU 5, DU 4

Massachusetts-Lowell at Colorado College
Dave’s pick: A second easy win for the River Hawks over a program far, far removed from its past glories.
UML 3, CC 0
Jim’s pick: I think this game could be easier than night one for the River Hawks, but I still see CC being competitive.
UML 3, CC 1

Sunday, Oct. 16

Boston College at Wisconsin 

Dave’s pick: Speaking of teams far removed from past glories, Wisconsin is no match for the Eagles.
BC 4, UW 2
Jim’s pick: BC makes it three straight after the opening night loss to Air Force.
BC 5, UW 1

Wednesday, Oct. 19

Connecticut at Quinnipiac 
Dave’s pick: As a reminder, Quinnipiac went 32-4-7 last year while advancing to the national championship game. UConn isn’t at that level yet.
QU 5, UConn 2
Jim’s pick: This is a great in-state rivalry game. Both team will be coming off long bus rides from the weekend, so I think home ice matters here.
QU 3, UConn 2