Hockey East picks: First round – Mar. 3-5

Here comes the postseason. And after Dave and I had equally mediocre weeks last weekend, I head into the playoffs with a four-game lead.

Jim last week: 6-5-0
Dave last week: 6-5-0
Jim to date: 151-85-32
Dave to date: 147-89-32

We will pick each series in order. Regardless of our picks in the first two games, we will each pick all three games.

No. 12 Massachusetts at No. 5 Providence
Jim’s pick: Last weekend, UMass showed they can play with Providence, but I still don’t see the Minutemen finding a victory in this series.
G1: PC 3, UMass 1; G2: PC 4, UMass 2; G3: PC 5, UMass 2
Dave’s pick: Even though I have to differ with Jim in a good number of games, I’m not going to do it here. I just can’t see any outcome other than a PC sweep.
G1: PC 4, UMass 1; G2: PC 5, UMass 2; G3: PC 5, UMass 1

No. 11 Maine at No. 6 Vermont
Jim’s pick: I feel like there is a chance Maine could win a game here because of their offensive ability. But the struggles on the road keep me from picking the Black Bears.
G1: UVM 3, Maine 2; G2: UVM 4, Maine 2; G3: UVM 4, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: It’s hard to believe that a team that hasn’t won a road game all year will suddenly do so when the stakes are the highest.
G1: UVM 4, Maine 2; G2: UVM 4, Maine 1; G3: UVM 3, Maine 2

No. 10 New Hampshire at No. 7 Merrimack
Jim’s pick: This is a series I see going three games. I still see home ice prevailing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if New Hampshire got its act together and won the series.
G1: MC 4, UNH 3; G2: UNH 3, MC 1; G3: MC 3, UNH 2
Dave’s pick: Here’s a series I can see going either way. I, too, think it’s likely that Merrimack wins the series, but I’m going to be a full-blown contrarian.
G1: UNH 3, MC 2; G2: MC 3, UNH 2 (OT); G3: UNH 4, MC 3 (OT)

No. 9 Connecticut at No. 8 Northeastern
Jim’s pick: I just don’t know what to expect here.  Both teams have solid offenses. I’d give UConn the edge in goal and that’s why I’m picking the Huskies to pull off the upset.
G1: UConn 4, NU 3; G2: NU 4, UConn 2; G3: UConn 3, NU 2
Dave’s pick: It’s Huskies vs. Huskies here. Northeastern swept this series two weeks ago, so I’m going for those Huskies to win it in three.
G1: NU 4, UConn 3; G2: UConn 5, NU 4; G3: NU 4, UConn 3