Hockey East picks: Dec. 19-21

Good news for Hockey East: there were as many games played last week as there were the previous three.

Bad news for Hockey East: more COVID-related cancelations this weekend for Maine and New Hampshire.

Here are our picks on the games we hope are played:

Jim last week: 4-2-1
Jim to date: 9-3-2

Marisa last week: 3-3-1
Marisa to date: 6-6-2

No. 19 Providence vs. No. 12 Northeastern (Sat. at NU; Sun. at PC)

This is Hockey East’s top heavyweight battle this weekend with the Friars coming off its first win of the season over UMass Lowell and Northeastern and its explosive offense entering of a sweep of Merrimack. Could be the battle of which team plays its game: NU’s potent offense or Providence’s tough, heavy defense.

Jim’s picks: NU 5, PC 2; NU 4, PC 2
Marisa’s picks: NU 2, PC 1; PC 3, NU 2

Vermont at No. 10 Massachusetts (Sat./Sun.)

The Catamounts will finally begin their season with a new look behind the bench as Todd Woodcroft takes over for long-time bench boss Kevin Sneddon (though he will be missing this weekend as he at World Juniors serving as an assistant for Team Sweden). Difficult to predict how a new coach changes a team, but know one thing: the Catamounts will face a very strong UMass club.

Jim’s picks: UMass 4, UVM 1; UMass 3, UVM 2
Marisa’s picks: UMass 4, UVM 1; UMass 5, UVM 2

No. 15 UMass Lowell at Connecticut (Mon.)

UMass Lowell is looking for its first win after finally open its season last Sunday. And despite cancelation of its series with Maine this weekend, a rare Monday game vs. UConn is now on the slate. The Huskies have nice momentum after a 3-1 victory over Boston College last Saturday.

Jim’s pick: UML 3, UConn 2
Marisa’s pick: UConn 3, UML 1