Weekend picks: Jan. 20

Both Nicole and I struggled a little last week, as I went 22-11-3 (.652) and Nicole went 20-13-3 (.597). I usually try to stay above .700, which is where I am on the season. I did pad my lead in our picks race now though, as I am 248-89-40 (.710) while Nicole is 218-119-40 (.631).

Friday, Jan. 20

No. 10 Cornell at No. 3 Clarkson
Candace: The Big red will keep it close, but it won’t be enough. Clarkson 4-2
Nicole: The Big Red haven’t lost in their last five chances, but Clarkson hasn’t lost since playing Wisconsin in October. Additionally, Clarkson is averaging nearly four goals scored a game. That’s going to be difficult to overcome. Clarkson 4-2

Colgate at No. 5 St. Lawrence
Candace: Colgate’s free-fall will continue this weekend. St. Lawrence 3-1
Nicole: The back-loaded strength of schedule is going to bite Colgate some more, I think. St. Lawrence 3-1

Harvard at Brown
Candace: Harvard finally won another game on Tuesday. I think the Crimson will get another here. Harvard 2-1
Nicole: Despite their similar records, Brown’s only wins are over Union, so I have to pick the Crimson’s potential here. Harvard 3-1

Dartmouth at Yale
Candace: I keep expecting Yale to make a better push to solidify a playoff position. A win here would do that. Yale 2-1
Nicole: Picking the home team because I have no other ideas. Yale 3-1

No. 8 Quinnipiac at Merrimack
Candace: Merrimack doesn’t have enough weapons to defeat the Bobcats. Quinnipiac 3-1
Nicole: Bobcats rebound with a win. Quinnipiac 4-1

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 20-21

Syracuse at Lindenwood
Candace: The Lions have been playing well of late, but I like the Orange to make a push and perhaps surpass Robert Morris soon. Syracuse 3-2, 3-1
Nicole: The Orange should have both the offensive and defensive strength to handle the Lions and leave St. Charles with a sweep. Syracuse 3-1, 4-2

Robert Morris at Mercyhurst
Candace: Will Robert Morris be able to hold off Syracuse in the CHA race? Possibly, but that series next weekend could decide if a split happens. Mercyhurst 2-1, Robert Morris 3-2
Nicole: I won’t be at all surprised if this is a split, but I have to pick the more consistent conference leaders in the Colonials. They sweep. Robert Morris 3-0, 2-1

Rensselaer vs. Union (home-and-home)
Candace: Rensselaer looked good last weekend, so I’ll stick with the Engineers. Rensselaer 3-1, 3-1
Nicole: This is a toss up for me, but I’ll pick RPI and their better record. Rensselaer 2-1, 3-1

Northeastern at Connecticut
Candace: I’ve expected more out of Northeastern this season, but losing Kendall Coyne was probably too much. Still, I like a sweep here for the visiting team. Northeastern 2-1, 3-1
Nicole: I expect Northeastern to bounce back this weekend with a sweep of the Huskies. Northeastern 3-1, 3-0

Maine at New Hampshire
Candace: The Black Bears haven’t won on the road all year. That has to happen at some point. Why not this weekend? New Hampshire 2-1, Maine 2-1
Nicole: This should be a win for New Hampshire at home. New Hampshire 4-2, 2-1

No. 6 Boston College at Vermont
Candace: Hockey East is currently Boston College and everyone else. Vermont will make it close, but I like the Eagles to sweep. Boston College 2-1, 3-1
Nicole: I’m probably a bit on the bandwagon, especially after talking to Vermont coach Jim Plumer this week, but I think the Catamounts might be able to steal a game this weekend. I’ll call a split, with BC winning the first game and Vermont winning the second game. Boston College 3-1, Vermont 4-3

No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth at Bemidji State
Candace: If the Bulldogs can avoid a letdown after the huge sweep against Minnesota last weekend, I like them to sweep the Beavers. Minnesota-Duluth 3-2, 3-0
Nicole: The Bulldogs are riding a huge confidence boost from last weekend. I don’t think Bemidji can overcome that. Minnesota-Duluth 4-2, 3-0

Minnesota State at St. Cloud State
Candace: Janine Alder will make the difference in this series, and home ice will help. St. Cloud 2-0, 2-1
Nicole: I think this is another place the Mavericks can add to their win total. Calling a split with SCSU winning on Friday and Minnesota State winning on Saturday. St. Cloud State 3-0, Minnesota State 3-2

Ohio State at No. 4 Minnesota
Candace: I like the Gophers to get back on track at home. Minnesota 3-1, 4-2
Nicole: The Buckeyes have given the Gophers trouble over the years and with Dani Cameranesi out and Kassidy Sauve in goal for OSU, I think a split is possible. Buckeyes win on Friday, Gophers win on Saturday. Ohio State 3-2, Minnesota 5-2

Saturday, Jan. 21

Dartmouth at Brown
Candace: A tough game to pick, but I like the Big Green to steal one. Dartmouth 2-1
Nicole: Dartmouth wins. Dartmouth 3-1

Colgate at No. 3 Clarkson
Candace: Colgate’s difficulties will continue in this game. Clarkson 4-2
Nicole: The Golden Knights have too much offensive power Colgate. Clarkson 5-2.

No. 10 Cornell at No. 5 St. Lawrence
Candace: For now, I think St. Lawrence is a clear second in the ECAC, and will emerge with a win. St. Lawrence 2-1
Nicole: Even with Cornell’s surge, I think the Saints are just that little bit better. St. Lawrence 3-1

Harvard at Yale
Candace: Usually, this would be a slam dunk for Harvard, but not this year. Yale 2-1
Nicole: I’ll take Yale at home. Yale 3-1

Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 21-22

RIT at Penn State
Candace: Can Penn State win its first game since November? I like them to get one. Penn State 2-1, RIT 2-1
Nicole: Penn State hasn’t won in their past 11 games and they only have a single win at home. With that in mind, I have to pick a split. Penn State wins the first game, RIT gets the second. Penn State 3-1, RIT 2-0

Boston University vs. Providence (home-and-home)
Candace: Perhaps I expect too much of the Terriers, but they did beat Minnesota, so I’ll go with them to sweep. Boston University 4-1, 3-2
Nicole: These two seem fairly evenly matched. Each team wins at home. Boston University 4-2, Providence 2-1

North Dakota at No. 1 Wisconsin
Candace: The Badgers are at home and frankly, are better than just about everyone else. Wisconsin 3-1, 4-1
Nicole: I actually think Wisconsin wins this on the blue line. They are just too strong on defense and with Desbiens in the net. Wisconsin 1-0, 5-1


  1. I like the results of the weekend. There’s some solid match-ups more commonly seen at JLA that are best-of-three next weekend, and we don’t have to listen to Northern fans brag about being best when barely over .500 until next season.

    • Newsflash,,,NMU remained in the top 16 in the Pairwise rankings almost all season. That means they were one of the best teams in the country despite being “barely over .500” as you say. 

      • True, however NMU can only sit and watch with no control over their own destiny.  If WMU wins their series, and a game at the Joe I believe they will jump over them.

        • NMU is done. Remember that Atlantic Hockey gets an automatic bid and none of its teams are in the top 16 in the Pairwise so any CCHA teams that want to go dancing need to be 15 or higher. This means that my Broncos, Lake St. and Notre Dame need to do some serious work in the CCHA tournament and hope that a team like Merrimack and/or Cornell falters early in their respective tournaments.

      • A .500 team can never, ever, be considered “one of the best teams in the country.” By definition, a .500 team is inconsistent. That is why they are a .500 team!

  2. I’m ok with Michigan winning the tie-breaker and earning the #2 seed now. LSSU will undoubtedly give my Broncos a fight, and could very easily beat us, but Notre Dame would’ve scared me.  They just have too much offensive talent that is due to come alive.

    • Michigan took #2 outright,no tiebreaker when 1 team has more wins(15 conference wins to 14 conference wins)That is why Michigan is 2nd in the seedings.Let’s Go-Michigan,Western,State and Ferris and make it an all Michigan conference final.

      • You can’t take something outright if you tie. Like Bronco said, Michigan took the tiebreaker…which is first conference wins.

        • 15 conference wins to 14 conference wins isn’t a tie.the only thing that was a tie is points.Which doesn’t matter when you’ve won more games.And you guys complain about Paula when she makes a mistake.In this case your flat out wrong.And please all you guys worry about this and that and who your teams will face.Come on you want to win this who cares who plays who.Beat the best too be the best.Don’t hope for the lower seeds to win that’s weak.

          • Points is the “ranking system”.  If you tie in points then you tie for a position.  To break the tie, you use conference wins as the first tie-breaker, then head-to-head.  Miami had more wins than WMU but still is 4th in the conference because of points.

          • The tie-breakers have nothing to do with the REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS FINISH…. they are used only to separate seeds for the playoffs.

            Both WMU and Michigan finished in second place.

          •  Alex, Bronco and Bob, please give up on arguing logic with Fox5 2.  He/she has proven many times to not follow the most basic logic that the rest of us have.  He/she had a post to Paula’s previous column making ridiculous comments about the OSU “buckholes”.  I flagged it to the moderators and they quickly removed it, so kudos to the moderators.  Maybe Fox5 2 could be permanently banned so the rest of us can have sensible discussions without the noise.

          • Get me banned Big Guy.That way Bronco,Bobby and the others can keep whinning about Paula,small schools,trophy names and all the other crap you guys cry about.1 question,if its so bad why do you keep coming back?Great job alerting the moderators,you should be proud.

          • It should be noted that shootout points account for most of the difference between ranking on points and ranking on conference wins.  Western won all 4 of their shootouts, adding 4 points, which is like an additional 1.33 wins in the standings.  If the conference did not have shootouts, WMU would have finished the season alone in 4th place.

            LSSU also won all 4 of their shootouts.  Without those extra 4 points, Lake Superior would have finished the regular season in 9th place instead of 7th, as ranked below:

            New rank. – Conference wins – Points w/o shootout

            1. Ferris State   16 53
            2. Michigan       15 49
            3. Miami          15 47 (+1, was 4)
            4. WMU            14 46 (-1, was 3)
            5. Michigan State 14 45
            6. Notre Dame       12 39 (+2, was 8)
            7. Northern MI    11 39 (-1, was 6)
            8. Ohio State       11 38 (+1, was 9)
            9. Lake Superior  11 37 (-2, was 7)
            10. Alaska       8  28
            11. Bowling Green 5  19

            WMU and LSSU are the only teams to have won 100% of their shootouts this season.  So, someone’s streak will end if there is a shootout this weekend.

            I guess the best way to redo the above chart would be to award 2 points for a win and 1 point for a tie.  I left it as 3 points for a win.  If someone wants to redo the chart that way and see if the rankings change, go for it.

          • Ugh.  Points determine conference standings, not wins.  The team with the most points accumulated at the end of the season wins the league. The team with the second most points is second, and on down the list.  When two teams accumulate the same number of points, they are tied in whatever position they sit.  To break that tie for the purposes of seeding the tournament, conference wins is considered first.  UofM and WMU tied for points, meaning that they share the number 2 slot in the conference.  For the purpose of seeding the tournament, the first tie breaker is conference wins (not counting shootouts).  The rest of the tie breakers are listed in the link below.
            For example, if UofM had swept BGSU and FSU had been swept by WMU on the last weekend, then UofM and FSU would have been tied atop the league with 53 points.  The teams would have shared the championship, as both were the number 1 team in terms of points accumulated.  To break the tie for seeding, conference wins would have been examined (tied at 16), then win% against co-champions (UofM wins this comparison with the sweep of FSU on 10/27-10/28

            As a corollary, imagine a team with 3 wins (9pts) and 3 ties with shootout wins (6pts) for a total of 15 points.  Now, imagine another team with 4 (12 pts) wins and 2 losses (0pts) for a total of  12 points.  The team with more wins (4 compared to 3) would be ranked lower than the team with more points (15 compared to 12).  In our little league of two, the team with a bunch of ties but fewer wins would be the champion.

      • You mean all Michigan LOWER PENINSULA final.  In an 11 team conference with 6 Michigan members, simply a Michigan conference final would occur
        54.5% of the time.

    • Absolutely agree with Bronco. I’m coming at it from the Lake Superior perspective, and am thanking BGSU for winning their series (i.e. we don’t have to play Michigan). Not that I think Western is going to be an easy weekend…that’s a darn good team, and may very well sweep LSSU. But still, as Notre Dame scares WMU, Michigan scares Lake State. Should be a great series!

  3. Northern Michigan folded like a cheap tent. After NMU lost Saturday, I knew they would crash and burn in Sunday’s game. Bowling Green has NMU’s number, just like the NY Giants have the Green Bay Packers number. NMU threw what chance they had for making the NCAA’s out the window Sunday night.

  4. can you please expand on your little school comment? Because if you are going by winning % or attendance numbers??? Either of those OSU would have to be a small school in the traditional landscape of ccha too. Or are we going by school size, because that puts ND as a little guy. Or as I suspect are we comparing size based on their football programs?

    • This is the only thing I’ll say about my comment.  People who have been associated with the CCHA for the long-term know exactly what the “big schools” comment means: Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State, the four schools with high profile athletic departments, nationally. 

      It has nothing to do with how long a school has been affiliated with the CCHA (like Bowling Green, having been there from the start), or success of programs (like Miami, that is establishing itself as a college hockey powerhouse), or enrollment, or anything else.  The term “big school” does not comment on the school’s worth, either.

      If you say, “One of the big schools,” to anyone around the CCHA, they’ll know you’re talking about ND, UM, MSU, and OSU.  It’s all about the high profiles and the resources those colleges have.  Nothing more is implied.

  5. Paula, I honestly thought you were referring to the CCHA’s big four as Michigan, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Miami. At no time did I ever include Ohio State in that. Given that Notre Dame and Michigan are playing as well as Michigan State and Miami, you’re right, two of the real “big four” will be out after this weekend.

    • I would agree with those 3 of those 4, yes under Jackson ND has become a powerhouse. But I suspect that the traditional is the Big Flop schools. I just hope the NCHC gets an unbiased writer

  6. This column is fine, but no recaps at all for any of the CCHA playoff games over the weekend?  Really, nothing?  You guys couldn’t even pay a few bucks to a guest writer?  Thanks a lot, USCHO.

    •  That’s what I thought as well. Truly pathetic coverage, And not just the playoffs
      but all season too.

  7. 2012, 2011, 2001. Bowling Green owns Northern Michigan in CCHA Playoff elimination games at the Berry Events Center. Sad to note for this Wildcat fan.

  8. As much as it pains me to cheer for MSU, Miami has been a thorn to Western this season and I’d love to see them eliminated. Plus if they pulled the upset then all the other top seeds won, we’d have an all-Michigan semifinal round at the Joe, and that would be awesome.

    • You mean all Michigan LOWER PENINSULA semi-final.  In an 11 team conference with 6 Michigan members, simply an all-Michigan conference semi-final would occur 54.5% of the time.

      Michigan State is the other school WMU has not beaten this season.  Worse, they were both games in Kalamazoo.  That weekend against Michigan State dropped WMU in the rankings from 5th to 10th, the biggest 1 week drop all season.

      I’d also like to see an all Michigan lower peninsula semi-final, though there is also a possibility of an all-MAC plus U. of Michigan semi-final (if WMU slips BGSU tips on how to win in Big Rapids, as WMU is the only opponent to win there this season, and they did it twice).  I’d kind of like to cheer for Bowling Green, since they were the last remaining original CCHA member and the last one standing after everyone else left the conference last year.  The all-MAC option would also create the déjà vu situation for WMU, of facing the same teams in the same order at Joe Louis Arena.

  9. Paula, “…
    and I know that schools like Bowling Green and Western Michigan are not small schools by any means, but in the traditional landscape of the CCHA they are.”  Traditional Landscape? BG was a founding member of the CCHA and is the only member of the CCHA that has been a member the entire time. They were the first CCHA school to win the NCAA title as a CCHA team when other leagues were saying the CCHA stood for the Can’t Cut it Hockey Association. They helped put the CCHA on the national scene in the late ’70’s and early 80’s. Granted it has been a loooong time, too long for this Falcon fan, that they were on the national stage. But lets not forget the beginning of the “Tradition” for the CCHA. Ron Mason coached at BG before leaving for MSU. Jerry York followed him at BG and led them to the 1984 National Championship before going back to his alma mater, Boston College. So please remember when talking about traditions and the CCHA, Bowling Green played a huge part of it early on. If this past weekend is any indication, they may soon again be on  the National stage.

    •  lets not forget LSSU ‘s national championships and the fact that BG is the only team to reside in Ohio with a national championship. I think Paula only understands tradition as it comes out of EL and AA

      • Yes, those great LSSU teams helped form the CCHA as did MSU in the 80’s and 90’s. Jeff Jackson, the current ND coach, came from LSSU as well.

        I don’t think Paula has anything against these schools, it’s that they haven’t done much in awhile. However, when you talk tradition, that is going way back in time and how this league came about and grew must be remembered as next year will sadly be it’s last. It has become arguably the best conference in college hockey.

  10. For those enjoying putting down NMU as a weak team, you do realize they had the 4th toughest schedule in the country, don’t you? Only Notre Dame, U of Michigan, and Michigan State had stronger schedules. Yeah, in all likelihood they won’t make the NCAA’s, but they are a good team. 

      • Like I said earlier, some teams just seem to be a jinx to other teams. NY Giants against the Packers at Lambeau in 2007 and 2011, for example. 

    • The RPI ranks Northern as having the 3rd toughest schedule in the nation, with U. of Michigan #1 and Michigan State #2.

      KRACH strength of schedule rankings:

      1. Notre Dame – CCHA
      2. Michigan State – CCHA
      3. U. of Michigan – CCHA
      4. Northern Michigan – CCHA
      5. Ohio State – CCHA
      6. Miami – CCHA
      7. Western Michigan – CCHA
      8. Northeastern
      9. Boston College
      10. Alaska – CCHA

      RPI strength of schedule rankings:

      1. U. of Michigan – CCHA
      2. Michigan State – CCHA
      3. Northern Michigan – CCHA
      4. Notre Dame – CCHA
      5. Boston College
      6. Ohio State – CCHA
      7. Northeastern
      8. Boston University
      9. Miami – CCHA
      10. Western Michigan – CCHA

      Either way, the computers rank the CCHA as having the toughest schedules in the nation.

  11. Pwt 1997-
    2012, 2011, 2001. Bowling Green owns Northern Michigan in CCHA Playoff elimination games at the Berry Events Center. Sad to note for this Wildcat fan.
    Yup. And, unfortunately, this year is probably the last best chance they will make the NCAA’s in a long time.  The core of the team is graduating, so they will be rebuilding for the next couple years.

  12. This season the CCHA has seen the impossible become possible.., I didn’t count the Falcons out, who did they beat the week before? Every team has peaked or loitered in the rankings. If the season would go for another few weeks who knows what might have changed. My point is that so many factors are at play. Injuries, coaching, a hot goaltender, the fans that are on spring break. Much like UMD last year the team that can get that recipe right can win. It’s playoff time and next season is not that far away. 


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