Picking the men’s Division I games: Nov. 30-Dec. 4

Erik Brown (16 - RIT), Dan Willett (5 - RIT) (2018 Omar Phillips)
RIT’s Erik Brown and Dan Willett are part of a Tigers club that welcomes Air Force this weekend for an Atlantic Hockey series (photo: Omar Phillips).

Each week, USCHO.com columnists will pick the winners of the upcoming games in their respective conferences.

Atlantic Hockey


Canisius at Army West Point

Canisius won three of four meetings last season with the Black Knights. This is the only regular season contests between the two schools this year, and I don’t think either will come away with bragging rights. I’m picking a split.

Mercyhurst at Bentley

Bentley is coming off an epic week that saw the Falcons defeat Boston College in the schools first-ever meeting as well as win against Holy Cross the following night. The Lakers were swept by Robert Morris last weekend and looking to bounce back, but will be without some key players on Friday after the league handed down suspensions from that series. I’m going with a split.

Robert Morris at Sacred Heart

The Colonials righted the ship last weekend and are looking to keep it going, while Sacred Heart is current on an 0-4-1 stretch. Despite not having leading scorer Alex Tonge in the lineup on Friday due to a suspension, I’m picking a Robert Morris sweep.

Air Force at Rochester Institute of Technology

The Falcons have won seven of the past eight meeting between the schools, with six of those eight games decided by a single goal. I think things will go down to the wire again. I’m picking a split.

Niagara at Western Michigan

Western Michigan is coming off an impressive sweep of North Dakota, and are looking to avoid a letdown against Purple Eagles, who currently sit atop the Atlantic Hockey standings. I’m going with a WMU sweep.


American International at Holy Cross

AIC won the first game of this series on Tuesday, but I think Holy Cross snaps an 0-9-2 stretch with a victory on home ice. Holy Cross wins.

Tuesday, Dec. 4

Harvard at Bentley

Bentley knocked off Boston College last Friday, so the Falcons are confidant underdogs. But Harvard has just one loss in its last six games and is coming off an impressive win over Cornell at Madison Square Garden. Harvard wins.

— Chris Lerch

Big Ten


Michigan at/vs. Michigan State

The Spartans showed a glimpse of their potential when they came back to beat Minnesota last Friday, but they also showed how far way they are from consistently being that team when the Gophers won 7-2 on Friday night. On the other side of the rivalry Michigan has chomping at the bit to get back onto the ice after settling for two ties at home against Wisconsin. If anything, the Wolverines can take the fact that Hayden Lavigne had back-to-back solid nights in net as a positive. I’ll take Michigan’s offense to break out of its shell this weekend and power the Wolverines to two wins. Michigan sweeps.

Ohio State at Minnesota

Despite its four-game winning streak ending last Friday, Ohio State still looks like a team that’s trending in the right direction after a somewhat slow start. The Buckeyes are getting scoring from their key guys and solid efforts in net from both guys that Steve Rohlik has been trotting out. This will be a good test for the Buckeyes, as they are a combined 1-8-1 in Big Ten games at Minnesota since the conference’s inception. Minnesota has had a few good performances this season, including last weekend’s lopsided win over Michigan State, but consistency has been a problem and the Gophers’ offense tends to go missing for long chunks of time. I’ll take a split.

Penn State at Wisconsin

Wisconsin would have liked to steal a win last weekend, but two ties on the road against Michigan isn’t the worst result in the world. The Badgers return home this weekend, but the sledding remains tough with Penn State coming to town. I think Wisconsin is going to need a spectacular game out of either Daniel Lebedeff or Jack Berry to pick up a win this weekend. Penn State sweeps.

Rensselaer at Notre Dame

RPI has the nation’s 48th-ranked offense with an average of 1.82 goals per game, so I don’t exactly love their odds going against Notre Dame’s fourth-ranked defense and one the country’s best goaltenders on the road. Notre Dame sweeps.

— Drew Claussen

ECAC Hockey


Brown at Clarkson

Scoring goals has been a problem for the Bears so far this year, and it won’t get any easier against the Golden Knights and goalie Jake Kielly, who has played well since giving up five goals against Canisius on Nov. 10. Clarkson wins.

Princeton at Quinnipiac

The Bobcats have gotten back on track following a 5-1 loss to Union on Nov. 10, winning four in a row and scoring 18 goals since. Quinnipiac will need every bit of offense it can get, as Princeton might have one of the best No.1 lines in the country. Still, this is a Tigers team that enters the weekend on a three-game losing streak. Quinnipiac wins.

Yale at St. Lawrence

The Bulldogs are coming off a tie and a win in the Friendship Four in Belfast. Yale looks like it’s starting to develop some scoring depth behind senior Joe Snively, which is something the Saints don’t have. Yale wins.

Cornell at Dartmouth

Cornell has lost two of its last three games following a four-game winning streak. Sophomore goalie Matthew Galajda’s numbers are down from last year, and the Big Red will be tested against a Big Green team that has some scoring depth past its top line. Dartmouth wins

Colgate at Harvard

Harvard has had great goaltending so far this year, but the Crimson’s offense has carried the team so far. Defenseman and leading scorer Adam Fox has 17 points in eight games this season, while Colgate’s entire roster has combined for 32 points over 11 games. Harvard wins.


Rensselaer at Notre Dame

RPI has shown improvements from last year, but it’s hard to see the Engineers coming away with a win against a Fighting Irish team that has won four in a row entering this weekend. Notre Dame wins.


Yale at Clarkson

Like I said before, I like Yale’s scoring depth, but the Golden Knights are 5-0 at home this season and have Kielly in net. Clarkson wins.

Cornell at Harvard

These teams are back at after Harvard beat Cornell 4-1 in the Frozen Apple at Madison last Saturday. I think the Big Red will learn from that game and come back with a win against the Crimson. Cornell wins.

Quinnipiac at Princeton

The travel partners conclude their home-and-home series Saturday in New Jersey. I think the Tigers bounce back with a win. Princeton wins.

Brown at St. Lawrence

Both teams have struggled to score this year, but Brown’s Gavin Nieto and St. Lawrence’s Arthur Brey have actually been pretty respectable in goal. I think the Bears’ win in a low-scoring game. Brown wins.

Colgate at Dartmouth

Like I said above, Dartmouth has a deep lineup, while the same can’t be said of the Raiders. Dartmouth wins.

Tuesday, Dec. 4

Harvard at Bentley

Neither team has played well defensively this year, but I think the Crimson have the high-end talent in their lineup to win what should be a shootout. Harvard wins.

— Nate Owen

Hockey East


New Hampshire at/vs. Providence

While I think UNH continues to improve, Providence is likely too much opponent. Providence sweeps.

Boston College at/vs. Boston University

The league’s best rivalry series, I see a split and will let home ice dictate. BU wins Friday; BC wins Saturday

Maine at Vermont

Neither team has been that bad but neither stands out. I will pick a split with Maine winning the second. UVM wins Friday; Maine wins Saturday.


Connecticut at Massachusetts

The #NewMass hashtag should be enough to stop the #IceBus hashtag in the battle of social media moguls. UMass wins.

Merrimack at Northeastern

Though this has a chance of an upset, Northeastern has been decent enough at home for me to pick. Northeastern wins.

— Jim Connelly



St. Cloud State at Miami

The RedHawks outing to New Hampshire has to be looked at as a disappointment, as they couldn’t come away with a win. St. Cloud State is coming off a bye week, but has one of the most potent offenses in the country. I think the Huskies sweep, though one game will be close. St. Cloud State 4-2, 3-2.

North Dakota at Minnesota Duluth

Will the rally against Alaska Anchorage last Saturday help the Hawks in the long run? Yes, but likely not against a Duluth team sporting one of the toughest defenses in the country. The Hawks needed two power-play goals for that rally, but Anchorage’s penalty kill is one of the worst in the country, sitting at 57th and only succeeding 72.73 percent of the time. Minnesota Duluth has the fourth-best PK in the country. The Bulldogs won’t allow North Dakota to rally if they fall behind. Minnesota Duluth 3-2, 4-2.

Colorado College at Omaha

The Mavericks are finally showing some signs of life, sweeping a better-than-expected but nowhere near deserving a top-20 ranking Arizona State team last weekend. Omaha has been much better at home than on the road. CC meanwhile, is coming out of a brutal stretch where they went 1-5, partly because they faced St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth on back-to-back weekends. I like a split in this series. Colorado College 3-2, Omaha 4-1.

Niagara at Western Michigan

The big question is whether Wade Allison is healthy again. When he is, Western Michigan is just a different team. Regardless, Lawson is a tough place to play. This is Niagara’s first out-of-conference series since getting hammered by Penn State in October. I think Western will sweep this series pretty convincingly. Western Michigan 4-1, 5-1.

— Candace Horgan



Minnesota State at Lake Superior State

I’m very impressed with the way LSSU is playing this season. The Lakers currently sit in fourth place in the WCHA standings and are tied with Michigan Tech and Mankato for most goals scored (24). But the Mavs are coming off a letdown game against Bemidji State last week, so I like MSU to storm back and sweep the road series at LSSU.

Bemidji State at Michigan Tech

I’m not going to lie, I was actually shocked Bemidji State was able to steal a win against Minnesota State and snap the Mavs’ winning streak last weekend. If the Beavers steal a win at the first-place Huskies, that will not only keep them alive in the WCHA race but muddle up the top of the league standings. I like Michigan Tech to win Friday night’s game but give me BSU to steal one from the Huskies going away Saturday night – just like last week.

Ferris State at Alaska

As Bulldogs coach Bob Daniels always says, “It’s hard to go up to Alaska and play on an Olympic sheet,” which is why I like the Nanooks to steal Friday night’s game from Ferris. Once Ferris gets acclimated to playing on the bigger playing surface, though, I like them to get the win going away Saturday night.


Bowling Green at Alabama Huntsville

In order for BGSU to keep pace with Minnesota State, Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan in the WCHA standings, sweeping Huntsville is a must this weekend. I like the Falcons to take both games against the ninth-place Chargers.

— Brandon Folsom