Weekend picks: Jan. 27

A preponderance of ties meant that Nicole and I both went 21-5-8 last week. On the year, I am 269-94-48, while Nicole is 239-124-48. The Beanpot is among the highlight of our picks this week, so let’s see how we do.

Friday, Jan. 27

No. 8 Cornell at Dartmouth
Candace:  Cornell should be playing with a ton of confidence, and Dartmouth doesn’t have the weapons to overcome that. Cornell 3-1
Nicole: The Big Red are coming on late and have just a handful of games in which to really make their postseason case. They have to win. Cornell 4-1

Colgate at Harvard
Candace: Harvard goes back into the doldrums again, and I like what I saw of Colgate last weekend. Colgate 2-1
Nicole: These two tied last time out and I haven’t picked a tie at all this season, so why not. Tie 2-2

No. 3 Clarkson at Rensselaer
Candace: Clarkson needs the win to stay ahead of St. Lawrence. Clarkson 3-1
Nicole: Clarkson has too much depth for RPI. The Golden Knights win. Clarkson 5-2

No. 5 St. Lawrence at Union
Candace: Home ice won’t be enough to slow the potent St. Lawrence offense. St. Lawrence 4-1
Nicole: Union has improved, but I don’t think they have the experience yet to handle the Saints. St. Lawrence 4-1

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 27-28

Brown at Yale No. (home-and-home)
Candace: Brown surprised me by beating Dartmouth, but I think Yale is stronger. Yale 3-1, 3-2
Nicole: I don’t see any way to pick this but to pick the home team each time. Yale 3-0, Brown 1-0

Mercyhurst at Penn State
Candace: Mercyhurst could move into third if they can sweep this weekend series. Penn State finally got a win last weekend, but I’ll go with Mercyhurst to sweep. Mercyhurst 2-1, 3-1
Nicole: These two seem to be pretty evenly matched, so I think a split is probably what we’ll get. I’ll pick  at home on Friday and Mercyhurst on Saturday. Penn State 3-1 , Mercyhurst 2-0

Lindenwood at RIT
Candace: I have no confidence picking this series. Split. Lindenwood 3-2, RIT 2-1
Nicole: These two are also pretty similar, so another split seems likely. Lindenwood 2-1, RIT 3-2

No. 7 Robert Morris at Syracuse
Candace: This should be an outstanding series. Syracuse could move ahead of Robert Morris in the CHA with a sweep, but I see a split. Syracuse 3-2, Robert Morris 3-2
Nicole: A crucial series for both squads, but I’m going to give the Colonials the vote of confidence to pull out a sweep here. Robert Morris 3-1, 3-2

Vermont at Connecticut
Candace: Vermont played BC really tough last week, and has generally done well in the conference. I’ll pick them to sweep. Vermont 2-1, 3-2
Nicole: I think Connecticut can take one of these, especially at home. I’ll pick them on Friday and Vermont on Saturday. Connecticut 3-2, Vermont 4-2

Northeastern at New Hampshire
Candace: New Hampshire is very up and down, and has the talent that it could get a win, especially with the Beanpot looming, but I’ll pick the sweep. Northeastern 3-2, 3-2
Nicole: New Hampshire stole one from Northeastern in overtime down in Boston earlier this season and I think they have a chance to do so again at home. Calling a split, with the Huskies winning on Friday and New Hampshire winning on Saturday. Northeastern 3-1, New Hampshire 4-2

No. 4 Minnesota at St. Cloud State
Candace: Even if Janine Alder can keep the score close, St. Cloud doesn’t have the offense needed to score the win. Minnesota 4-1, 4-1
Nicole: The games between these two earlier in the season were closer than I thought they’d be and I think the Huskies have improved and Minnesota has more holes. Still, it’s hard to pick against Minnesota here. I’ll pick them to sweep, but will be watching to see what SCSU can do. Minnesota 4-2, 4-3

Ohio State at No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
Candace: Duluth has had staying power, and might be a threat to Wisconsin in the postseason. Minnesota-Duluth 3-1, 4-2
Nicole: If anyone can stymie that top Duluth line, it’ll be Kassidy Sauve. The last time they met, UMD won 6-0 and 3-2. I have to pick the Bulldogs to sweep, but am pulling for Ohio State to find their offense and give them a run. Minnesota-Duluth 4-2, 3-1

Minnesota State at No. 1 Wisconsin
Candace: Always pick the Badgers at this point. Wisconsin 4-1, 5-1
Nicole: I don’t have high hopes for the Mavericks after seeing what the Badgers did to St. Cloud. Wisconsin 6-0, 4-0

Friday-Sunday, Jan. 27 and Jan. 29

North Dakota at Bemidji State No. (home-and-home)
Candace: Bemidji could use the points, and might if North Dakota has a letdown after the hard series against Wisconsin last weekend, but I’ll pick the sweep. North Dakota 3-2, 3-1
Nicole: This should be a sweep for North Dakota, but I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if the Beavers eked one out. Still, I’ll pick the Fighting Hawks. North Dakota 3-0, 2-1

Saturday, Jan. 28

Colgate at Dartmouth
Candace: Colgate gets points to keep a home-ice hope alive. Colgate 3-1
Nicole: The Raiders should rebound with a win here. Colgate 3-1

No. 8 Cornell at Harvard
Candace: Cornell solidifies its hold on home ice for the first round of the playoffs. Cornell 3-1
Nicole: I don’t expect the Big Red to slow down. Cornell 4-1

No. 5 St. Lawrence at Rensselaer
Candace: St. Lawrence will keep the pressure on Clarkson here. St. Lawrence 3-1
Nicole: The Saints have the offense to give RPI fits. They’ll win. St. Lawrence 3-0

No. 3 Clarkson at Union
Candace: Union may one day be able to hang with the top teams, but not yet. Clarkson 5-1
Nicole: Rough weekend for Union, hosting two top-5 teams. Clarkson should win this one. Clarkson 5-1

Boston University at Merrimack
Candace: The Terriers may be prone to an upset if they look ahead to Boston College, but I think they win. Boston University 3-1
Nicole: It’s been a series of close games for the Terriers, but they should find a way to win this one. Boston University 4-1


Providence at Maine
Candace: Maine is tough to play at home. I don’t usually do well when I pick them to win though. Providence 3-2, 3-1
Nicole: I like Maine at home here. Providence will give them plenty to handle, but the Black Bears find a way to beat good team. I’m not sure if the Black Bears can sweep, but I’ll pick a split. Maine wins on Saturday, Providence wins on Sunday. Maine 3-2, Providence 4-1

Tuesday, Jan.31

No. 9 Princeton at No. 10 Quinnipiac
Candace: I like what I’ve seen of Princeton more than Quinnipiac lately, so … Princeton 3-2
Nicole: These two and Cornell are tied for third in the ECAC. Quinnipiac just suffered a close loss and tie, and they lost to Princeton earlier this season. They need to keep pace and move up in the PairWise. A win here is fairly crucial. I’ll pick them at home and with a lot on the line. Quinnipiac 4-2

First Round Beanpot

No. 6 Boston College at Boston University
Candace: These teams are 1-1-1 so far this season. This could be a big tournament for both teams, but I’ll go with BC. Boston College 3-2
Nicole: There’s no predicting what can happen in the Beanpot. I’m giving the edge to BC because of Katie Burt. Boston College 3-1

Harvard at Northeastern
Candace: While an upset in this tournament is always possible, I like Northeastern to set up an all Hockey East final. Northeastern 3-1
Nicole: In our Wednesday Women column this week I picked this as a possible upset and I think I have to follow through on that. Harvard has shown some signs of late here and a win in the Beanpot could be the catalyst they need to springboard to a better season next year. Harvard 3-2


    • I-ve crunched numbers, not as many as the USCHO faithful, and get us 20th….Some said AK chances less than one per cent….

    • I spent some time trying to get Alaska in, and the best spot I can get them to is 17th. That absolutely requires North Dakota to win their tournament, and Notre Dame over Michigan in their title game as well, with Union ending up losing the ECAC consolation. Playing around with the other games didn’t bump up Alaska into that final spot. Sorry.

    • With special thanks to Jim at siouxsports.com, here’s how Alaska could get in:

      Atlantic Hockey Semifinal #1: Niagara def. Canisius
      Atlantic Hockey Semifinal #2: Connecticut def. Mercyhurst
      Atlantic Hockey Championship: Niagara def. Connecticut
      CCHA Semifinal #1: Miami def. Michigan
      CCHA Semifinal #2: Notre Dame def. Ohio State
      CCHA Championship: Notre Dame def. Miami
      ECAC Semifinal #1: Brown def. Quinnipiac
      ECAC Semifinal #2: Union def. Yale
      ECAC Championship: Union def. Brown
      ECAC Consolation: Quinnipiac def. Yale
      Hockey East Semifinal #1: Providence def. Mass.-Lowell
      Hockey East Semifinal #2: Boston College def. Boston University
      Hockey East Championship: Boston College def. Providence
      WCHA Semifinal #1: St. Cloud State def. Minnesota State
      WCHA Semifinal #2: Minnesota def. North Dakota
      WCHA Championship: Minnesota def. St. Cloud State
      WCHA Play-in #1: North Dakota def. Colorado College
      WCHA Play-in #2: Minnesota State def. Wisconsin

  1. I can’t find any way Alaska gets in.

    I’ve also found a few scenarios where Miami drops out of the top 4, but all of them require Minnesota State to win the WCHA.

  2. For ECAC, Brown has to win it and Cornell just came up with a gutty performance over the weekend but not enough unless a miracle happens. Union likely in to accomp Y and Q

  3. If every game goes chalk except for BC/BU, BU is the 16th team. Quinnipiac (1) would play BU in Providence, with Yale (8) as the two seed I that regional.
    Minnesota 2, Miami 3 and Lowell 4. Lowell in Manchester with UNH 9.
    Last four in: Notre Dame, Western Michigan, Union and BU.
    Last four out: Wisconsin, RPI, Providence, Dartmouth, Alaska, Robert Morris. Two at seventeen rest tied at 19th.

    BU/Providence looks like winner take all for last bid if both make it to Hockey East finals. BU looks like it can only be 15/16 even winning the autobid.

    • BC would be 6 and in danger of going out west for bracket integrity reasons under chalk minus BU scenario. I do not think the committee would punish Q for being first overall and bypassing a possible Q/Yale rematch. Lowell/UNH seems like a slam dunk for the committee.

      • Scary thing is, even after a 7-8-5 2nd half, UNH seems to be pretty much cemented into the #8 or #9 slot, no matter what happens. But, I guess that goes to show that a tough schedule, 3-0 vs. UML, 2-1 vs. BU, 1-1-1 vs. BC and wins over SCSU, Denver, and RPI in non-conference games do count.
        They had a pretty good weekend and :44 seconds kept them out of Boston… but I guess that’s the story of UNH hockey!

    • I can get BU in at 14th at-large. Only changes to your scenario is North Dakota wins WCHA and Ohio St beats ND, loses to Miami, and Brown defeats Union in the 3rd place game. In this scenario, if BU wins HE (either against Providence or UML), they finish 13th. If they lose to UML, they can finish 14th, if they lose to Providence they can finish 16th and still get in.

    • I’m curious about scenarios where UNH is #8 or #9. Wouldn’t it then make sense to put #1 Quinnipiac in Manchester? Optimum bracket integrity and still very close for travel. That would free up Providence for BC or UML at #4.

      • because quinnipiac would be one overall i think they would do whats best for them over whats closer for bc, and providence is closer for qu and doesnt exactly put bc at a disadvantage being in new hamshire, seven seed would probably go to providence

      • Maybe for BC if they are number four, since Providence is closer to BC than Manchester. If Lowell is a number one seed, they are going to Manchester, as they are much closer to Manchester than Providence.

        The committee will most likely move the seventh overall to Providence.

    • If Brown wins the ECAC tourney they would be in the 4 seed band. Since Brown is the host institution for the East regional this year they would be automatically placed in that region. Since Quinnipiac is #1 seed and cant play Brown first round because of being in the same conference, Quinnipiac in this scenario would be placed somewhere else. I believe this is only scenario of how Quinnipiac wouldn’t be in Providence.

  4. It looks like Quinni and Minni are pretty locked into the #1 and #2 overall seeds, I wouldn’t wanna be sitting at 15 or 16 in PW with all the upset potential. Anyone other than Niagara winning the AHA and 16 is ousted. Also 2 opportunities for upset bids in hockey east, one with BU/Providence being near home with nothin to lose, same scenario for Michigan/OSU playin at the Joe. I don’t think CC can win 3 in WCHA or Brown 2 in ECAC,wouldn’t be shocked to see someones bubble burst by an upset…..or 2

    • Niagara ONLY gets in if they win their Conference. They cannot go in as an at-large, because they only have 7 games against TUC’s (need min. 10). Thus, whoever wins the Conf. Tourney will be the ONLY AHA representative; they can’t get two.

      • I believe that’s mistaken about the TUC minimum. Niagara can still get in at-large, it’s just that TUC does not count in their comparisons with other teams until they have 10.

        • Wouldn’t surprise me if I were wrong, jw. I’ll NEVER profess to be a PWR guru. I thought I had read an article (not comments) here last week that said that Niagara is in a pickle ’cause it won’t have 10 TUC games. Commenter “satriani” on another blog here today seems to agree with me, but I’ll leave it to the “experts”.

          • I think the article was stating that if they did not get to the 10 TUC line and lost, it would most likely leave them out of the NCAA’s. Of course, not knowing how all the tourneys would go, it was a “what if” scenario. I could be wrong too, but I do remember reading a similar story. Anyways, I think jwiii is correct, that they do not “need” 10 TUC games.

          • i’m waiting to see what happens with this, Jayson’s comment seemed only to imply (to me at least) that Niagara would not have TUC comparison, i didn’t see where it said they can not gain an at large, hopefully it plays out

  5. Seems to be possible to get 7 WCHA teams if the tournament really plays favorite to the underdogs.

    Atlantic Hockey
    Semifinal #2: Connecticut defeats Mercyhurst
    Semifinal #1: Niagara defeats Canisius
    Championship game: Niagara defeats Connecticut

    Semifinal #2: Notre Dame defeats Ohio State
    Semifinal #1: Miami defeats Michigan
    Championship game: Miami defeats Notre Dame

    Semifinal #2: Yale defeats Union
    Semifinal #1: Quinnipiac defeats Brown
    Championship game: Quinnipiac defeats Yale
    Consolation game: Brown defeats Union

    Hockey East
    Semifinal #2: Boston College defeats Boston University
    Semifinal #1: Massachusetts-Lowell defeats Providence
    Championship game: Massachusetts-Lowell defeats Boston College

    Play-in #2: Colorado College defeats North Dakota
    Play-in #1: Wisconsin defeats Minnesota State
    Semifinal #2: Colorado College defeats Minnesota
    Semifinal #1: Wisconsin defeats St. Cloud State
    Championship game: Colorado College defeats Wisconsin

    • CCHA – These are one off games now and Michigan is red hot. Michigan is going to slam the Redhawks (and I’m not a Wolverine fan). And although Notre Dame is a better team on paper, Ohio State has had many first night surprises this season (including one against ND). So I wouldn’t write-off the Buckeyes so easily.

      I think Michigan is going to take the last Mason Cup.

    • I don’t see Union losing two games. The consolation game for them would be just as important as the semi-final game, since it could determine a dance spot. It would be a meaningless game for Brown, as they must win it all to go.

  6. Union will beat Yale. As I said a couple weeks ago, Union has 21 returners from last year’s Frozen Four squad, and come playoff time they know how to win. Union has already tied and beat them this year, and they only finished one point about Union in the regular season standings. i predict a fantastic game with Union coming out on top and defending their ECAC Championship crown.

    • Good point, but in game 1, Yale was missing 2 of top 4 forwards and game 2 they were without their goalie who has been the backbone of this team. I think it will be a great game that will go either way. I also think the winner will “upset” Qpac in the finals.

  7. Managed to get 5 teams from Hockey East into the tourney
    Atlantic Hockey
    Semifinal #2: Connecticut defeats Mercyhurst
    Semifinal #1: Niagara defeats Canisius
    Championship game: Niagara defeats Connecticut
    Semifinal #2: Ohio State defeats Notre Dame
    Semifinal #1: Miami defeats Michigan
    Championship game: Miami defeats Ohio State
    Semifinal #2: Yale defeats Union
    Semifinal #1: Brown defeats Quinnipiac
    Championship game: Yale defeats Brown
    Consolation game: Quinnipiac defeats Union
    Hockey East
    Semifinal #2: Boston University defeats Boston College
    Semifinal #1: Providence defeats Massachusetts-Lowell
    Championship game: Providence defeats Boston University
    Play-in #2: Colorado College defeats North Dakota
    Play-in #1: Minnesota State defeats Wisconsin
    Semifinal #2: Colorado College defeats Minnesota
    Semifinal #1: St. Cloud State defeats Minnesota State
    Championship game: St. Cloud State defeats Colorado College

    • and what I think the 16 teams that are actually going to make it into the tournament are going to be:

      1. Quinnipiac (Qn)
      2. Minnesota (Mn)
      3. Miami (Mm)
      4. Yale (Ya)
      5t. Massachusetts-Lowell (ML)
      5t. Niagara (Ni)
      7t. Minnesota State (Mk)
      7t. Boston College (BC)
      7t. North Dakota (ND)
      7t. New Hampshire (NH)
      11. St. Cloud State (SC)
      12. Denver (DU)
      13. Notre Dame (Nt)
      14t. Western Michigan (WM)
      14t. Boston University (BU)
      16. Union (Un)

  8. Sounds like lots of folks have written UNION off in the ECAC tournament. Yep, they are a much smaller team that either Brown, Yale or Quinnipiac, giving away on average 2+” and 20 lbs per player. How can anyone dare to compare them to the likes of Quinnipiac or Yale or Brown? Who did they ever beat besides those weakling ECAC teams anyway. Are they from Kentucky? Maybe they should be required to come in the service entrance when they reach the Atlantic City Arena. They are definitely going no-where in this tournament. Right? Yep, just keep believing that …..

    • Nice tongue in cheek comment 4life. It’ll be just like last season. No one gave Union a chance, and they ended up in the Frozen Four. For the record, they were 1-0-1 against Yale this year. I think if they win either game this weekend, they will make the dance.
      There will be no more (NY) in parentheses after their name THIS year!

  9. I haven’t crunched all the scenarios yet, but has anyone had Western Michigan in anything but the 14th or 15th ranking? From what I’ve calculated so far, if there are 3 or more teams outside the top 16 that win their respective tournament and get the auto bid, my beloved Broncos are definitely out. It seems that most scenarios have them surviving 2 auto bids from outside the top 16 and every scenario in which there is only 1 or no auto bids from outside the top 16. Can anyone else confirm this or should I keep plugging away? I hate that I have to bite my nails for third consecutive year, but this is the position that we put ourselves in.

  10. The following combination gets Atlantic Hockey’s #5 seed, Robert Morris, in to play Quinnipiac in the opening round of the NCAA’s tournament. Surprisingly few upsets are required to achieve this result. (RMU also gets in with Wisconsin beating Minnesota State.)

    Atlantic Hockey
    Semifinal #2: Mercyhurst defeats Connecticut
    Semifinal #1: Niagara defeats Canisius
    Championship game: Niagara defeats Mercyhurst
    Semifinal #2: Notre Dame defeats Ohio State
    Semifinal #1: Miami defeats Michigan
    Championship game: Miami defeats Notre Dame
    Semifinal #2: Yale defeats Union
    Semifinal #1: Quinnipiac defeats Brown
    Championship game: Quinnipiac defeats Yale
    Consolation game: Brown defeats Union
    Hockey East
    Semifinal #2: Boston College defeats Boston University
    Semifinal #1: Massachusetts-Lowell defeats Providence
    Championship game: Boston College defeats Massachusetts-Lowell
    Play-in #2: North Dakota defeats Colorado College
    Play-in #1: Minnesota State defeats Wisconsin
    Semifinal #2: Minnesota defeats North Dakota
    Semifinal #1: St. Cloud State defeats Minnesota State
    Championship game: Minnesota defeats St. Cloud State

    My actual tournament predictions at this point:
    Quinnipiac vs. Michigan / Yale vs. St. Cloud State
    Grand Rapids:
    Minnesota vs. Union / North Dakota vs. Notre Dame
    Boston College vs. Western Michigan / Niagara at New Hampshire
    Miami vs. Minnesota State / Massachusetts-Lowell vs. Denver

  11. Has anyone seen a scenario where DU’s loss at home in the first round of WCHA tourney play cost them a trip to the NCAA?

    • Du is sitting at 13, i believe in pairwise, and clearly in danger if upsets occur, but most scenarios i played out still had them in

  12. Has anyone figured out a way, or is it not possible, to make merimack a TUC. they are .499 right now, if union wins, they can be bumped up, which would make them a TUC, which would effect BU. But it seems that the pairwise only takes into effect teams that are already TUCs.

    • Lots of underdogs win, especially Hockey East. If you see a BU/Providence final, pretty sure that was a scenario. AHA has one team and I forget what I did with ECAC. No matter what, Miami, Q and Minnesota were one seeds.

      North Dakota needs to take Hockey East’s number one seed. I think if BC or Lowell get to the final, that secures it for the Hockey East team, as well as being in Manchester or possibly Providence.

  13. I’m curious about happens if both Brown and Providence College win their respective tournaments. Brown is the official host of the Providence regional. And thus, if they win the ECAC championship, they are hosting as the #4 seed. Little doubt about that. This presumably sends Quinnipiac up to Manchester and then BC down to Providence as the #1 seed.

    Once that has occurred, it’s hard to imagine that the committee wouldn’t keep Providence College in the Providence region, but they would be a real weak #3 seed in the bracket with no logical #2 seed perhaps other North Dakota. They wouldn’t put another ECAC and Hockey East team in Providence and they wouldn’t want to uproot Miami from the Toledo bracket.

    Other thoughts? It is conceivable that the Committee would send Providence College up to Manchester to play Quinnipiac rather than keeping them 4 miles from campus?

    • You would have to find a way that Providence creeps in the third band of seeds, because Brown with definitely be in the fourth band. Providence would also have to be third band because of the Hockey East first band team that moved from Manchester after Quinnipiac moves to avoid first round matchup with Brown.

      I am not sure how Providence gets to 12 or even 13 at this point. Pretty sure either BC or Lowell will be a number one seed in Providence. I did get one outcome in the predictor where the top four were Minnesota, North Dakota, Miami and Quinnipiac. Under your scenario, one of the WCHA teams would be in Providence.

  14. MSU is 4-6 on Fridays in conference, 9-1 on Saturdays. We’re just not showing up ready to play. Their one really strong Friday effort was against Ferris, in a game that obviously provided plenty of motivation. They need to find that effort every night.

  15. I can assure you that MTU fans were well aware of the possibility of missing the playoffs. The lack of offense, along with the weird scheduling, has been very frustrating. Fortunately, last weekend’s sweep bumped us up into the middle of the standings. I think we still have a slim chance at home ice with another sweep or two.


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