Weekend picks: Dec. 9

Nicole and I had the same record last week, going 20-8-4 (.687). On the year, I am 191-69-33 (.708). while Nicole is 171-89-33 (.639). The action is a little lighter this weekend, so let’s get to the picks.

Friday, Dec. 9

Merrimack at Providence
Candace: I’ve like what I’ve seen of Providence, despite the Friars getting blown out by Boston College. Providence 3-2
Nicole: Going to pick the underdog here. I’ve liked the growth I’ve seen from Merrimack and I think Providence is a beatable team for them. Merrimack 3-2

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 9-10

No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth at Minnesota State
Candace: The Bulldogs are doing what they need to do, which is not lose to teams they should beat. Minnesota-Duluth 4-1, 4-2
Nicole: Despite advances by Mankato, I don’t see anything other than a UMD sweep here. Minnesota-Duluth 4-1, 5-2

No. 1 Wisconsin at Ohio State
Candace: I’d imagine the Badgers are itching for revenge, and last weekend’s offensive explosion points to good things. Wisconsin 5-1, 4-1
Nicole: The Buckeyes and Badgers tied early in the season and Kassidy Sauve seemed to have the Badgers’ number. She’s only gotten better and they’ve had trouble scoring at times. I think Wisconsin rides the high of last Sunday’s beatdown of Minnesota, but it’ll be close. Wisconsin 3-1, 3-1

No. 2 Minnesota at Boston University
Candace: These two played in the national championship game a few years ago. BU has the offense, but not the defense. Minnesota 5-3, 5-2
Nicole: I wish this was a more marquee matchup than it is this season. The Gophers will want to head into the break with something other than that Wisconsin game on their minds. Minnesota 3-1, 4-2

Union at Maine
Candace: Who is the only team to beat both BU and Boston College in Hockey East? Maine. Of course, the Black Bears have lost to just about everyone else, but I like them to get two wins at home. Maine 3-1, 3-2
Nicole: The Black Bears have shown a lot of potential, but I’m going to bet on a split here. Union 3-1, Maine 2-1

Bemidji State at RIT
Candace: Bemidji had a surprise loss last weekend to Minnesota State, but I like the Beavers to sweep here. Bemidji State 2-1, 3-1
Nicole: Much like Minnesota, Bemidji would like to erase last weekend from their heads. Even with some stumbles, I think they can outplay RIT. Bemidji State 3-1, 3-0

No. 4 Clarkson vs. Syracuse (home-and-home)
Candace: Clarkson looked fearsome last week against St. Lawrence. Syracuse just doesn’t have the depth to hang with the Golden Knights. Clarkson 4-1, 4-1
Nicole: The Orange have done well in conference, but not so great outside the CHA. Clarkson has momentum and firepower. I think they sweep. Clarkson 4-2, 3-1

Saturday, Dec. 10

Dartmouth at Vermont
Candace: Dartmouth beat Princeton and Maine, but it’s been all downhill otherwise. This should be a win for the home team, but I think it’s close. Vermont 3-2
Nicole: The Catamounts are one of the surprises of this season and they seem to just keep getting better. Vermont 4-1

New Hampshire at Yale
Candace: New Hampshire has gotten better and better as the season has gone along. Yale is a tough out, but I like the Wildcats here. New Hampshire 3-2
Nicole: UNH has quietly doing well for themselves just a point behind BU and two points behind second-place Northeastern. I expect them to win here no problem. New Hampshire 3-1

Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 9-10

St. Cloud at No. 10 North Dakota
Candace: Given North Dakota’s inconsistency, picking them to win two games against anybody is tough, but that’s what I’m going with. North Dakota 2-1, 3-2
Nicole: I’m taking a bit of a flyer and saying that St. Cloud sneaks out of Grand Forks with a win. The Huskies have shown a lot of growth and there doesn’t seem to be rhyme or reason to what’s happening with the Fighting Hawks. I think the opportunity is there for SCSU if they can grab it. North Dakota 3-1, St. Cloud 3-2

Mercyhurst at Princeton
Candace: Mercyhurst is definitely in a down year. This isn’t a good way to end the first half, but I don’t see the Lakers winning here. Princeton 3-1, 4-2
Nicole: I’d be rather surprised if Princeton doesn’t sweep this series. Giving the Tigers the benefit of the doubt and picking them. Princeton 4-2, 3-1