Hockey East picks – Jan. 20-24

Dave followed up a great week with an average one and, thanks to his continued failure to believe in Vermont, I picked up a game last weekend.

Jim last week: 6-3-1
Dave last week: 5-4-1
Jim to date: 107-68-23
Dave to date: 105-70-23

Friday, January 20

Massachusetts at Boston College
Jim’s pick: Having now seen UMass in person, I can say they have a lot of components (particularly a good goalie) but not enough to beat BC on the road.
BC 4, UMass 1
Dave’s pick: The Eagles are smarting after getting swept by their archrivals, so I suspect they’ll take that out on UMass.
BC 5, UMass 1

Maine at Boston University
Jim’s pick: Terriers continue to roll, particularly against a team that struggled away from home.
BU 5, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: Unfortunately, we’ll beat the dead horse of Maine’s winless road record until… well, we’ll probably beat it after Maine wins one, too.
BU 5, Maine 1

New Hampshire at Notre Dame
Jim’s pick: I feel like UNH has a good enough team to steal one of the road, but I’m not comfortable enough to make the pick. Sorry Wildcat fans.
ND 3, UNH 2
Dave’s pick: The Wildcats have been an extremely pleasant surprise this year, but the venue forces me to go with the Irish.
ND 2, UNH 1

Merrimack at Northeastern
Jim’s pick: The question is which Northeastern team shows up. Play capable of what NU is, this should be a Huskies win.
NU 3, MC 1
Dave’s pick: As I feared, the Huskies haven’t been able in 2017 to simply flick the switch into the win position they way they did the last two years. So far, they’re 0-3-1 since the ball dropped in Times Square, so I’m this close to picking a Merrimack sweep. However, Northeastern is 6-3-2 at home and the Warriors are 1-5-2 on the road.
NU 3, MC 2 (OT)

Connecticut at Vermont
Jim’s pick: I love the way Vermont is playing right now, despite a road loss last Saturday. I think UVM continues to play well.
UVM 4, UConn 2
Dave’s pick: I may be stubborn, but I’m not insane. Go Catamounts!
UVM 4, UConn 3

Providence at UMass Lowell
Jim’s pick: The River Hawks are red hot but having finally seen Providence in person last week I like this Friars team more than their record would say. Still, at home, I’m going River Hawks.
UML 4, PC 2
Dave’s pick: I think Providence turns it around this season, but not this weekend.
UML 4, PC 2

Saturday, January 21

Northeastern at Merrimack
Jim’s pick: I’m picking this game on paper. Yes, the Lawler Rink could influence this game, but I feel like NU needs and will get this sweep.
NU 3, MC 2
Dave’s pick: As I mentioned above, the two teams’ home-away splits were all that kept me from picking a Merrimack sweep.
MC 4, NU 2

Boston University at Maine
Jim’s pick: Fatigue and travel could impact both teams here. And while I think Maine could win this game I’m going with the favorite.
BU 4, Maine 3
Dave’s pick: Maine has toppled a few giants at home–Quinnipiac and Lowell are exhibits A and B–but I still can’t get over the Terriers beating ECAC-leading Union with seven of their best players in the World Junior championship game. That, plus their six-game winning streak, including a sweep of BC, means I’m picking BU until the proverbial cows come home.
BU 4, Maine 2

New Hampshire at Notre Dame
Jim’s pick: As I said above, against my better judgement, I’m going with a Notre Dame sweep.
ND 2, UNH 1
Dave’s pick: I’d be picking differently if this were at the Whitt.
ND 2, UNH 1

UMass Lowell at Providence
Jim’s pick: People may think I’m crazy with this selection. But all good streaks must end and Providence has been a nightmare venue for UML in recent years.
PC 4, UML 3
Dave’s pick: We the people conclude that Jim is crazy. Providence is much better than its record, but Lowell has won seven straight and after this weekend, it’ll be nine.
UML 4, PC 3

Tuesday, January 24

Connecticut at Boston College
Jim’s pick: Former BC associate head coach Mike Cavanaugh has given BC fits since going to Connecticut. But I think home ice matters here.
BC 3, UConn 2
Dave’s pick: Sorry, Mike, but I think it comes down to more than home ice. BC is still tops in the standings for a reason.
BC 4, UConn 2

Boston University at Merrimack
Jim’s pick: Knowing how well BU is playing, I just can’t pick against them right now.
BU 4, MC 2
Dave’s pick: Merrimack has given BU a tough time at home, but as noted above, I’m picking BU.
BU 4, MC 2