Hockey East picks – Dec. 29 – Jan. 3

There was just a single game on tap on Hockey East when we last picked and a tie helped neither of us.

Jim last week: 0-0-1
Jim to date: 72-48-12
Dave last week: 0-0-1
Dave to date: 72-48-12

Catamount Cup (at Burlington, Vt.)
UMass Lowell vs. Harvard
Jim’s pick: Neither team lived up to expectations in the first half, but Lowell probably showed more potential. Add that Harvard is without defenseman Adam Fox (World Juniors), and I have to pick the River Hawks.
UML 4, HU 2
Dave’s pick: Agreed. I never would have expected these two teams to be a game under .500 (Harvard) and only one game over (Lowell). Give me the River Hawks with hopes they perform like the Hawks we’ve grown to expect.
UML 3, HU 2

St. Lawrence at Vermont
Jim’s pick: Again, we have two teams with disappointing first halves. So I guess I’ll use home ice to make my pick.
UVM 3, SLU 2
Dave’s pick: “Disappointing first halves” is putting it mildly. Both teams are in the cellar of their leagues. Since Vermont at least has four wins overall, compared to SLU’s 1-14-1 record, I’ve got to go with the Catamounts.
UVM 3, SLU 1

Ledyard Bank Classic (at Hanover, N.H.)
New Hampshire at Dartmouth
Jim’s pick: The hosts should be motivated to reach the championship game, but I still think UNH is the better team here.
UNH 3, DC 2
Dave’s pick: The Wildcats experienced some ups and downs in the first half, but Dartmouth had mostly downs.
UNH 4, DC 2

Three Rivers Classic (at Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Arizona State vs. Providence
Jim’s pick: Arizona State has surprised a number of teams this season, but I still have to pick the Friars to show up and take care of business.
PC 5, ASU 2
Dave’s pick: Arizona State is making progress, but that’s still miles from being in Providence’s class.
PC 5, ASU 1

Merrimack at Denver
Jim’s pick: Merrimack has some strong performances to end the first half, but Denver is just too strong.
DU 5, MC 3
Dave’s pick: Denver isn’t number two in the country for nothing.
DU 5, MC 2

Maine at Rensselaer
Jim’s pick: I’m impressed by Maine. A lot. But I’m also concerned about how they will perform without goaltender Jeremy Swayman (World Juniors).
RPI 3, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: I’m still sticking with Maine, but with a lot less confidence since Swayman will be missing.
Maine 4, RPI 3

Saturday, December 30

Connecticut at Boston College
Jim’s pick: I think there is a concern that Joe Woll (World Juniors) won’t be between the pipes for the Eagles, but backup Ryan Edquist has strong numbers in his five appearances. If the Eagles score, they win.
BC 4, UConn 2
Dave’s pick: Woll’s absence is a concern, but I think the Eagles will pull out the win.
BC 3, UConn 2 (OT)

Catamount Cup (Burlington, Vt.)
UMass Lowell vs. St. Lawrence
Jim’s pick: The River Hawks beat the Saints on the road, 5-0, earlier this year. Can’t see that changing.
UML 5, SLU 1
Dave’s pick: The River Hawks have been disappointing, but the Saints have been, to be brutally honest, awful.
UML 5, SLU 2

Harvard at Vermont
Jim’s pick: This is a battle of Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon vs. his alma mater. And I think alma mater wins.
HU 4, UVM 2
Dave’s pick: I don’t think the Catamounts will finish the season in the Hockey East cellar, but I don’t think they’re ready for the Crimson.
HU 4, UVM 1

Ledyard Bank Classic (Hanover, N.H.)
New Hampshire vs. Yale
Jim’s pick: I liked a lot of what I saw about Yale in the first half. I can say the same about UNH, except how they closed.
Yale 3, UNH 2
Dave’s pick: I don’t expect the Wildcats to shut out Yale like they did, 4-0, a month ago, but I still see a win.
UNH 4, Yale 2

Three Rivers Classic (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Providence vs. Lake Superior/Robert Morris
Jim’s pick: I think Providence should win this tournament, regardless of their opponent in the finals.
PC 4, LSSU 1; PC 4, RMU 3
Dave’s pick: The Friars are clearly the class of this tournament.
PC 5, LSSU 1; PC 4, RMU 2

Merrimack at Colorado College
Jim’s pick: This feels like a toss-up, but having seen CC beat New Hampshire earlier this season, I’m confident if they play their game, they win.
CC 3, MC 2
Dave’s pick: Earlier this month, Colorado College pulled out two ties against then-number one Denver. It is also a game over .500 overall.
CC 4, MC 2

American International at Northeastern
Jim’s pick: This one shouldn’t be close. It probably will. But It shouldn’t be.
NU 6, AIC 2
Dave’s pick: Absolutely a one-sided affair.
NU 6, AIC 1

Maine at Rensselaer
Jim’s pick: Even without Swayman, I don’t see Maine getting swept.
Maine 4, RPI 2
Dave’s pick: I’m going with a Maine sweep, but it’s a nervous prediction. Swayman’s 95 saves to lead the Black Bears to a sweep over Quinnipiac just before the break tell me I shouldn’t be picking anything more than a split, if that.
Maine 4, RPI 3 (OT)

Tuesday, January 2

Quinnipiac at Connecticut
Jim’s pick: Tough one to pick in this old rivalry game. I’ll go with UConn at home.
UConn 3, QU 2
Dave’s pick: I keep expecting the old Quinnipiac to raise its ugly head, but its sweeps at the hands of UMass and Maine have forced me to conclude UConn is the better team. Especially at home.
UConn 3, QU 2

Wednesday, January 3

Brown at Providence
Jim’s pick: Another rivalry game, but this one should easily be Providence’s.
PC 5, Brown 2
Dave’s pick: I think it’ll be closer than Jim does, but it still should be a Friars win.
PC 3, Brown 2