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


    • Weak as in top-20 teams, Colgate, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Western Michigan in the toughest conference in college hockey…..
      Alex, get your facts straight sport.

      • I think you forgot the word “second” in front of toughest, easy mistake so no worries. Also, I think you mean top-20 teams who are over-rated, which is another easy mistake so I wouldn’t dwell on it.

  1. If I were a top-3 team (and I am cheering for the Broncos), I would not want to face any of the first-round winners. I certainly wouldn’t take them lightly. I love this league, especially this year.

  2. Ferris was also playing without 3 regular forwards with a combined 63 points and had 3 guys in their place who have all dressed in fewer than 20 games this year and have a combined 4 points. Even if Nelson had been in the net, I don’t think Ferris was winning that game Saturday night.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Replacing a 63 point force with a 4 point force will affect the outcome dramatically. It is best they rest players and prepare for the postseason. 

  3. I think NMU needs to take BGSU seriously. But the face that the falcons beat them lost year i think makes it easier for NMU to win they will have revenge on their minds. Should be interesting

  4. Ohio State is still a LAUGHABLE hockey program.  They don’t deserve to sniff the NCAA’s this year.
    Good luck in the B1G Hockey league when you replace teams like Northern Michigan and Bowling Green with Wisconsin and Minnessota.  You are staring down the barrell of a 10 win season.

    • Are you suggesting that NMU and BGSU are cupcakes and when OSU joins a league with B10’s they will have a much tougher time?  You’re joking right!
       I know BGSU hasn’t faired well lately, but NMU has always been tough.  OSU did well against NMU this year, but that’s only this year.  I’ll tell you what’s going to happen when the B10 league forms – THERE IS GOING TO BE FEWER of them going to the big dance.  NMU has never been intimidated by any B10 team.  They’ve played MSU four times this year, UM four times, WI twice, OSU twice, as well as Notre Dame, and they have a pretty good record to show for it.
      There are no slouches in the current CCHA or WCHA —-so knock off the elitism.

  5. “[T]he Bulldogs’ biggest weakness, offense. Only time and games played will tell how much of a liability that will prove. . .”.

    Can’t imagine that could be much of a liability in a conference tournament or the NCAAs. Well, unless you need to score to win. :)

    I don’t really have an opinion about this team; this just seems like a remarkable statement (not in a good way) regarding a team that is regarded in some quarters as a possible national champion.

  6. Really?Hunwick only consistent this year,that’s funny.Very consistent the last 2 seasons and great this season.Remember he was unreal last year on way 2 the National Championship game.Connor Knapp winning goalie of the year would be like the NHL giving the Vezina 2 a goalie that played 30 games.Good luck with the awards,I’ll take a National Championship instead.GO BLUE!

    • I’m sorry, I was talking about his consistency this season. Can you read? As I said, he’s been consistent in 2012, when he decided punching/kicking players didn’t do much for his goalie skills. The end of the first half of the season he wasn’t doing well. Honestly, I don’t even think he’s that good. He gives up juicy juicy rebounds, and once you get one on him, you’re bound to get 4 or 5.

      And again, as I said, if you read, if Connor plays throughout the tournament (which as this rate he will be) he could get 5-6 more games under his belt before the NCAAs. Cody was a top 10 Hobey finalist with 27 TOTAL games in a season, including the playoffs. 

      • U must be a Redhawks fan!!!I Can read and no doubt Hunwick has been consistent this season,last season and the season before that.The whole team was playing terrible earlier in the season,when Hunwick was letting up 4 or 5 goals.Remember they went something like 0-7-1 in November.Again good luck with individual awards for the Redhawks,I can tell its very important 2 you.GO BLUE.Yeah the team that smoked Knapp and Cody in January,When both teams were playing good,remember that?Hunwick 2 and 0 in that series,Knapp and Cody 0 and 2.

          • Wal-Mart Wolverine?That’s original.Isn’t Ohio the capital of Wal Marts and dollar stores.I heard wal mart is taking votes for goalie of the year.Better hurry down,Strapper.

        • And yes. I’d much rather be winning a National Championship, I’m just proving your point wrong that a goalie who plays half the games, can be considered for an award.

          I’m maybe I’m missing something, how is letting in 4-5 goals being “consistent”? Maybe consistently bad. And don’t blame your team/lack of Jon Merril due whatever his behavioral issues are. Miami is one of the most penalized teams in the conference, and Connor still manages to not let in that many.

          • Here are some facts for you Strapper.We will call you Strapper instead of “Guest”.Hunwick 35 games played(WOW) 21-10-3,2.00 goals against,933 save percentage and 5 or 6 of those loses came in that horrible 7 game skid they had in November.Knapp 20 games played 13-6(laughable) 1.59 goals per game 93 save percentage.Reichard 19 games played 8-7-2,2.51 goals per game,89 save percentage.And who was blaming John Merrill?The whole team was playing terrible in November,since that skid its pretty much been lights out.In this case 1 goalie is better then 2.Oh and Hunwicks numbers also include the hardest schedule in the country.GO BLUE.

          • And which one of your fans ISN’T blaming a lack of Jon Merrill? Keep on making excuses, I’m kinda used to it coming from UM fans.

          • I don’t care about the other fans Strapper.No excuses made.Any coach in the country would love a guy that can handle starting 35 games.Well maybe not the Redcocks.Goalie of the month that’s awesome,congrats.Ill get right back 2 you with all the Michigan players awards for this season.I think its right next 2 9 National Championship,21 straight NCAA tournaments.GO BLUE!!

    • this is the second. the first was 1988.

      you have have heard ad nauseum last month about Northeastern winning the Beanpot that year; they also won the tournament. BC and BU were both pretty awful that season, finishing 5th and 6th in the then-seven-team league.

  7. Give UNH credit for beating an excellent Northeastern team yesterday. Also credit ND for travelling into Conte Forum and beating an outstanding BC hockey club.

  8. I’m probably as likely to be totally wrong about this as I am being totally right, but I’ll say it anyway: BC will probably resume its winning ways in the NCAAs. The ND win over BC came mostly because of the type of game they played against the Eagles rather than some massive ‘swoon.’ Give all the credit to the Irish for this, but I also think BC will turn it back on in the NCAAs…until they meet ND again!


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