Hockey East picks: Nov. 24-28

Dave gained a single game last week, which closes the gap as we hit Thanksgiving, or about the 1/3 point in the season.

Jim last week: 5-4-1
Jim to date: 54-33-8
Dave last week: 6-3-1
Dave to date: 53-34-8

Friday, November 24

Providence vs. Maine at Friendship Four (Belfast, N.I.)
Jim’s pick: I guess it depends on which team shows up on either side. Providence is better on paper but has taken some periods off. Maine has shown it can be strong at times.
PC 4, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: Some Maine fans have commented that I must hate the Black Bears, which is absolute nonsense. But to give those fans some raw meat to feast on, let me exaggerate Maine’s expected loss just a wee bit.
PC 52, Maine 0

Harvard at Boston College
Jim’s pick: If I had to pick this a month ago, I’d pick the Crimson hands down. Man how things change in a month.
BC 3, HU 2
Dave’s pick: Harvard is not only a surprising 2-5-0 overall, it’s 0-4-0 on the road. Go with the first-place Eagles. (Did I just say first place Eagles? Yes, I did.)
BC 3, HU 1

Massachusetts at Quinnipiac
Jim’s pick: Despite Quinnipiac’s struggles of late, I’m still going with the Bobcats at home.
QU 4, UMass 2
Dave’s pick: It is surprising to see Quinnipiac with a mediocre .500 record, but that’s still good enough.
QU 4, UMass 2

Saturday, November 25

Maine/Providence at Friendship Four (Belfast, N.I.)
Jim’s pick: This should be a Providence/Clarkson meeting in the final. But we will pick every possible matchup for consolation/championship games.
PC 3, CU 2; PC 5, RPI 2; Maine 3, RPI 2; CU 5, Maine 3
Dave’s pick: Perhaps I’m gun-shy based on Hockey East’s weak nonconference record, but I’m afraid Clarkson will win a battle of the favorites. As for Maine, let it be noted by my adoring fans from that state that I am picking the Black Bears to win a match-up against RPI.
CU 3, PC 2; PC 5, RPI 1; Maine 4, RPI 2; CU 4, Maine 2

Boston University vs. Cornell (Red Hot Hockey at New York, N.Y.)
Jim’s pick: If BU can’t get up for this game, I’m concerned about this team. Cornell is good, but BU should be better.
BU 4, CU 3
Dave’s pick: I am concerned about the Terriers. This team hasn’t put two wins together since the first two games of the season. At a certain point, “great talent” has to produce or it becomes “wasted talent.” We’re not there yet, but…
CU 3, BU 2

Vermont at Dartmouth
Jim’s pick: Neither team has exactly been lights out this season. But I like the Catamounts hoping they can win the goaltender battle.
UVM 4, DC 3
Dave’s pick: With both teams struggling, I’m going with home ice as the deciding factor.
DC 3, UVM 2

RIT at Connecticut
Jim’s pick: UConn broke its winless streak on Tuesday and should have the firepower to beat RIT at home.
UConn 5, RIT 2
Dave’s pick: The home-road splits for these two teams are backwards: both teams have better records on the road. But I’m chalking that up to a small sample size. Huskies win.
UConn 4, RIT 2

Quinnipiac at Massachusetts
Jim’s pick: Part of me wants to pick the Minutemen at home, but that would really be a stretch when you look at the ability of this Quinnipiac team.
QU 3, UMass 2
Dave’s pick: Agreed. This may be a match-up between a team that was .500 going into the weekend versus one that was just a single game under, but I can’t shake the feeling that Quinnipiac is much better than that and it sweeps.
QU 4, UMass 2

New Hampshire at Yale
Jim’s pick: The Wildcats have hit a bit of a skid and Yale on the road probably isn’t the opponent to turn things around.
YU 4, UNH 2
Dave’s pick: Yale hasn’t exactly been a ball of fire, losing its last three, and four of its last five, so I’m this close to going with the Wildcats on the road. So close.  So very, very close. Oops, I’ve toppled over the edge, and now I’m falling. Go Wildcats!
UNH 3, YU 2

Tuesday, November 28

Northeastern at Connecticut
Jim’s pick: The Huskies hit a bit of a blip against a red hot Boston College team last Saturday. But I expect them to bounce back on the road.
NU 4, UConn 2
Dave’s pick: Agreed. Northeastern wins the Battle of the Huskies.
NU 4, UConn 2

Bentley at UMass Lowell
Jim’s pick: The way the River Hawks are playing, you’d expect a win here. I’ll pick one but don’t think it will be that easy.
UML 4, Bentley 3
Dave’s pick: Since Bentley enters this weekend 1-7-3, I’m not going out on a limb when I pick the suddenly hot River Hawks. Make that five wins in a row.
UML 5, Bentley 2