Weekend picks: Jan. 6

Nicole and I closed on a strong note in the first half, as I went 16-2-1 and she went 14-4-1. I finished the first half well in front in our picks race, going 207-71-34, while Nicole went 185-93-34. We skipped the first week of action in the second half, but have a lot to get to this week.

Friday, Jan. 6

Dartmouth at Princeton
Candace: The Big Green were a lot more inconsistent than the Friars, so I’ll pick the home team. Princeton 3-2
Nicole: The only way I can try to gain some ground is to pick a few upsets here and there. Dartmouth has shown they have some big-game potential, so picking them here doesn’t feel out of place. Dartmouth 3-1

Harvard at No. 8 Quinnipiac
Candace: Can Harvard erase its dismal first half and build some momentum? Yes, but this isn’t the game where it starts. Quinnipiac 2-1
Nicole: No matter how many times I look at their record, I’m still surprised at Harvard this season. This should be an easy game for the Bobcats. I’d really like to see some fire from Harvard in the second half. Quinnipiac 4-1

Brown at Rensselaer
Candace: Hard to pick against the home team here. Rensselaer 2-1
Nicole: I’ll stick with the home team and say they take it. Rensselaer 2-0

Yale at Union
Candace: Yale was inconsistent in the first half, but I like them to start strong here. Yale 3-2
Nicole: I’m going to pick Union to get their first conference win here. Nothing but positive steps for them this year. Union 3-2

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 6-7

New Hampshire vs. Northeastern (home-and-home)
Candace: Northeastern had a couple of puzzling results in the first half, but I think the Huskies should start well here. Northeastern 4-2, 3-2
Nicole: Northeastern has to keep pace with BC and I think they’ve just got too much firepower for New Hampshire. The Huskies win both games. Northeastern 4-1, 3-1

Merrimack at Connecticut (home-and-home)
Candace: This could end up being a split on each team’s home ice, but I’m thinking Connecticut might win both. Connecticut 3-2, 3-2
Nicole: Another flyer; I’m going to pick Merrimack to win both. I’ve loved the tenacity they’ve shown and if they used the break to shore up their defense at all, they have a chance to surprise some folks. Merrimack 3-2, 2-1

Providence at Cornell
Candace: A hard series to pick, but I’ll pick Cornell to win both on home ice. Cornell 3-2, 3-1
Nicole: The Big Red are trying to claw their way into the polls (and PairWise) and I don’t think they lose this one. Cornell 3-1, 3-1

No. 1 Wisconsin at Lindenwood
Candace: The Badgers closed strong, and should start the second half strong too. Wisconsin 4-1, 5-1
Nicole: The Badgers are without Ann-Renée Desbiens, but Nikki Cece has shown she can be solid for them in her stead. After all the trips up north, Lindenwood finally gets to host, but I don’t think the results get any better for them. Wisconsin 5-1, 4-0

Ohio State at Penn State
Candace: Penn State may cause the Buckeyes trouble, especially since the Nittany Lions are at home, but I’m picking OSU to sweep. Ohio State 2-1, 3-2
Nicole: I think the most likely outcome here is a split. Penn State has some scoring prowess, but Ohio State has Kassidy Sauve. I’m hoping to see more consistency from the Buckeyes in the second half. Ohio State 3-1, Penn State 2-0

No. 7 Colgate at St. Cloud State
Candace: St. Cloud has shown signs of getting to be a better team, but I think Colgate will sweep. Colgate 3-2, 3-2
Nicole: Absolutely no disrespect to Colgate, but in my further effort to gain ground, I’m picking SCSU to win one of these. The Huskies have shown an ability to play with top teams and they’re on familiar ice, so I don’t feel too crazy for trying to predict a split here. Colgate 3-1, St. Cloud State 4-2

Saturday, Jan. 7

Harvard at Princeton
Candace: Harvard gets a tough second half start, and won’t be able to get a win. Princeton 3-2
Nicole: Neither team is where anyone expected them to be, but I think Princeton has the advantage here. Princeton 4-2

Dartmouth at No. 8 Quinnipiac
Candace: Quinnipiac’s defense is too tough for the Big Green to overcome. Quinnipiac 3-1
Nicole: There may be some obstacles for the Bobcats before the regular season is through, but I don’t think they’re coming this weekend. Quinnipiac 4-1

Yale at Rensselaer
Candace: Two teams that are very close overall. I’ll take home ice. Rensselaer 3-2
Nicole: The Elis should be able to walk away with the win here. Yale 3-1

Brown at Union
Candace: The last time these two faced off, I took Union, and Brown won. I’ll take the Bears this time and probably be wrong. Brown 3-1
Nicole: I already picked Union once, so I’ll say they get a boost from beating Yale and take a second conference victory home this weekend. Confidence is everything. Union 3-1

Boston University at No. 6 Boston College
Candace: The Terriers should carry confidence into this from having beaten the Eagles last time out and beating Minnesota before the break, but I’ll go with the Eagles. Boston College 3-2
Nicole: The Terriers headed into the break with a huge win in a slugfest with Minnesota and BC suspended Toni Ann Miano, so I’ll pick the upset here again and say BU pulls it out. Boston University 3-2

Minnesota at Minnesota State
Candace: Mankato stunned Duluth before the break, but the Gophers have too much firepower. Minnesota 4-2
Nicole: Mankato has been showing so many signs of improvement, but I don’t think they’re yes at a point where they can handle all of the Gophers’ arsenal. Minnesota 5-2

Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 7-8

Maine at Vermont
Candace: Quick! Which Hockey East team has beaten both Boston College and Boston University? That would be Maine. Which Hockey East team has lost to everyone else? That would also be Maine. Vermont 3-1, 3-2
Nicole: The Catamounts have a lot of potential and they should be able to sweep this at home. Vermont 3-1, 4-2

No. 4 St. Lawrence at Mercyhurst
Candace: I keep expecting the Lakers to start to do better, and St. Lawrence to fall off, but neither has happened. St. Lawrence 4-2, 4-1
Nicole: I feel like I keep waiting for the Saints to show a weakness, but it hasn’t happened. I don’t think the start to the second half will go any different for them than the first half did. St. Lawrence 4-2, 3-1

Tuesday, Jan. 10

Boston University at Connecticut
Candace: The Terriers could have an emotional letdown after facing BC, but I think they have enough to pull it out. Boston University 3-2
Nicole: The Terriers have the confidence and the offensive strength to overpower UConn. Boston University 3-0

Harvard at No. 6 Boston College
Candace: The Crimson have bedeviled the Eagles at times, and this is a game prime for an upset, but I like BC on home ice. Boston College 3-1
Nicole: I think the second-half looks different for the Eagles, but they still should be able to handle the struggling Crimson. Boston College 3-0

Syracuse at Cornell
Candace: Cornell was a pleasant surprise in the first half, and I like them to get a win here. Cornell 3-2
Nicole: One last upset pick — I’ll go with Syracuse here. Their defense has been stingy and I think that wins the day here. Syracuse 2-0

New Hampshire at Dartmouth
Candace: The battle of the Granite State goes to UNH. New Hampshire 3-1
Nicole: New Hampshire wins. New Hampshire 3-1